Friday, May 02, 2014

Where are all the warblers?

Black-and-white Warbler

Welcome to May!

The storm system responsible for a week of northwest winds, overcast skies, and rainy weather is finally moving east of Wisconsin. Consequently, there wasn't an influx of warblers that generally occurs during the last week of April.

Number of warbler species at Pheasant Branch Conservancy for April:

2007: 12
2008: 11
2009: 14
2010: 13
2011: 18
2012: 11
2013: 19
2014: 06
(Avg:  13)

Only six warbler species last month! This is well below average and the lowest April warbler count I've ever recorded at the conservancy. Individual numbers are down, too, but in looking at the following tables from eBird, you can see the significance of the last week of April (26-30 column). A week-long storm system like we just experienced will definitely stall migration into May. Without this storm event, I think we might have had a more typical late April push of warblers like the 2010 table shows.

Non-YRWA warblers were pretty scarce April 2014.

April 2010 was typical.

Birders were spoiled April 2013!

I found seven warbler species this morning, including a Black-and-white Warbler. There was also an Ovenbird, a Nashville, Orange-crowned, and a couple dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers. With the weather improving over the weekend, we should see a noticeable increase in neotropical migrants!

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
May 2, 2014 6:00 AM - 8:30 AM
51 species

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Great Blue Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Black-and-white Warbler © 2014 Mike McDowell

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