Department of Defense (DoD) lands are critically important to migratory bird species as breeding sites, wintering sites, and as migratory stopover sites. Often the majority of individual bird detections in surveys are acoustic and many of the birds noted are never seen. Because acoustic detection plays such a prominent role in avian population monitoring, the use of automated acoustical recording instruments and signal detection and classification software has the potential to lead to improved monitoring of bird populations on DoD lands and elsewhere. Specifically, such techniques may enable more extensive sampling, improved estimates of the birds counted and missed, and improved estimates of the area surveyed.
Specific objectives of this project included:
The Cornell Bioacoustics Research Program has developed two interactive sound analysis software packages: eXtensible Bioacoustics Tool (XBAT) and Raven. Both programs incorporate interactive sound visualization, measurement, and annotation tools. Enhancements were made to both programs under this project to improve their utility for tasks such as detecting and classifying sounds from species of interest on DoD lands.
The following enhancements of XBAT’s data template detector were implemented:
The following are enhancements made to Raven analysis software:
This project has made extensive use of software to automate processing of tens of thousands of hours of recordings, focusing on BLEDs as a means to extract flight calls and other vocalizations of interest as rapidly as possible. Research conducted through this project has improved the accuracy of bird abundance measures extracted from DoD field survey efforts and large historical data sets. The extended spatial and temporal scale of these acoustical monitoring techniques enable the monitoring of rare or otherwise cryptic species and demonstrates the feasibility of a network to monitor nocturnal migration traffic by species by identifying the birds from the distinctive characteristics of their flight calls.