From the tiniest feathered fledglings to the large raptors and waterfowl, Colorado is home to more than 400 different species of birds. Some birds live here year-round, while others just pass through during their annual migration route.

Most birds in the western hemisphere migrate twice a year between their breeding and wintering grounds, but when and to where depends on the specific species.

Scientists at Colorado State University recently helped to launch a resource that provides real-time predictions of bird migrations, including when they migrate, where they migrate, and how far they will be flying. The project was created in collaboration with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the University of Massachusetts.

BirdCast applies weather surveillance radar to gather information on the numbers, flight directions, speeds, and altitudes of birds aloft to expand the understanding of migratory bird movement.

Shay Cohen/Unsplash
Shay Cohen/Unsplash

Learning about the migration patterns of birds helps to protect the species as a whole. During their journeys, birds are exposed to various hazards, such as light pollution, food shortages, and extreme weather. Being able to track peak migration dates, and knowing where birds are traveling allows humans to take precautionary actions, like turning out lights to reduce the risk of collisions.

LOOK: These Unique Birds are Migrating Through Colorado Right Now

According to BirdCast, the start date for peak migration in Colorado was May 4, 2024. The peak period is expected to end on May 18. During the next few weeks, Coloradans can help birds by avoiding turning on outdoor lights, or setting them to a timer so they're not on all of the time. Whenever possible, opt for warm-colored lights that have a shorter reach for fewer negative effects on birds and wildlife.

Since launching, BirdCast has become a popular tool in the birding community and for those interested in learning more about the behaviors of birds in general.

LOOK: Most commonly seen birds in Colorado

Stacker compiled a list of the most common birds seen in Colorado from Project FeederWatch.

Gallery Credit: Stacker