In the big scheme of things this technology is fairly new–Doppler radar–particularly as it pertains to bird migration. I don’t have the time to dig into the research but it was someone from the Southeast who came upon this tool as a way to track migrating birds. Some of the radar images from the Gulf Coast are truly astounding as it pertains to birds migrating across the water.
I have previously confessed to a lack of understanding as to the manipulation of Doppler for birds (as an aviator I get the weather side of it). Others in the business, however, have a keener sense, especially the weather dudes.
It came into my inbox just the other day. Turns out it was Tuesday morning of this week. A time lapse video from that night that just happened to capture the intensity of bird migration, was recorded by a guy from Grand Forks. I offer up a still from said video with a confession that I can’t figure out how to post the entire video. Still, you get the idea. Lots and lots of migratory species heading out of territory for the season only to be seen again next spring. Here’s one of the screen captures:
It’s not as if the birds themselves are flying in a donut-shaped pattern. No. It’s merely the section of the sky the radar happens to be sampling at the time the shot was captured. As you can see, for reasons only the birds know for certain, this was a night for massive movement. Pretty cool.
Thanks goes out to Daryl Ritchison for keeping me in the loop and to Mark Ewens, who captured the video in question. Pretty impressive for North Dakota (and western Minnesota).