Weather radar helps track migration of eagles
CNATAIPEI -- A creative application of weather radar will give bird watchers an important tool to help track grey-faced buzzard eagles, which migrate through Southern Taiwan every autumn, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.
September 17, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Thanks to an adjustment to the radar system, it is now possible to track any kind of organized movement, not just cloud bands, to facilitate identification of the migratory birds, said Cheng Chia-ping, director of the CWB's Research and Development Center.
“Bird watchers will love this,” Cheng said of the new program, which brings together experts from the bureau and local universities.
He added that the project will facilitate bird watching in Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan, which sees tens of thousands of grey-faced buzzard eagles yearly. Many visitors there, however, have had to rely on luck in the hopes of catching a migratory event.
By predicting when the peak influx of the birds will arrive, the park can boost the popularity of bird watching and make the experience more pleasant, he said.
The CWB project was partially inspired by the Japan Meteorological Agency, which deploys a similar system to predict the opening and bloom of cherry blossoms across that country, he said.
Dubbed the “eagle front,” the project can be accessed at http://188.8.131.52/KentingBird/, with more related information about the birds of prey expected in mid October, when a series of events will be launched to celebrate the arrival of the eagles.
The re-designed system could be applied to other tracking project as long as the targets move in large flocks and form a pattern that can be analyzed, Cheng said, suggesting that it may be used for further wildlife conservation efforts.