Much of the northern hemisphere may still be tight in winter's grasp, but the spring bird migrations will be starting before too long! For readers interested in keeping an eye on upcoming migrations in the contiguous United States, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's BirdCast Project is a great resource. Initially launched in 2012 and substantially updated in 2018, this project uses "many years of research and developments in machine learning, cloud-based computing, and big data analytics ... [to] feature migration forecasts that predict how many birds will be aloft over the continental US and live migration maps that report how many birds actually took flight." During seasonal migration events, visitors to BirdCast are greeted by colorful maps showing that day's migration forecast as well as the forecast for each of the next three days. Readers may also like to check out the Live Migration Maps for near real-time migration traffic. Between migrations, BirdCast still has a lot to offer, including informative scientific discussions on the insights this tool has provided during weather events such as hurricanes Michael, Rosa, and Florence in 2018. BirdCast's machine learning techniques were created in collaboration with Oregon State University and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
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