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Scientific Discussions

Eastern Promises … resurrected

After the passage of the intense and destructive storm Sandy in Fall 2012, BirdCast spent some time discussing the effects of atmospheric blocking patterns on species composition in eastern North America. Based on recent occurrence of a number of European species in eastern North America, we thought it useful to resurrect, albeit briefly, this discussion.


Global Big Day: Species on the Move in the US

Global Big Day is nearly here, and Team BirdCast wishes all of you birding around the planet an exciting, safe, and diverse day! For those teams birding in the US, we have a special addition of Species on the Move … Good luck to all!


Species on the Move, Global Big Day Edition: Great Knot

Global Big Day is almost here, and here’s another Species on the Move that teams in Eastern Asia may hope to find!


Missing the mark: a brief discussion of migration in northeastern North America associated with a strong frontal passage

19-22 April 2019 saw some spectacularly intense weather in the eastern US, with some obvious after effects in terms of migrating birds’ distributions. Read on for a brief description of events that presumably carried nocturnally migrating songbirds farther afield that they intended to travel.


Species on the move: a quick look among continents

Migration is well under way across the globe, and Team BirdCast is highlighting a few species in interactive maps made with eBird data. Check out how the progression of migration for the group of species has changed over the last 30 days.


A primer for using weather surveillance radar to study bird migration

As a reminder to what the team is working on here at BirdCast, we return to a post we wrote last year. With spring upon us and migration in full swing, here is a primer on what we do. We turn weather radar data into information on the numbers and flight directions of birds aloft in order to expand the understanding of migratory bird movement. After several years (and hundreds of posts) describing migration, species on the move, and unique migration events, we want you to have a better understanding of what happens at BirdCast. Here is a brief overview and a behind-the-scenes look at the ways we apply radar data to study bird migration.


Good heavens, BirdCast: ssss-science!

The BirdCast team has been busy publishing science! We have been very fortunate to publish a number of papers over the past year to document all the cool findings we’ve discovered in our work and with our collaborators. Here is a short summary of some of them, with links to where you can read more.


Bright lights in the big cities: migratory birds’ exposure to artificial light

New research from the BirdCast team highlights risks of exposure to artificial light at night for migrating birds. We ranked metropolitan areas where birds are at the greatest risk of becoming attracted to and disoriented by lights.


First arrivals: “Spring” 2019 BirdCast

With the vernal equinox approaching, Team BirdCast welcomes back our forecast and live migration maps for the spring 2019 season!


Tracking Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael strengthened rapidly into a major hurricane on Tuesday, and as with previous storms on which BirdCast reported, it may have dramatic impacts on local and transient bird communities and their habitats when it comes ashore and passes through the Southeastern US. Live sightings will appear on the current observations map as they are entered into eBird, but as always, for those in the path of this storm, safety first!


Interactive Map: Tracking Hurricane Rosa

Real-time sightings from your eBird checklists will appear in this post’s map, providing a unique opportunity to help us understand how these storms transport birds and how birds respond to extreme disturbances in their annual cycles.


Interactive Map: Tracking the dangerous Hurricane Florence

Hurricanes and their impacts, in particular in depositing seabirds far afield from their normal haunts, represent unique opportunities to understand how animals behave in and respond to serious disturbances. Hurricane Florence is no exception.


3-day Forecast Maps return in the Fall: BirdCast breaks for summer 2018

Thanks for all the memories! BirdCast automated forecast and live migration maps for Spring 2018 will be deactivated until 1 August 2018 – the last forecast map was published for the night of 31 May 2018, and the last live migration map will post on 15 June 2018. Please check back often for additional comments and posts on the spring 2018 season and the arrival of the farm migration maps on 1 August!


Spotlight on the Central US: intense spring migration traffic

BirdCast predicts medium to high migration traffic aloft over an extensive areas of the central US from Mexico to Canada this weekend. Let’s take a look briefly at why we think this will happen, and what species will be on the move.


Spotlight on the Gulf Coast: Weekend Fallout Alert

A strong cold front will move through the central US and bring precipitation and northerly winds to the Gulf of Mexico region. These factors are typically associated with coastal fallouts in many different habitats. Saturday and Sunday will be the primary fallout potential in the western Gulf region, whereas Sunday and Monday will be that potential in the east Gulf region.


Spotlight on the West

In this short post we highlight tonight’s migration forecast in the West. Conditions are favorable for movements from the Desert Southwest north and west along the Pacific Coast into Washington state.


A Primer for New Migration Forecast Tools From BirdCast

Would you like more information on ways to use and to understand new BirdCast migration monitoring tools for spring 2018? Read on!


Species Highlight: Purple Martins on the move

BirdCast tracks migration from many angles, including with interactive maps that can give us a bird’s-eye view of migration in progress. Check out arrivals of waves of Purple Martins.


Species on the move: BirdCast West, late March 2018

With regular arrivals of spring migrants occurring daily, or nearly so, throughout the US, Team BirdCast returns with species on the move spotlights. This week, we highlight some on-time, early and late arrivals in the BirdCast West region.


Migration highlight: trans-Gulf migration, 28 March 2018

Light, inbound trans-Gulf migration over Texas and Louisiana was visible in the Live Migration Map.


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