Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bird Migration Forecast

A cooperative effort between Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Oregon State University last fall, using a grant from the Nation Science Foundation, created BirdCast. What is BirdCast?

BirdCast is nothing other than a bird migration forecast!

That's right! We now have national weather and its resulting affects upon bird migration. The link in the paragraph above actually goes to the first forecast of this season, predicting a strong migration today and tomorrow in the Great Plains. But that's not all!

This bird migration forecast also tells the predicted species that will be migrating!

Now you can go to bed in the evening and know whether or not you should set your alarm early in the morning to visit your local migration hotspot!

Greg Haworth over at Birds over Portland has been posting radar images of bird migration. His last entry was in October, and he hasn't started yet this spring. I sure hope he is able to compare the BirdCast forecast with actual radar images this spring. It seems that migration in the West is not as dramatic as that in the East. For one, our migrants can fly over land all the way here. Most birds in the East migrate over the Caribbean and can't just set down when winds turn unfavorably on them.