Tracking Flocks Of Birds On Radar

We are in a very busy pattern this week with more heavy rain and strong storms expected overnight tonight and tomorrow, but this morning we are tracking another form of mother nature, birds. Swarms of birds normally take off from their nest around sunrise and spread outward looking for food. Depending on the atmospheric setup these swarms can also be picked up on radar. The birds typically leave their nest every few minutes which creates a solid ring that moves outward from a given location. At first glance of the radar screen near sunrise it may appear a shower has popped up, however with closer observing it becomes obvious something else is going on. Doppler radar commonly picks up flocks of birds in the summer near sunrise, bugs and dust are also other features detected by radar. This morning there was a very large flock of birds detected near Lake Ouachita, and a smaller flock in northwest Arkansas. The flock at Lake Ouachita was moving at about 25 to 30 mph. The smaller flock in northwest Arkansas was moving a little slower at about 20 mph. Here are the radar images early this morning. The time was from 6am to 7am. Each radar image is about 6 minutes apart. Notice the birds highlighted within the red circle.










Ross Ellet


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