Using Technology to Protect Birds

When we think of Spring migration, many of us focus on hummingbirds moving from Mexico to the southeastern US to nest and raise their young.  But many other species of birds also migrate from Central and South America through our area, either to settle in here or to fly further north into Boreal forests of the US and Canada. Among these are warblers, tanagers, and swallows. 

Earth Day is an important time to think about protecting our environment, and that includes protecting the migratory pathways our birds take.  We have been made aware of some hazards they face—collisions with communication and utility towers and wind farms, changes in grasslands and forests, etc. Are you aware of some technologies that are being used to help prevent collisions?  Here are a few:

·       GPS tracking to detect when tagged birds are approaching to curtail wind turbines while the birds are in the area

·       Cameras to detect approaching birds and speakers emitting alarming noises to warn birds away from danger

·       Radar: the US Geological Survey is studying how to use our country’s network of weather radar to measure density and altitude of flocks of birds. 

This Earth Day let’s celebrate how technology can help us, while recognizing that there is still much to be done to protect our birds.