It seems that eBird has really come into its own. They’re now producing the maps that I’ve been fantasizing about for years – time series occurrence over the entire Lower 48 states. Check this out: (Click the map below to access the animation.)
That’s continental-scale Wood Thrush migration over the course of a year, and it’s supremely awesome. I immediately noticed three things:
1) The wave of Wood Thrushes in spring comes almost exclusively through the Gulf before filling in the entire Eastern U.S.
2) Here in Oklahoma there is an early wave in April and another in June. Is the June wave dispersing juveniles already on the move or late arrivals gravitating toward marginal areas for breeding?
3) Migration in September covers West Virginia in Wood Thrushes, and then they book out rapidly.
There will be many more insights and hypotheses to be tested as this tool progresses. I’m giddy with anticipation for the day these maps show up in my weekly forecast on The Weather Channel.