Birdwatchers have long had a few hints and tricks on the best days to go birding (preferably on a cloudy day with low barometric pressure sometime near the peak of migration season). Now scientists have offered us a new tool.
BirdCast, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, periodically releases migration forecasts to help birdwatchers pick the perfect time to spot that rare bird. Find out what bird is heading where nationally and regionally throughout the spring and fall migration seasons based on current weather patterns. For each species on the move, the forecasts predict:
- Date of arrival.
- Date of rapid influx.
- Peak date.
- Date of rapid departure.
- Date of final departure.
The computer models used to create these forecasts are based on three important sources of information:
- Online records from citizen scientists.
- Recorded flight calls.
- Weather surveillance radar.
Of course, the result is a model, not an absolute. But it is fascinating to see the ways birds interact with national weather systems.
All is quiet on the bird migration front at present, but be sure to bookmark this site for later. Fall migration will be upon us again before you know it!