Potential March Migrants for Arkansas

Arkansas’s eastern border is the Mississippi River.  Which puts us right in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Flyway.  Arkansas has a good portion of the eastern deciduous forest and a good conifer portion in the Gulf Coastal Plain.  We even have some remnant prairie left that have been protected.  All of these factors help make Arkansas a great place to go for migrating birds (especially passerines like thrushes, warblers, sparrows, etc.).  Being near the gulf allows us to get a good portion of migrants and arriving breeders as early as late February (mainly Tree Swallows and Purple Martins) and March.  Here I will list some migrants, taxonomically, that we can expect to see in March.  Some of our early arrivals are actually birds that come to stay but others are just passing through.  This will mainly be based on my own records so there will be a few gaps.  Individual birds will be listed with arrival dates of each year.  The most commonly observed migrants should have records all the way back to 2011.

Waterfowl

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal

A very common duck that may breed in the North parts of the state and winters sporadically in the state.  This is one of our smallest ducks and definitely one of the plainest.  Although we have a lot of ducks that winter or breed here, this is the primary spring/fall migrant duck.

  • 2 March 2011
  • 14 March 2012
  • 13 March 2013
  • 9 March 2014

Shorebirds

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

American Golden-Plover

My records for this bird are mainly in March, with one exception.  We get these so early that they aren’t even in their breeding plumage at first.  However, these birds can be seen in the state throughout the migration time period and can be seen in their beautiful breeding plumage.

  • 14 April 2011
  • 28 March 2012
  • 19 March 2013
  • 15 March 2014

Lesser Yellowlegs

I’m not adding the Greater Yellowlegs because they will overwinter.  The lesser will overwinter as well but not as commonly.  My records are mainly for April but they can be seen in March.

  • 26 April 2011
  • 14 March 2012
  • 21 April 2013
  • 19 April 2014

Solitary Sandpiper

One of our most common and diverse, as far as migratory habitat used, migrant shorebirds.  My records are all over the place for Solitaries’ arrivals.  Keep in mind, our birding abilities were not great 5 years ago and many shorebirds went unnoticed.

  • 6 May 2010
  • 3 April 2012
  • 29 March 2013
  • 19 April 2014

Pectoral Sandpiper

A very common and very numerous sandpiper.  Mainly a sandpiper of flooded fields and mudflats.

  • 10 March 2011
  • 28 March 2012
  • 6 March 2013
  • 12 April 2014

Swifts

Chimney Swift

A very common breeding bird throughout the state.  Mainly gets here in April but I have seen it in March (the first record for the state that year).

  • 2 April 2011
  • 27 March 2012
  • 1 April 2013
  • 5 April 2014

Flycatchers

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

A conquering species that has become one of our most common breeding birds.

  • 26 March 2011
  • 3 April 2012
  • 25 March 2013
  • 2 April 2014

Vireos

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

One of the most common songbird of edge habitats during the breeding season.  If the pattern holds, I won’t see this one in March.

  • 25 March 2011
  • 27 March 2012
  • 1 April 2013
  • 5 April 2014

Red-eyed Vireo

One of the most common breeders in the eastern deciduous forest.  My only March record was tagged as rare on eBird.

  • 2 April 2011
  • 27 March 2012
  • 13 April 2013
  • 8 April 2014

Yellow-throated Vireo

A common breeding vireo that shows up earlier than most of our other breeding passerines.

  • 12 April 2011
  • 16 March 2012
  • 30 March 2013
  • 7 April 2014

Blue-headed Vireo

An odd one.  Some years it overwinters and others it is missed until fall.  Mainly a migrant.

  • 5 May 2011
  • 9 March 2012
  • 26 March 2014

Swallows

Male Barn Swallow

Male Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

One of the most iconic birds in existence.  A very common breeder in the state.

  • 18 March 2011
  • 27 March 2012
  • 29 March 2013
  • 14 March 2014

Cliff Swallow

A very numerous and common breeder.  Mostly an April arriver.

  • 19 April 2011
  • 12 April 2012
  • 9 April 2013
  • 31 March 2014

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

A common breeder that has nested in the yard.

  • 26 March 2011
  • 2 April 2012
  • 19 March 2013
  • 19 March 2014

Tree Swallow

Usually a very early migrant  and even overwinters in the southern US.

  • 26 March 2011
  • 6 April 2012
  • 6 March 2013
  • 5 March 2014

Purple Martin

Our largest swallow.  One of the first to get here and one of the first to leave.

  • 4 April 2011
  • 15 March 2012
  • 23 March 2013
  • 17 March 2014

Gnatcatchers

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

One of our most prominent breeding birds.  In March/April/May, you can’t go without hearing this bird for too long.

  • 25 March 2011
  • 17 March 2012
  • 28 March 2013
  • 24 March 2014

Thrushes

 

Wood Thrush

Our only breeding thrush although we have breeding bluebirds and robins which are in the same family.  Often called the most beautiful song in the US.

  • 27 March 2012
  • 16 April 2013
  • 26 April 2014

Warblers

Northern Parula

Northern Parula

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Louisiana Waterthrush singing

Louisiana Waterthrush singing

Northern Parula

A small warbler that breeds in the state.  It spends most of its time in the anopy and can be hard to see.  However, it sings frequently and is hard to miss its buzzy song.

  • 1 April 2011
  • 27 March 2012
  • 28 March 2013
  • 30 March 2014

Yellow-throated Warbler

A common breeder that is found in more mixed woods, showing a preference for pines.

  • 1 April 2011
  • 17 March 2012
  • 28 March 2013
  • 1 April 2014

Black-and-white Warbler

One of our first breeding warblers to arrive.  I usually get this one before spring break.

  • 18 March 2011
  • 12 March 2012
  • 16 March 2013
  • 24 March 2014

Louisiana Waterthrush

A loud singer found in sloughs and swamps.  One of our earlier breeders.

  • 25 March 2011
  • 30 March 2012
  • 1 April 2013
  • 24 March 2014

Hooded Warbler

Not usually a March arrival but has been seen once during this month.  One of our larger warblers.  Its secretive nature may explain the sporadic records.

  • 16 April 2011
  • 3 May 2012
  • 30 March 2013
  • 11 April 2014

 

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