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June 2024
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Migration Radar “Donut” Echo
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US
Posted by: Ken @ 10:56 am

Migration Radar “Donut” Echo

This Morning, Mary Lou and I were about to take a long walk, so I checked the Miami radar to see if there was any precipitation nearby. There was not, but I suspected that the radar had detected quite a few migrating birds. Since the loop was for the hour following sunrise, I thought that this was not likely, yet the echoes were suspicious looking.

The specks did not track exactly with the prevailing southeasterly winds. One could imagine that a large stream of birds over the Gulf along the SW Florida coast were turning east, into the wind, to seek the safety of the land as the sun began to rise.

Most remarkable was something that looked like an expanding donut, with its center about 25 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale. It exploded outward and westward from the northeastern corner of the Everglades Water Conservation Area (WCA-3) impoundment that is west of Okeechobee Highway (US-27) and south of Aliigator Alley (I-75).

This is what the “donut” looked like:

Here is the one-hour loop, beginning a little after 7:00 AM. Watch as the “donut” explodes:

I naturally turned to the expert, David LaPluma, aka BADBIRDZ, for his interpretation. His reply:

“Awesome- yeah- the birds that continued past the keys appear to have made landfall along the SW coast (probably into the coastal prairies and mangroves of ENP). The burst you’re seeing is birds leaving a roost… maybe a heronry.


David provides much additional information about migration events during the night, and also a link to the area where the dawn flight originated– be sure to select the satellite (SAT) view to see the topography of the presumed rookery. Check out BADBIRDZ!


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