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August 14, 2009

Weather report: partly birdy?

Weather maven and Baltimore Sun colleague Frank Roylance reports that the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. picked up some unusual patterns in its radar earlier this week.

An odd bluish ring showed up on the radar screen around 6 am in the upper Chesapeake near Pooles Island, and then expanded across the area, Frank reports in his Maryland Weather blog.  At left is one of the radar images.

The weatherman thought it might be birds. They're likely purple martins, according to Jerome A. Jackson, professor of ecological science at Florida Gulf Coast University (and father of Baltimore Sun photo editor Jerry Jackson).

"They gather in enormous flocks prior to migrating to the Amazon basin for the winter ... and usually roost near large bodies of water where they then move out to feed on the hordes of insects that are produced in the area," Professor Jackson emailed Frank.

Are there any early risers out there who can confirm that weather radar is picking up a huge flock of birds getting up as dawn arrives?

Posted by Tim Wheeler at 11:45 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Chesapeake Bay


I drive in from Sparks Maryland to downtown and there was a rather large flock going west. Does that help, and why so early...does this mean SNOW!


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About the bloggers
Tim WheelerTim Wheeler reports on the environment and Chesapeake Bay. A native of West Virginia, he has focused mainly on Maryland's environment since moving here in 1983. Along the way, he's crewed aboard a skipjack in the bay, canoed under city streets up the Jones Fall from the Inner Harbor, and gone deep underground in a western Maryland coal mine. He loves seafood, rambles in the country and good stories. He hopes to share some here.

Contributor Christy Zuccarini has been blogging about the local DIY craft scene for a year for She brings her pespective on all things handmade to B'More Green, where she will highlight projects you can do yourself as well as crafters who are integrating sustainable methods and materials.

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