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 Blackpoll Warbler, pictured above, in our October 2015 issue.
These maps compare the distribution of Blackpoll Warbler in June and October using eBird data from 2004 to 2014. The species nests throughout the boreal forests of Alaska, Canada, and northern New England and has the longest annual migration of any North American warbler; some birds fly annually from Alaska to Brazil. The June map shows the warbler on its breeding range and as a migrant in the Northeast. Isolated purple squares in the western United States represent rare spring records at vagrant traps and other birding hotspots. By October, Blackpoll has largely vacated its breeding range. Many individuals fly nonstop from New England and eastern Canada over the Atlantic Ocean to Caribbean islands and northern South America, while others pass through the Great Lakes and mid-Atlantic states. The species is rare in the central and southern states and has a strong pattern of vagrancy to California.
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 ebird.org.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the October 2015 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe.
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