Kyle Horton

Postdoctoral Fellow


Bird Migration • Radar Ornithology

I study bird migration using a range of tools and approaches, including the use of radar, acoustics, and citizen-science data. My work addresses a handful of core migration questions, including avian flight strategies, long-term phenological change, population estimates, the impact of artificial light, and migration forecasting.

No single tool addresses the quantification and identification challenges of sampling in-flight migratory movements. Rather, efficient, detailed analysis of large-scale movements is reliant on the integration and contribution of complementary data streams. For example, radar and imaging devices can track nocturnal migration and provide details of in-flight behaviors, yet both are limited in that they cannot confidently provide species identity.

The recording of flight calls offers a reliable method for identifying species migrating at night. With recent advances at the Cornell Lab in the automation of detection and classification algorithms, studies pairing acoustic monitoring with remote-sensing networks like weather surveillance radar are poised to address core migration questions with implications for global conservation. My work at the Lab takes advantage of the vast and mostly untapped resources of acoustic records and weather surveillance radar, to illuminate the composition, timing, density, direction, speed, and altitude of nocturnal movements of migratory birds.


Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oklahoma
M.S., Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware
B.S., Biology, Canisius College

Recent Publications

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