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Before and after maps reveal autumn migration of arctic-breeding Brant

A Brant flies at Barnegat Light, New Jersey. Photo by Teri Franzen

In “On the Move,” our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of year. We featured Brant, pictured above, in our December 2014 issue. 


July 2003-13 (left); December 2003-13 (right)

The maps above compare the distribution of Brant in July and December as reported by eBird users over the last 10 years. The map at left shows breeding sites on islands in high arctic Canada, along the northern and western coasts of Alaska, and in Hudson and James Bays. Purple squares in southern Alaska and along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the lower 48 states (not shown) represent sub-adults that remained south for the summer and adults that likely returned from nesting areas early. In December, a few Brant were reported in southern Alaska and Hawaii, but most birds were on the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to Baja California and western Mexico, along the eastern Great Lakes, and on the Atlantic coast from the Maritimes to North Carolina. Purple squares in central states indicate rare records away from the coasts. Observers in these areas should be on the lookout for Brant in flocks of other geese.

See eBird’s real-time distribution map for Brant.

eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at

A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the December 2014 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe.

Originally Published

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