American Birding Podcast



eBird’s Fall Birding Primer

Fall, perhaps more than any other season for birding, is dependent on a myriad of weather and geographic variables to make for a rewarding birding experience.  Birders have known for years that certain weather conditions are especially conducive for exceptional movements of birds, but the specifics of these largely anecdotal tips have only relatively recently begin to be revealed with the onset of widely available dopplar radar and our increasing understanding of migration.

EBird has recently put together a great primer for understanding how weather, birds, and locations can combine to make for a great day in the field, and to provide birders with the tools to maximize their opportunities to see migrating birds where and when they occur:

Fall migration is an exciting time for birds. With migrants on the move your local birding site can be transformed from the static to the dynamic overnight, with a suite of new species to identify, an abundance of individuals, and a feeling that anything is possible.  We realize some of our best birding days center on being at the right place at the right time.  For many birders this is mere happenstance; perhaps a long-planned weekend trip to Cape May results in a great encounter with bird migration. But these fantastic interactions with bird migration can be reliably predicted with a basic understanding of birds and weather. The savvy fall birder plans carefully both when and where to look for birds. In this article we’ll discuss the basics of fall bird migration as it relates to weather, and put you on the right track to find more birds.

The whole piece is a trove of great information.  And when you do get out this fall, don’t forget to submit your sightings to eBird to help deepen our insight into what’s going on during this amazing and exciting time of the year.