If you enjoy tracking birds, do yourself a favor and bookmark the website for BirdCast, a website that pairs migration data with real-time radar to forecast the path of birds across the United States.
Think of it like tracking the weather. Except it’s flocks of birds.
How It’s Different
Birds are always on the move, of course. But twice a year, many of them fly thousands of miles — often passing through your neighborhood for just a few days at a time.
Long-time birders usually have to guess when a flock might pass through locally. But now BirdCast shares actual migration forecasts backed by real-time data, down to state and county levels.
BirdCast’s migration forecast maps even show predicted nocturnal migration, just 3 hours after sundown. The maps are updated every 6 hours. And the data is legit: Colorado State University and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology produce the forecasts for BirdCast.
More BirdCast Features
- Continental maps of migration activity
- Estimates of total migration traffic, including direction, speed, and more for any county or state in the contiguous U.S.
- Lists of likely species arriving near you
- Local migration alerts
- Historical data on past bird migrations
BirdCast was primarily created for the birdwatching community. But the designers had another cause in mind, too. Each year, nearly a billion birds fly into buildings — a byproduct of light pollution in cities across America. But armed with bird migration data from BirdCast, building managers can make informed decisions about when to turn off the lights and protect migrating birds. Sounds like a win-win to us.
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