Thursday, February 11, 2016

Animated Bird Migration Map

This is a nice example of data visualization showing bird migration in motion on a map. The data is from millions of bird observations from participants in eBird and the Great Backyard Bird Count. That count is happening now (February 12-15).

Scientists at the Cornell Lab used that data to generate an animated map showing the annual journeys of 118 bird species.  You can see how the routes change in spring and fall as birds ride seasonal winds to their international destinations.

If you want to know which species is which, you can switch to another version of the map showing species represented by a number. It is fast moving and a bit hard to interpret at a glance but you can start by looking for species like the Black-throated Blue Warbler (#16) passing by New Jersey or look for the Bobolink (#20), Solitary Sandpiper (#88), Prothonotary Warbler (#76), Lazuli Bunting (#55), Purple Sandpiper (#78) and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (#114) .

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