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.