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Drones successfully capture bird sounds

Cara J

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Recording bird sounds by drone might be a good way to survey birds in hard-to-reach areas, according to new research. In a study published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, researchers tested whether drones with recording devices suspended by fishing line predicted the number of birds on the ground as accurately as traditional ground surveys on Pennsylvania State Game Lands. “All ecology and wildlife studies with drones used visual aids like cameras — videography and photography,” said Andrew Wilson, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at Gettysburg College. “No one’s published a study using bioacoustics. We were doing an acoustic survey.” The team suspended the recording devices eight meters from the drone and flew the drones 50 meters above the ground to capture the sounds of the birds. The drone counts were paired with standard bird counts on the ground the same morning. “The numbers of detections from the drones were similar to the ones we got on the ground, which was very encouraging,” Wilson said. Species that had similar detections included song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), red-winged black birds (Agelaius phoeniceus), field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), and others. Other species were more difficult to [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/drones-successfully-capture-bird-sounds/

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