Making sense of the data. Part 1 of many…


If you were using Wilder Sensing to identify whats making a sound across your site, farm, landscape etc you will quickly generate hundreds of thousands of records – so having easy ways of understanding the species level data is really important.

It’s possible to slice and dice the data in many ways depending on what you are trying to achieve – such as increasing the species richness, target bird groups such as Farmland birds or wading birds, understanding migration timings etc and, ultimately, how is biodiversity changing on the site.

Over a few blogs we will explore the many ways the core species level data can be analysed – with very large amounts of high quality long term species live data we can start to ask questions we couldn’t even consider in the past.

The first example is a simple count of records per day or week by species – this starts to provide an overview of how the bird assemblage changes over time – although some behaviours need to be taken into account as birds don’t call at the same rate all year round. The example below provides an illustration of post-breeding moult.

Once many birds have finished breeding in about July with the last brood having fledged, they start to moult all their feathers and the current set are very worn by foraging, feeding young etc.

They lose their primary feathers so can’t fly as well so are at a higher risk of predation. Many species response to this is to skulk – stay low, keep a low profile and don’t call.

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Of course, given they aren’t breeding anymore then they don’t need to hold their territories – so the call rate will drop.

Future blogs will explore how some species behave through their calling patterns.