Two Waves of Migrating Birds Spotted on Radar Near the Florida Keys and Cuba

Two Waves of Migrating Birds Spotted on Radar Near the Florida Keys and Cuba

Weather radar can detect insects, animals and modes of transportation, among other things. Two waves of migrating birds were spotted near the Florida Keys and Cuba on Monday evening. Two waves of migrating birds were spotted on Doppler radar Monday night near the Florida Keys and Cuba. Radar is typically used for tracking rain and snow, but it can also detect living things, like these birds. The arrow near the Florida Keys label in the animation below shows birds taking flight from the lower Florida Keys near sunset on Monday, as the National Weather Service in Key West pointed out in a tweet. This is depicted on radar by the burst of yellow and orange shadings propagating northward away from the islands. But that’s not all. A second round of northward migrating birds took off from Cuba and moved in the direction of the Florida Keys during the late evening hours, as the bottom two arrows in animation show. (Radar source: National Weather Service – Key West, Florida) This radar data is valuable for scientists who study aeroecology , or the study of the patterns of movement of birds and other organisms in our lower atmosphere. Radar aeroecology is used for “monitoring of migratory bird stopover sites, identification of species-specific bird and bat roosts, and tracking of broad-front migrations,” says the Colorado State University Aeroeco Lab . Last fall, we saw birds migrating southward for the winter over the eastern United States. The National Weather Service office in Binghamton, New York, shared the following animation and said the green echoes on many of the Doppler radars across the Northeast were songbirds taking off after sunset on Oct. 4, 2019. “Most songbirds migrate at night so the onset of darkness is their cue to head south,” NWS-Binghamton wrote on Twitter. […]

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