South Africa: Radar to study Cape bird migration

by Nov 17, 2010Birds

Johannesburg – Concerns over birds colliding with turbine blades on wind farms along the Cape West coast has prompted a study to monitor the movement of flocks there.

The study would look at whether wind farms with 140m high turbine blades were an obstruction to birds moving between two wetlands, said ornithologist Dr Tony Williams in a statement.

The exercise being carried out by local radar company, Reutech Radar Systems (RRS), between the Langebaan Lagoon and Berg River estuary would involve radar and visual observations.

It was scheduled to take place from 18 to 25 November with 24 hour monitoring.

Williams said November was the most suitable month because migrant birds from northern Eurasia would arrive, local waterfowl would begin to move to the wetlands, and flamingos would congregate in the region.

This was the first time such a study was being conducted in Africa, he said.

RRS would supply a spider mobile border surveillance radar for the path tracking.

The equipment would also be used to measure the height and type of bird.