How Birds Almost Escalated The Cold War



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A technology to ignore birds on radar ended up being useful to study and conserve them.

LEARN MORE
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To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Radar aeroecology - the use of radar to study airborne life, like birds, bats, and bugs
Radar ornithology - the use of radar to study birds, especially bird migration
Dual-polarization radar - radar that transmits and receives waves in both a horizontal and vertical orientation, giving a better idea of a target’s size, shape, and variety.
Doppler effect - a change in a wave’s frequency in relation to whatever is observing it, such as a radar, but also your ears (it’s the reason a sound like an ambulance siren changes as it gets closer or further away from you).

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CREDITS
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Julián Gustavo Gómez (@TheJulianGomez) | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman) | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Aldo de Vos, Know Art | Music

MinuteEarth is produced by Neptune Studios LLC
https://neptunestudios.info

OUR STAFF
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Sarah Berman • Arcadi Garcia i Rius
David Goldenberg • Julián Gustavo Gómez
Melissa Hayes • Alex Reich • Henry Reich • Peter Reich
Ever Salazar • Leonardo Souza • Kate Yoshida

OTHER CREDITS
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Radar footage by National Weather Service, BirdCast, and Alex Bencke

Swallows footage by Ted Cheskey, Nature Canada

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REFERENCES
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Bauer, Silke, et al. "The grand challenges of migration ecology that radar aeroecology can help answer." Ecography 42.5 (2019): 861-875. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecog.04083

Dokter, Adriaan M., et al. "Bird migration flight altitudes studied by a network of operational weather radars." Journal of the Royal Society Interface 8.54 (2011): 30-43. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2010.0116

Duda, Jeff. "How to use and interpret Doppler weather radar." Retrieved July 18 (2009): 2014. https://meteor.geol.iastate.edu/~jdduda/portfolio/How%20to%20read%20and%20interpret%20weather%20radar.pdf

Fox, Anthony D., and Patrick DL Beasley. "David Lack and the birth of radar ornithology." Archives of natural history 37.2 (2010): 325-332. https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/10.3366/anh.2010.0013

Gauthreaux Jr, Sidney A., and Carroll G. Belser. "Radar ornithology and biological conservation." The Auk 120.2 (2003): 266-277. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4090179

Hüppop, Ommo, et al. "Perspectives and challenges for the use of radar in biological conservation." Ecography 42.5 (2019): 912-930. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecog.04063

Lack, David, and G. C. Varley. "Detection of birds by radar." Nature 156.3963 (1945): 446-446. https://www.nature.com/articles/156446a0

Marshall, S., & Toma, A. (2012, May 23). The close calls: How false alarms triggered fears of Nuclear War. Council for a Livable World. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://livableworld.org/the-close-calls-how-false-alarms-triggered-fears-of-nuclear-war/.

Schuur, T., et al. "Observations and classification of echoes with the polarimetric WSR-88D radar." Report of the National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73069 (2003): 46. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.540.9868&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Stepanian, Phillip M., et al. "Dual‐polarization radar products for biological applications." Ecosphere 7.11 (2016): e01539. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ecs2.1539

Tang, Lin, et al. "A physically based precipitation–nonprecipitation radar echo classifier using polarimetric and environmental data in a real-time national system." Weather and Forecasting 29.5 (2014): 1106-1119. https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/wefo/29/5/waf-d-13-00072_1.xml

Zhang, Pengfei, Shun Liu, and Qin Xu. "Identifying Doppler velocity contamination caused by migrating birds. Part I: Feature extraction and quantification." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 22.8 (2005): 1105-1113. https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/atot/22/8/jtech1757_1.xml
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