Monitoring Study with Bird Radar

Detailed information is acquired through the studies conducted with binoculars and telescopes on the ground. It is possible to obtain more detailed information on the bird species, counts, and behaviors in these studies. However, the tools (binoculars, telescope, etc.) used by the observer are limited in terms of both area and duration of visibility. For example, the general field works are carried out between 8:30 and 18:00. However, it is not possible to make observation after dark.

This is the point where the data collected by the bird radar come into play. The bird radars continue to monitor the birds 7/24 uninterruptedly under any weather conditions.

Within the project site, a monitoring study was conducted from September 2014 to June 2016 by using bird radar system that has 2 magnetron antennas (S-band in horizontal and X-band in vertical polarizations). Since October 2017, the studies have been continued with a further advanced bird radar system that has 2 units of X-band parabolic antennas and is capable of making detailed, fast, and visual analysis. The bird radar system detects and saves the details of the data such as the birds' position, altitude, speed, flight direction, etc. Besides, thanks to radars that can see much further than an observer can, it is possible to obtain spatial data of better quality. Although the ornithologist observing on the ground uses certain altitude ranges/bands in order to measure the altitude of the birds (the distance meters cannot always be used efficiently in estimating the distance due to angle and height of the birds to the observer), radars can give more accurate and standard altitude information. The species and counts of the birds detected by the radar instantly are entered into database of the radar system by the ornithologists in the field. In other words, the bird radar ornithologist identifies the species and count of the bird the movement, speed, altitude, and roughly size of which is detected by the radar, matches these data with the bird seen by the radar, and enters the species and count data into the database. In this way, the quality of the data is improved for analysis. With over 900 million lines of data collected so far, analyses and pre-estimations are being done.