Actually a 25KW radar unit like this one should be able to distinguish only a handful of birds out 10 miles or so and singles at least 3 miles. Of course it has to be fairly calm and have the gain/clutter settings just right. I used an older 10KW color CRT unit back in the late 90's and we won a tournament and placed in another after spotting birds 10 miles away, going there and catching a winning fish. It is the main reason the "sporties" go with higher power units today. If this unit doesn't have something creating a shadow, I would have it sent back for service.