MRI radars to monitor bird migration

Weather is more than forecast bulletins and a concept that announces rain and shine. With spring knocking softly on our door, it is the trees, flowers and plants that are gradually waking up, but also some birds that come back after spending the winter further south.

And since the weather influences this phenomenon, the mild weather at the end of February and last week accelerates the migration of birds. This year, IRM has also decided to “lend” its meteorological radars to scientists to observe and monitor the return of birds to Belgium. “Every year in spring and fall, millions of birds migrate across our country. They do this mainly at high altitudes and at night, which makes the phenomenon largely invisible to us., explains MRI. But not for weather radars. Today, the Royal Meteorological Institute and the Flemish Government’s Institute for Nature and Forest Research (INBO) are launching a web application where anyone can view this migration in real time throughout the Benelux (address:, Editor’s note). It shows that bird migration started early this year and this is linked to the unusually warm weather in the second half of February. This is an early period, as the massive spring migration usually takes place during the month of March until mid-April. This site offers a unique picture of bird migration across the Benelux, based on ten weather radars located in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

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