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Fieldnotes: Acoustic Recorders Track Bird Activity

Cara J

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Recording devices present new opportunities for researchers to monitor bird populations, according to recently published studies. In California, researchers are using passive acoustics devices to listen in on elusive marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) that nest high up in some of the world’s tallest trees. Marbled murrelets nest high up in redwood trees such as these in Headwaters Forest Reserve near Eureka, Calif. ©Bureau of Land Management, licensed by cc 2.0 “We’re listening to the sounds of the birds flying back from the ocean or flying to the ocean from their nest sites in the forest,” said Abraham Borker, a PhD student in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California-Santa Cruz and the lead author of a study published in the December issue of the Wildlife Society Bulletin. The birds make a sound similar to gulls, potentially to alert their chicks or mates incubating nests. In the past, researchers on the ground would sit near at certain sites and count the amounts of murrelet sounds they heard as a way to figure out how many birds live in a given area. But monitoring these sites has traditionally cost a lot of money because it involves having multiple boots on [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/fieldnotes-acoustic-recorders-track-bird-activity/

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