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Webinar: Forecasting Bird Migrations at Continental Scales

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Thursday, 18 October 2018, 12:00

Thursday, October 18, 2018. 12:00 PM. Webinar: Forecasting Bird Migrations at Continental Scales. Benjamin Van Doren,University of Oxford. Sponsored by NOAA. Details.

Abstract: Billions of migratory birds cross the globe each year, and monitoring birds during migration provides important information on their populations and ecology. However, monitoring efforts can be hampered by the unpredictability of migratory movements. We developed a bird migration forecast system at a continental scale by leveraging 23 years of spring observations to identify associations between atmospheric conditions and bird migration intensity. Our models explained up to 81% of variation in migration intensity across the United States at altitudes up to 3000 meters, and performance remained high in forecasting events 1 to 7 days in advance (62 to 76% of variation was explained). Avian migratory movements across the United States likely exceed 500 million individuals per night during peak passage. We hope that bird migration forecasts will reduce collisions with buildings, airplanes, and wind turbines, inform a variety of monitoring efforts, and engage the public. 

About the Speaker: Benjamin Van Doren studies bird migration across scales, from individuals to continents. As a PhD student at the University of Oxford, he focuses on change and flexibility in migration and how environmental drivers shape migratory behavior. He attended Cornell University as an undergraduate, where he worked with the BirdCast project to study and predict migration. 

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