PERMISSION has now been obtained to publish the fact that birds can reflect radio waves with sufficient strength to be detected by radar sets. Evidence of this was given to us in the summer of 1941 by Dr. E. S. Shire, then developing centimetric radar equipment at the Air Defence Research and Development, Establishment, Ministry of Supply. Confirmation was obtained by G. C. Varley in September 1941, when echoes observed on an operational centimetric set at Dover were established by visual checks to come from gannets (Sula bassana) flying singly above the sea. The facts were published in a secret report of the Army Operational Research Group, Ministry of Supply, in April 1942. Much fuller details, with numerous further records, were published in a secret report dated February 1945.
Brooks, M., Science, 101, 329 (1945).
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
LACK, D., VARLEY, G. Detection of Birds by Radar. Nature 156, 446 (1945). https://doi.org/10.1038/156446a0
This article is cited by
Domain randomization-enhanced deep learning models for bird detection
Scientific Reports (2021)
Timing of migration shifts en masse
Nature Climate Change (2020)
Using weather radar to monitor the number, timing and directions of flying-foxes emerging from their roosts
Scientific Reports (2019)
Seabird distribution patterns observed with fishing vessel’s radar reveal previously undescribed sub-meso-scale clusters
Scientific Reports (2017)
Electromagnetic Model Reliably Predicts Radar Scattering Characteristics of Airborne Organisms
Scientific Reports (2016)
By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.