With spring bird migration ramping up across North America, you can enhance your enjoyment and knowledge of birds’ epic journeys with predictions and live maps from BirdCast. Produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and partner organizations, BirdCast uses weather radar to observe and forecast the migratory movements of birds. It might sound strange, but the same radar used by meteorologists to predict whether it will rain tomorrow can also detect birds moving across the continent in real time!
Combining radar data with the millions of bird observations found in eBird helps BirdCast suggest which species are flying in flocks visible on radar. This allows BirdCast to offer several powerful tools:
- Migration forecast maps that help visualize the outlook for bird movements over the next few days
- A migration dashboard that summarizes the stats for birds currently migrating where you live
- Live migration maps that are active overnight, displaying real-time data for bird movements so that you can see bird migration as it happens
- Local migration alerts to let people know when birds are on the move
These tools can help you take your birding experience to the next level — choosing the best date and time to try and find new birds arriving in your area, or watching them move on a live map from the comfort of your home!
What’s more, BirdCast also helps us protect birds. By predicting peaks in migratory activity, its forecasts can identify when it’s most important to turn off lights at night to reduce the risk of birds colliding with buildings. BirdCast assists Lights Out programs all over the continent with timely alerts for mass movements of birds.
Explore all that BirdCast has to offer here, and learn more about the project in this BirdNote Daily episode.
May 1 migration map © BirdCast.info