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Data from: Radar wind profilers and avian migration - a qualitative and quantitative assessment verified by thermal imaging and moon watching

Citation

Weisshaupt, Nadja; Lehmann, Volker; Arizaga, Juan; Maruri, Mercedes (2017), Data from: Radar wind profilers and avian migration - a qualitative and quantitative assessment verified by thermal imaging and moon watching, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dh62b

Abstract

1. Radars of various types have been used in ornithological research for about 70 years. However, the potential of radar wind profiler (RWP) as a tool for biological purposes remains poorly understood. The aim of this study is to assess the suitability of RWP for ornithological research questions. 2. A 1290 MHz RWP at the southeastern coast of the Bay of Biscay has been known to exhibit seasonally occurring nocturnal signals attributed to migrating birds. As a first step to verify the origin of these seasonal patterns, historical radar data from 2010-2012 were analysed, and both bird patterns and temporal occurrence were identified in RWP data at different levels of the signal processing. A thermal-imaging (TI) camera in conjunction with moon watching was used as verification systems at the radar site to confirm the ornithological origin of the radar echoes. The simultaneous data on spring migration served as a basis for the identification of biological signatures (qualitative parameters) on time series level (raw data) and to derive quantitative migration parameters (flight altitude, migration traffic rates) thereof. Finally the quantitative measurements of the TI camera and the radar were compared considering meteorological conditions. 3. The approach allowed identifying reproducible criteria based on time series to calculate migration traffic rates and altitudinal flight distribution. General flight directions were only available in the final wind data. In clear weather conditions the calibration methods coincided well with the wind profiler data. 4. Findings show that wind profiler raw data offers reliable information on migration intensity, flight altitudes and flight directions in a variety of meteorological conditions. The method presented can be applied as a complement to present efforts to use weather radars for large-scale bird monitoring. Furthermore it is also interesting for the meteorological community to refine signal-processing methods.

Usage Notes

Location

Bay of Biscay
Basque Country