This link is to an article about birds being the next indicator of climate change. Its a project being done in Africa. Enjoy
I also found this story quite amazing:
Migrating birds throwing off weather forecasts Tom Spears, CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2007
OTTAWA - Birds are on the move north toward Canada, and this week the flocks have been so dense they're showing up on American weather radar stations as if they were rain showers.
Blue blotches - the colour used to show light rain - have begun to dot weather radar maps from the Mississippi Valley east to the Atlantic as the radar picks up water in the birds' bodies.
Many songbirds weigh only a few dozen grams, but when they travel in the millions, the radar thinks it's seeing rain.
The phenomenon happens at night, since small birds migrate after dark to avoid hawks.
The radar picture accompanying this story shows the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday of this week. Each blue splotch is centred on one radar station. They're roughly round because each radar is able to "see" birds only within a limited distance. But there are also birds flying between the splotches.
"I suspect what we're seeing here is a huge proportion of the bird life of the boreal forest coming home. Millions and millions of them," said Ottawa naturalist Dan Brunton.
"At this time of year, depending on weather, you're getting big buildups. It's like the start of the Boston Marathon. They wait for the best possible weather (a tailwind) and then they go."
The migrant birds are largely small birds that live mainly in forests - warblers, vireos and swallows.
"Most of North America is coming across in the next 10 days," he said. "Tens of millions are coming north right now."
The birds show up every year on weather radars, said John W. Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist for Texas and a professor at Texas A and M University.
"Migration is more concentrated in time in the spring than the fall, so it shows up best in the springtime," he said. "Radars send out electromagnetic radiation, which is scattered back to the radar by a variety of things, including liquid water. And larger droplets of water give a much stronger return" than small ones.
"A considerable portion of birds being water, they produce a very strong return signal for radar."
It doesn't even take a densely packed flock - just a fairly steady pattern of airborne bird traffic."
Ottawa Citizen(Paper it appeared in)
OK and for my report...today I saw all 5 Swallow species which we normally see in southern Ontario.Tree,Bank,Barn,Cliff and Northern Rough-winged. It was my first Cliff Swallows seen this season. Other first of season birds included Black-crowned Night Heron and Black and White Warbler. Caspian and Common Terns were fishing above and in the lake,tons of Double-crested Cormorants,Red-breasted and Common Mergansers,Common Loons,Red-necked Grebe and Horned Grebe were all seen very well down on the lake also. It was a beautiful day to be out at the park,warm,sunny and several friends came to bird at the park as well. One was someone I turned onto birding. She is really enjoying it,and I was able to show her a few new "Life" birds. I do enjoy sharing the birding bug!