Birdcast offers real-time migration info
by Nate Swick
You can add another project to the long list of innovative tools for birders coming out of Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and this one rolls out right in time for birders to take good advantage of it. Birdcast, launched formally this past week, is sort of a dream for those birders looking to make best use of their time in the field to find birds, as it seeks to offer a real-time migration forecast, all easily accessible from your computer or smartphone.
The payoff from the technology is not limited to birders putting themselves at migration central, though. City planners can predict big movements of birds and adjust high-rise lights, or the movement of massive wind turbines, accordingly to prevent the deaths of millions of birds. Being able to predict when and where birds are moving is such a huge advantage that the potential impact of this program cannot be overstated.
And perhaps best of all, it puts that information in the palm of your hand so that you can get out and see more birds. And if Cornell's other game-changer, eBird, is any indication, Birdcast is only going to get better with time.
At very least, it's going to be something every birder will want to keep an eye on this month and the next.