All About Birds: Here’s How To Use The New Migration Forecast Tools From BirdCast. “Migration is the best time to be a bird watcher. Twice a year, hordes of birds travel thousands of miles to grace your home turf for a few days or weeks. But they don’t come in a steady stream—more like a cascade of arrivals coming in flurries and pauses. That’s why even during peak migration, some days are dead while others are packed with new arrivals. Now, our BirdCast project can help you know when those flurries are about to arrive, so you can plan when to get up early. They’ve boiled down decades of migration science, coupled it with real-time weather data, and created two simple tools: a 3-day migration forecast, and an up-to-the-moment replay of migration activity.”
Via my Reddit alert: an online museum / archive of pigeon research. Not sure how new it is, but the domain name was registered at the beginning of February. From the front page: “The online pigeon library and museum is the personal collection of Adam Archer, NSW Australia. The resources here were gathered over many years, and are published on this site for the benefit of anyone seeking to learn more about these wonderful creatures. Items are slowly being uploaded to the online collection.” There are 260 items at this writing.
The National: Falconry Research Project: database by UAE researchers shows ubiquity of predatory bird. “From whimsical 19th century Japanese drawings to 4,000-year-old Mongolian rock art, Dutch chess pieces and Qajar tableware from Iran, the history of man’s relation to the falcon is one of the oldest recorded love stories. It is even carried in your pocket, on the country’s currency. A research project by New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) aims to bring the ubiquity of falconry imagery and its globalism to the fore with the Falconry Research Project, a database of global falconry imagery through the centuries.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Website keeps track of Minnesota’s breeding birds. “A new website keeps track of wild bird breeding in Minnesota. The Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas… launched last month, the Mankato Free Press reported . The resource has graphs, interactive maps and data including where, when and how many birds are breeding in the state. Almost 250 species were observed and more than 230 bird species were confirmed during the project.”
New-to-me: a database of bird colors. The link is from ResearchGate, and from the link: “The plumage colour of birds is a model system in evolutionary biology. The most precise way to objectively measure bird plumage colouration is through physics based spectrophotometry. Many labs around the world have collected plumage colour data from museum specimens but generally focus on a particular family or geographic group. For the last couple of years I have been contacting like minded scientists to pool all of this data into the largest database of precise measures of bird plumage colouration. All incoming data is standardised by mentor and heavy weight of colour science Prof. John Endler. We currently have coverage of over 2500 species and will increase to cover most families across the class Aves with the addition of our 10th lab member! Details of upcoming comparative projects coming soon. Watch this space..” There’s also a Twitter account that’s been going since early September.
South Dakota: GFP Launches New Interactive Online Tool about South Dakota Birds. “The online tool is an updated version of South Dakota’s Breeding Bird Atlas providing information on which bird species nest in the state, where they can be found and what habitats they need during the breeding season; including 13 new species found during the field project. Highlights include a total of 252 species recorded during the project, of which 239 species were recorded breeding. The online tool allows users the option to explore the results by species or by blocks.”
Phys.org: ‘Dark ecology project’ will use past weather radar data to trace bird migrations . “Every spring and fall, billions of birds migrate across the United States, largely unseen under the cover of darkness. Now a team of researchers led by computer scientist Daniel Sheldon at the University of Massachusetts Amherst plan to develop new analytic methods with data collected over the past 20 years—more than 200 million archived radar scans from the national weather radar network—to provide powerful new tools for tracking migration.”