As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Researchers use weather radar to track migrating waterfowl, avian influenza

Date: January 18, 2017
Source: University of Delaware

University of Delaware researchers are part of an effort that will use weather radar to identify wetland hotspots used by waterfowl during the winter, which in turn can alert poultry growers about the potential risk of avian influenza to their farms.

UD is partnering with the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on the research, which will study wetlands in the Central Valley of California during the winter.

The researchers are able to identify the birds' location based on their well synchronized take-off movements.

"In the case of waterfowl, they engage in feeding flights in the winter. They'll roost in the wetlands during the day and they fly out to agricultural fields -- primarily flooded rice fields in California -- at night. When they take off and fly into the radar, we get an instant snapshot of where they were on the ground. That's how we map their distributions," said Jeff Buler, assistant professor in UD's Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology.


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