Thank you for reading! For more information on conservation research with the Harris Center, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or by email. Fortunately, they often call in flight at night. These nocturnal flight calls (NFCs) tend to be short and high-pitched. document.write(today.getFullYear()); In both cases, you’ll have a microphone element that, through a circuit board, will attach to an XLR cable. The CD-Rom, Flight Calls of Migratory Birds, Evans W. R. and O’Brien, M. 2002, describes the nocturnal call notes of many North American migrants. Listen to the call here and see if you can tell it apart from the other sparrow species listed. They have been processed a little to emphasis the calls but some remnants of urban noise may remain. NFC. My microphone can pick up thrushes flying more than 1000 feet overhead, whereas warblers and sparrows are undetectable at this range. Solitary Sandpiper. And lastly, thank you to Chris Tessaglia-Hymes, Rob Fergus, and Paul Driver for all of your help as well. April 17: 2 migrants There are no known breeding locations in New Hampshire. A couple of interesting visitors passed overhead during the night of April 12. We might even be able to compare the species we catch with the species we hear overhead. 0000004599 00000 n In 2018, the ARU recorded Nocturnal Flight Calls each night from late July through late October. November 12th, 2020 . Before I go, I’d like to thank the people that have graciously helped me with becoming an NFC enthusiast; without these people, I wouldn’t know almost any of the information provided in this article. The flight call of Swamp Sparrow is extremely similar to Lincoln’s Sparrow, but it’s about a week too early for the latter. Two Montana species of concern, Lapland Longspur and Veery, were also recorded by the ARU. 0000001254 00000 n I can make a very strong case that this bird is singing while in mid flight. Birds are hostage to its caprice. I have experienced rare before. Meadow Pipit. Benefits to recording NFCs through a computer: First things first. November 17th, 2020 . The longer the bad weather persists, the bigger the flight when it eventually passes. I’ve encountered all of these species through a tiny microphone inside a bucket that sits either outside my window or on the roof of our house. However, I found the following statement to be the most compelling: The consensus from the recent literature, together with anecdotal evidence, suggests that flight calls help to maintain groups, and stimulate migratory restlessness or ‘zugunruhe’ in conspecifics, perhaps especially in inexperienced birds … (Farnsworth, 2005). Killdeer and American Woodcock are two exceptions. In other words, the call note looks like this, which is the recording I obtained on April 6. With little migration for six days, followed by a ten-fold increase on Sunday night, I can surmise that a) the weather during the week up to and including Saturday was inclement to some degree, involving wind with a northerly aspect and/or rain, b) that this weather was regional in scope and not just confined to northern New England, and c) that there was a significant change in conditions on Sunday night. Click here for the night’s recordings. Researchers from MPG Ranch, Project Night Flight, and the University of Montana have been working with Five Valleys Audubon and Five Valley’s Land Trust to document NFC’s at a conservation property in the Missoula area. A spectrogram is a way of visualising how sound frequencies vary through time and is p… Much less is known about the concept of birds singing while migrating. Still, I have a high degree of confidence that this 80 milliseconds came from a Louisiana Waterthrush winging its way north over my house on the night of April 6. In addition to goldfinch, 21 migrants passed overhead, including Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Great Blue Heron, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, and Song Sparrow. A bird was singing from a nearby stand of hemlocks while I worked in the yard. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window),,,,, A Quick Summer Trip to the Sky Islands of Southeast Arizona, Morning on the Mountaintop: Bicknell’s Thrush Quest. It offers a three-day forecast of bird movement across the country by modeling weather, time of year, and other variables that determine large-scale bird movements. 0000000796 00000 n This recording captured a vocalizing Spotted Sandpiper (probably headed to Manomet’s rocky beach) and a passing Black-billed Cuckoo in rapid succession! The mic picked up the unmistakable call notes of American Goldfinch at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, more than 2 hours past sunset. In just the first dozen or so nights we’ve recorded over 25 bird species, including a property-first Sora (perhaps the result of our wetland restoration work!). April 24th Holmes Farm. 0000003686 00000 n frogs, wind, road noise) so be prepared for the recording to be a bit loud. Location is a constant. Information from these ARU’s can tell scientists about timing of migration, use of stopover habitat, and abundance and species diversity. You can view design plans here. ���$X��� More to follow. a guest bloggerSeptember 24, 2015ScienceLeave a Comment. Not only can you use Raven and Audacity (as described above), but there are additional programs created by Old Bird that you can use to automatically extract and process NFCs. Click here for audio. The ARU detected a variety of other birds that do not make nocturnal flight calls, including hard-to-detect species like Northern Saw-whet Owl. I cannot leave you with a nocturnal recording of a migrant phoebe over my house from this spring. If it were May with similar winds, there would have been a few migrants. An added bonus of having a microphone going all night is our ability to detect nocturnal birds that are singing. I suspect this individual was disturbed from its roost, possibly by the Barred Owls. Time of year is predictable. Assuming that wild birds don’t waste energy unnecessarily, it seems reasonable to assume that nocturnal flight calls serve a purpose. I was not surprised. Likely a Song Sparrow, their nocturnal call note is extremely similar to the less common Fox Sparrow, so this species cannot be ruled out. This is why migration at this time of year is typically stop/start, with periods of heavy movement interspersed with periods when migration slows down or stops altogether. This came on Sunday night. Whether you’re interested in new birds for your garden list or keen to record migration more systematically, knowing where to start can seem baffling. April 19: 56 migrants, including Virginia Rail, American Bittern, Chipping Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and first-of-season Palm Warbler. That said, it’s probably easiest to hear the vocalizations through headphones. Perhaps most compelling is the lack of phoebe mortality relative to other migrants as a result of collision with e.g. Call notes could foster group cohesion and help keep birds on the correct course heading, especially during periods of reduced visibility. NFC. This group of Long-tailed Ducks yodeling overhead might have been heading to breed on the Arctic National Wildlife refuge! With 46 nocturnal flight calls (nfc) detected, April 20 was another decent night for migration, though slightly down on the previous night. Many species migrate in small flocks and use vocalizations to help stick together. Note the lower-frequency drone of spring peeper frogs, impressive in it’s own right! (photo © Colin Durfee). It is not too late to put up a Wood Duck nest box if you live near suitable habitat (a swamp or marsh). For the NFC Facebook group, go here. April 24th Holmes Farm. As you can see from the graph, the number of migrants is really starting to pick up. The big rush usually happens at the first available weather opportunity. Nocturnal flight calls of Black Redstart: an unexpected discovery. However it seems difficult to the point of impossible to definitively tie an instance of nocturnal bird song to an actively migrating bird. Much of the information presented on my website is based on knowledge I gained from Old Bird. My current setup is: Old Bird 21c microphone on roof NFC. Neither Virginia Rail nor American Bittern are commonly recorded as nocturnal migrants over my yard, though I usually have a few each season.