Oh, are birds migrating yet?


That’s a question I sometimes hear once the leaves start changing.  Migration never really stops, though.  There’s always something on the move, it’s just that we notice more when it’s a mass movement, especially of big noisy things like flocks of geese on the crisp winds of autumn.

But the little birds?  The warblers and vireos and flycatchers?  They’re definitely moving south now, in August.  Shorebirds, too.  Even some raptors and, as I witnessed from one of our students just yesterday, pelicans.

Those little birds tend to migrate at night, and it’s super cool to see them on radar.  Check out these signatures from the last 24 hours or so.  There’s not much 6–7 pm, but the activity over most of the Lower 48 States ramps up big time 9–10 pm, before slowly tailing off 4–5 am, today:

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.19.38 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.20.07 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.21.43 PM

Thanks to Paul Hurtado who, from his Birding Page,  provides links to the NEXRAD radar loops from which I pulled the above images.   You’ll want to visit that page because seeing those loops in animation is mind-blowing.

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