Team at University of Oklahoma to develop new methods to track bird migration, adaptability

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NORMAN, Okla. – A team of meteorologists and biologists at the University of Oklahoma are developing new methods to track bird migration and adaptability.

The project will involve unmanned aerial vehicles as well as novel tracking devices developed by OU researchers.

The team received a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to develop the tracking devices which will be attached to the birds to reveal the environments experienced by birds in flight. It will also provide new insights into the dynamics of the lower atmosphere.

“The role of the atmosphere in migration behaviors of animals is underrepresented and understudied. As our climate changes, so will the prevailing wind patterns that animals rely on to reach their migratory destinations. This project combines the interest and ability of biologists and meteorologists to understand changes in these aerial habitats and the consequences for migratory birds,” Jeffrey F. Kelly, academic director, Corix Institute.

The team will combine their new observations with currently underused weather radar data from across the country.

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