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 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

By Benjamin Van Doren The Cornell Lab Nov 11, 2020

Numerous storm-driven birds have likely appeared in peninsular Florida as the meandering Tropical Storm Eta churns in the Gulf of Mexico. With the forecast for the storm to make landfall and move quickly off into the Atlantic Ocean in the coming 24 hours, safe and careful observers may find a range of Gulf of Mexico seabirds and some displaced waterbirds.  Read more

By Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Nov 11, 2020

Franklin's Gulls may be on the move far to the east of their normal autumn range in the coming 24-72 hours, as an intense storm system continues to move across the country toward the Atlantic Ocean and entrains and displaces individuals and flocks of this long-distance migrant. Observers in northeastern North America should be on the lookout, especially along coastlines, lakeshores, and rivers, from Wednesday through Friday.   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