The Windsor StarWildlife researchers want to better understand the migration of birds and bats partly to help them avoid collisions with wind turbines.
There are four radar and 16 acoustic recording devices set up throughout the Two Creeks Conservation Area in Wheatley, including on top of the toboggan hill. The devices will tell researchers the height, speed and direction birds and bats fly. Biologists will use acoustic data to separate the insects from the birds and differentiate between birds and bats.
“We are trying to get a better understanding of movement and migration in southern Ontario birds and bats,” said Ryan Zimmerling, a wildlife habitat biologist with Environment Canada. Researchers will also combine the data with information on the weather to find out how birds and bats react to a weather front. Do they fly higher or lower when the barometric pressure drops? Will birds avoid flying over the Great Lakes and follow the shoreline during particular weather events? Researchers hope to answer those questions with the data they collect within a two kilometre radius of the equipment until early November. The equipment was set up Aug. 13. Some birds are known to start migrating south in late July. Most bird and bat species depart Canada in September to late October. Some birds and bats migrate as far south as South America. Read article