PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 2018 AT 12:30 AM
ITHACA — For the first time, researchers here are using maps that rely on radar to forecast night-time clouds of migratory birds and to track flights in near-real-time.
Scientists with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the University of Oxford in England made the breakthrough — processing weather radar data to produce maps that visualize migration on the Cornell Lab’s BirdCast website (birdcast.info).
One map shows an animated visualization that tracks migration in near-real-time. Cornell lab postdoctoral associate Adriaan Dokter designed an algorithm to rapidly estimate the intensity and flight directions of migrating birds detected by the weather radar network. The system processes incoming radar data continuously and updates the animated map every 10 minutes.
Another map forecasts migration three days ahead. The color-coded displays combine projected weather conditions and bird movements to show where and when the most intense migrations are expected.