April 25, 2013

Following bird migration into New England

Birds on the Doppler radar
One of the most fascinating story lines to the spring migration is the fact that the armies of  mice-sized warblers, sparrows, flycatchers, and thrush headed north are migrating during the night. This incredible fact was made real when air safety controllers reporting "angels" on the Doppler radar. Round, widening circles of objects that were not being pushed east by the wind, did not shift the way clouds did, but rather seemed to spring up from the earth in growing circles. Doppler radar picks up "stuff" in the air. From clouds to hail, pollen, smoke, even bats, birds and locust. It took ornithologists some time to figure out what these strange circles were and what it meant for the casual bird watcher. In recent years this data has proved to tell an amazing migratory story and the intricacies of weather conditions, geography and water, even selective habitats for stop overs. Two people are making this information accessible to the casual bird watcher. 

David LaPuma out of the midwest has a great website dedicated to watching bird migration via radar. See more at Woodcreeper.com 

In New England Tom Auer gives the New England perspective. See more from Tom Auer

Whether you want to time a bird watching trip or just revel in the secretive journey of these tiny jungle birds I'd recommend visiting these sites. 

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