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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 
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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P88) Supplementing Traditional Songbird Nest Box Monitoring with Trail and FLIR Camera Technology

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AUTHORS. Sayre D. Stejbach, Donald P. Althoff – University of Rio Grande

ABSTRACT. Monitoring songbird nest boxes with visits every 4-7 days is common place.  However, this frequency often does not reveal the onset of incubation, feeding of nestlings, nor apparent fledgling within 1-2 days of occurrence.  As part of long-term monitoring of bluebird/tree swallow productivity in southeast Ohio, we evaluated the use of both trail cameras positioned close to boxes (3-5 meters; 20 of 125 boxes in our network) and a FLIR camera during box inspections to determine egg temperatures without handling the eggs to supplement our standard visit protocol.  Pre-incubation temperatures vs. incubation temperatures were sufficiently different for eastern bluebirds (27C) and tree swallows (24C) eggs to indicate when 3-, 4-, or 5-egg clutches were maxed out.  This information guided our deployment of trail cameras to further document incubation and nestling activity.  We were able to capture via digital images a variety of activity of secondary cavity species. However, we had to review up to 4,000 images for a single camera per day as a result of windy and sometimes fast-moving clouds setting off the motion sensor when no bird was present.  To combat this, we designed a simple, low cost, easily attached tube to the trail camera housing to restrict the field of view of the motion without reducing the visual field of the camera itself nor permanently modifying the unit.  This resulted in 50-95% fewer photos per day per camera without apparent loss of capturing breeding activity of songbirds using the boxes with 3 exceptions. We recommend use of this blinder-type tube to prevent a large number of digital images being recorded to the memory card that have no animal activity to conserve battery life of the trail camera and reduce lab time spent reviewing the digital image data set. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
  Poster, Wildlife Techniques

Attendees (4)