Skip to main content

Elucidating continental-scale patterns of bird migration with weather radars


Migration is a wide-spread phenomenon which allows animals of many different taxa to take advantage of seasonal variation in resource abundance. Radar is a powerful tool to observe and track migratory flights. In this action I will use the existing European network of weather radars to investigate bird migration behaviour and patterns at the continental-scale in relation to topography, weather and insect migration. A unique aspect of this action is that I will have access not only to bird migration data from weather radars, but also to complementary data from small-scale dedicated biological radars (units specifically designed to monitor bird and insect migration), as well as bird ringing and monitoring data from several key locations (migration hotspots). Weather radars will provide data on bird migration patterns at the continental-scale (along the “Western European Flyway”); the small-scale biological radars will provide more detailed information on insect and bird migration patterns at specific sites; and the ringing and monitoring data will provide species composition at specific points along the flyway. Together this will give us a unique overview of the flux and behaviour of migratory animals across Europe, something that has never before been possible.

The objectives of the work packages in this action will be:

WP 1: To describe the flux of bird migration in relation to weather and topography across the western fly-way in Europe, and relate this to insect migration at specific sites and monitoring data along the fly-way.

WP 2: To investigate flight behaviour of bird and insect migrants in relation to winds at both a continental and local scale, testing theoretical predictions of how migrants should use winds optimally.

WP 3: To investigate the nightly duration of bird migration across latitudes and the seasonal progression of migration.


Net EU contribution
€ 195 454,80
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
United Kingdom

See on map

South West (England) Devon Devon CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00