Migration Alert: Upcoming weather may prompt teal migration

Sept. 5, 2012

By Dale Humburg, DU Chief Scientist 

Report from DU Migration Map

Relatively minor weather events are enough to prompt blue-winged teal migrations any time after about mid-August. And this has been the case so far in 2012, with an initial minor push of birds around 16-17 August and again by the first weekend of September.

The weather is lining up again to trigger another teal migration in time for a number of states that have an 8 September opening date for their special teal season. Weather predicted for Saskatoon, SK includes lows in the 40s and WNW to NW winds through Thursday.

The same weather system extends into the Dakotas by Friday and the Midwest by Saturday. Some local rains are also forecast. After a severe drought during the summer, rains have been sufficient to fill the cracks in some instances and locally, have improved water for migrant teal.

It's likely to be a fleeting migration event, however, as teal habitat is generally not plentiful, and birds will continue their southern migration after showing up for a day or so. Although spotty, natural food conditions (millet, smartweed, etc.) are at least fair in some regions. It will take a few rain events, however, to ensure availability into the fall.

Find reports in your area on the DU Migration Map