MYSTERY OF THE MISSING MIGRANTS | © Charley Harper Art Studio | Used with Permission

Bird migration forecasts in real-time

When, where, and how far will birds migrate? Our migration forecasts will answer these questions for the first time.

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Migration tools


Bird migration forecast maps show predicted nocturnal migration 3 hours after local sunset and are updated every 6 hours. Colorado State University and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology currently produce these forecasts.
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Search with our local migration alert tool to determine whether birds are passing overhead near your city tonight!
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See real-time analysis maps of intensities of actual nocturnal bird migration, as detected by the US weather surveillance radar network between local sunset to sunrise. Cornell Lab of Ornithology currently produces these maps.
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Recent news

By Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Jan 04, 2021

Welcome to 2021! Team BirdCast has a number of projects underway for this year. And although we are still a good 4-6 weeks from the first significant movements of mid to late winter migrants moving in the US, keen observers should be aware of several patterns to watch now.  Read more

By Matthew A. Young and Tim Spahr, Finch Research Network Guest Authors Dec 18, 2020

During Fall 2020 a “superflight of finches” occurred in the eastern US, featuring the biggest Evening Grosbeak migration in more than 20 years, redpolls undergoing their largest movement in perhaps a decade, and Pine Siskins irrupting in their best numbers since 2008. These ‘Finch Superflights’, which are defined as southern flights of all eight eastern irruptive finches, are rare, and this year, conditions have aligned and all species have moved in numbers, including the rarest of irruptives, the Pine Grosbeak.  Read more

By Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Nov 16, 2020

With dawn’s arrival today Team BirdCast officially closed the books on another migration season of forecasting where, when, and how many birds will migrate over the contiguous US. Team BirdCast thanks all of you who spent time perusing our forecasts, pondering our interpretations, and (hopefully) ground-truthing our speculations!  Read more

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NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Lights Out

Every spring and fall, billions of birds migrate through the US, mostly under the cover of darkness. This mass movement of birds must contend with a dramatically increasing but still largely unrecognized threat: light pollution.

BirdCast Partners and Support

BirdCast is a consortium of interdisciplinary researchers, primarily from three organizations at present, with a growing list of collaborators, supporters, and partners. Learn more

Core partners
Core funders
Other support
Lights Out partners