It is possible that these activities suggest shorebirds over the water, but the 
huge surge in the number of song birds in the following day with hardly any 
noticeable increase in shore birds numbers suggests that these are actually 
song birds flying over the water.

I received an explanation (it was sent to my email alone) suggests that these 
song birds might have landed (forced by the north wind) in New Jersey close to 
the water edge sometime between 12 and 4 am, like usual. And then when the sun 
rose, these birds decided to fly over the water to the southern shores of 
Brooklyn and Queens and from there inland.

Why? No one knows. They might think "if you can make it in New York City, you 
can make it any where."

But why did this happen once last year and this is the first time it happened 
this year? Why doesn't it happen more often?

Is it possible that song birds actually do migrate over NYC water a lot but not 
in a large number to show up on the radar every time?



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---- On Fri, 11 May 2018 14:19:08 -0700 Peter Reisfeld 
[ebirdsnyc] <> wrote ----


I don’t have an explanation for it. The activity over water near the shoreline 
most likely indicates shorebird migration and would not explain high density of 
songbirds birds over our parks.  If you look at the landing density on both 
mornings of your maps, it concentrates fairly symmetrically at sites of radar 
stations in NY and NJ.  This is expected as when birds, start to land, their 
altitudes drop so that the birds in areas further from the radar no longer 
reflect as they are “under the radar”.  If the concentration is very asymmetric 
it could suggest birds concentrating in one or more geographic areas, but here 
(except for the shoreline migration) it looks pretty even. 

The best I could say is that the migration was pretty diffuse and covered a 
wide swath. But if you look at paul hurtado’s map for night before last it 
looks even denser.

So it would be hard for me to explain Chris Cooper’s tweet of a dozen Cape Mays 
in one tree at Central just based on that landing pattern. Perhaps the 
shorebird migration is a clue that densities of birds were greater than they 
appeared to be based on reflectivities.  But I’m not an expert, just a 
dedicated amateur.  Any other comments are welcomed. 

Good birding to all,


On May 11, 2018, at 3:44 PM, Gus Keri <> wrote:

Hi every one,

I would like to share this observation with all of you and I like to know what 
you think of it, especially those who know radar well.

Look at this radar map: (go to the minute 4:41 am CT and zoom to NYC area.)

You will see some radar activities (blue color) in the water between NYC and 
Long Island and New Jersey. All the activities on water with no activities on 
the surrounding land.

This morning was the best birding day in the whole city this season.

I remembered that I saw the same activities last year and saved a photo of it 
in my record.

Watch this map: (and again go to minute 4:41 am CT and zoom to NYC)

You will see the same pattern. A lot of activities (blue color) in the water 
between NYC and LI and NJ with no activities on land.

That day also was the best birding day in NYC that season.

I am trying to explain this phenomenon.

It only happened once last year but it correlated with a huge number of birds.

Any one has any explanation?


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