Morning Flight, 29-31 August 2015

Greetings songbird watchers.  The last three mornings have been slow....  but what a contrast with the three days prior to that.  South winds have brought the dog days of summer back to full effect.  There might be a few small pulses of neotropical migrants in the next few days with and Thursday, September 3rd looking promising. 

It's interesting to compare the behavior of the birds on these slow days,being typically, with south winds and zero cold front action, with the flights associated with the nice cold front the past week. With 229 Bobolinks flying by, mostly south, within a total of 370 the last three days, I think we have an excellent opportunity to think about the various mechanics inherent in these birds to talk about there migrational attributes.  From the dike, most of the "classic" Morning Flight species head north along the bayshore starting around dawn.  This has been defined as "redetermined migration" since 1978, at least, by radar-ornithologist extraordinaire, Sidney Gautreaux. The Bobolinks will do this northbound flight on cold fronts (sometimes) but will continue south into the south wind on these slower days, usually peaking after the first hour after dawn.  This falls into the category of "onward" migration.

We hope to learn something from all aspects of the Morning Flight phenomenon and stay tuned for more discussion of this central topic.  In the meantime enjoy a killer Black-and-white Warbler flight shot by Sam Galick!

photo by: Sam Galick

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