AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday and Thursday, thousands of birds will migrate through Central Texas and Austin to get to warmer locations as temperatures drop.
Maps of the migration will be available through BirdCast, a website created by ornithologists and computer scientists from Cornell University and Colorado State University. The website provides a forecast that tracks nightly bird migration.
The forecast predicted Wednesday and Thursday nights would be big nights in Central Texas for the migration.
According to BirdCast, every spring and fall, billions of birds migrate through the United States, mostly under the cover of darkness.
“This mass movement of birds must contend with a dramatically increasing but still largely unrecognized threat: light pollution,” BirdCast said.
The state of Texas has five dark sky communities, and all five are in Central Texas. The communities are Dripping Springs, Horseshoe Bay, Wimberly Valley, Fredericksburg and Blanco.
Four of Texas’ state parks also earned a title for their commitment to limiting light pollution. Big Bend Ranch, Enchanted Rock, Copper Breaks and South Llano River have earned the title of “International Dark-Sky Parks.”
Live bird migration maps are also available through BirdCast. According to BirdCast, the real-time analysis maps show the intensities of nocturnal bird migration. The migration was detected through the U.S. weather surveillance radar network between local sunset to sunrise.
KXAN Meteorologist Kristen Currie spoke with Nicole Netherton with the Travis Audubon Society to discuss the bird migration through Central Texas and the things people can do to help make the migration easier on the birds.
Mass bird migrations are the most common during the spring and fall months because of the temperature changes. Migratory birds fly hundreds and thousands of miles in search of the best ecological conditions and habitats.