[Tweeters] Bird Migration on Radar

Randy re_hill at q.com
Sun Mar 8 09:44:54 PDT 2020

Fall migrant raptor migration viewing sites in E Clark County WA typically have weather and/or calendar-induced numbers of both robins and thrushes. Not real high above the landscape but in the 2000’ elevation zone. These can last 2-3 hours some mornings. Don’t know that this happens in the spring as Varied Thrushes can be altitudinal as well as north-south migrants. Maybe we refer again to Jim D. who spends more time up there.

Randy Hill


From: Tweeters [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Robert O'Brien
Sent: Saturday, March 7, 2020 10:32 PM
To: Dennis Paulson
Cc: Andy Stepniewski; TWEETERS tweeters; B Boekelheide
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Bird Migration on Radar

Right, that is what I observed regularly every winter in California as a kid, as I mentioned. But I've lived at this s.e. portland rural location for 45 years and never seen that phenomenon. Instead groups of Robin's appear this time of year seemingly out of nowhere. So I'm just taking up on the previous suggestion that they could be night migrants here. Is anyone in Washington or Oregon seeing flocks of day flying robins at several hundred feet altitude? And the same comments could be applied to varied thrush as well. In California Robins were common, regular, high flying

migrants every winter during the day but varied thrushes joined them only in occasional Winters and were fewer in number than the Robins. The latter ties in with my experience here where the varied thrush abundance varies widely from year to year but still I've never seen any flying at altitude at any time. Bob

On Saturday, March 7, 2020, Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net> wrote:

Bob, that’s another good candidate for early migration (our territorial male appeared in our yard January 30), but I believe that robins migrate primarily during the day.


On Mar 6, 2020, at 9:48 PM, B Boekelheide <bboek at olympus.net> wrote:

Hello, Tweeters, et al,

What about robins? Even though many robins stay in WA through the winter, many more begin to pass through around this time, particularly brightly-colored males on their way north that probably spent the winter in CA and OR. The early bird catches the territory, you know. On the Wednesday morning bird walks in RR Bridge Park near Sequim, there is a distinct increase in robins in late winter, like in February and March. In the last week around here we have noticed more robins on territories and more robins singing in the morning.

And we all know there are a lot of robins out there.

Just a guess.

Bob Boekelheide


Subject: Bird Migration on Radar
Date: Fri Mar 6 2020 18:05 pm
From: jdanzenbaker AT gmail.com <http://gmail.com/>

Hi Tweeters and Dennis,

I'm just reading this thread with interest. To answer the question from

Dennis, nope, didn't notice any appreciable increase in any species or

family of birds down here in Clark County yesterday. However, three other

Clark County birders and I were birding in Skamania County all day! This

morning, I visited the Vancouver Lowlands and witnessed about 15,000 geese

(Snow and Cackling) feeding in the corn fields. However, these are

(probably) birds that winter here so they wouldn't have triggered a

migration alert since I think most only commute between Suave Island,

Oregon and the Vancouver lowlands - about 3 miles as the goose flies.

There were also about 600 Sandhill Cranes but they are diurnal fliers. The

number of cranes may have increased in the last several days - but maybe

not since I'm not there every day to count them. Also, as Dennis stated,

most (if not all) goose and crane commute time is during daylight hours.

True goose migration is nocturnal. I don't think there was any nocturnal

goose migration going on since there were no reports on OBOL of goose

flocks heard overhead at night. Good numbers of swallows started arriving

several weeks ago but its impossible to know what the daily turnover is

with Tree and Violet-green Swallows.

Seems like there was an uptick in sparrows this morning - Savannah Sparrows

have arrived and blackbird flocks were more numerous. However, blackbirds

have nocturnal roosts even during migration - I think.

Keep your eyes and ears skyward and on those migration computer screens!


Battle Ground, WA

> Hi Andy and tweeters,

> Very interesting to read Cliff Mass�s blog. But I expressed puzzlement a

> while back when a spectacular radar signal was shown in the Florida Keys in

> late February that people attributed to bird migration. When I lived in

> Miami for 15 years, the only incoming migrants in late February were Purple

> Martins and Swallow-tailed Kites, both of which are diurnal migrants and in

> any case wouldn�t give a radar signal like that.

> I�ll ask the same question here. The only migrants that normally come into

> this area in early March are swallows and a few Rufous Hummingbirds, which

> are diurnal migrants. I would expect no movements other than that. Thus I�m

> still not entirely convinced, unless someone can point out something I have

> missed. Possibly waterfowl? But of course they also do a lot of their

> migration in the daytime and would not start at dusk and stop at dawn.

> Jim Danzenbaker, you�re looking at the sky. Any massive arrivals in your

> area yesterday?

> And what could it be if not birds?

> Dennis Paulson

> Seattle

> Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2020 08:13:19 -0800

> From: "Andy Stepniewski"



> Tweeters,

> Cliff Mass in his 6 March 2020 weather blog documents substantial numbers

> of birds migrating north from Portland OR on Wednesday night (4 March).

> Further, he explains the weather pattern that night was conducive for

> migration, giving the ?birdies? as he calls them, a tailwind.

> See ?Weather Radar Shows Spring Bird Migration:?

> <https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2020/03/weather-radar-shows-spring-bird.html> https://cliffmass.blogspot.com...

> Pretty cool stuff!

> Andy Stepniewski

> Yakima WA

> steppie at nwinfo.net

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/attachments/20200308/9fe89e7e/attachment.html>

More information about the Tweeters mailing list