Together we can find a very sneaky, endangered, ancient species of Australian songbird called Eastern bristlebird by review acoustic recordings online to listen for their sweet serenades. We are also exploring how reviewing acoustic recordings can be more fun! We are interested in talking to folks like yourselves from a variety of backgrounds, to get ideas ideas for future iterations of the project!
Why look for these little brown birds by song?
Eastern bristlebirds are masterful at avoiding detection as they weave between clumps of tussock grasses that cover the ground of their heath woodland habits along the east coast of Australia. This makes these shy birds challenging for ecologists to find during traditional bird surveys. We do know, however, that relative to the past, the number of these furtive birds has dramatically declined, particularly in their northern most reach in Queensland. While a few reasons are suspected for their decline, further study is needed to understand how to save remaining birds. Eastern bristlebirds are a good candidate species for acoustic sensing (trying to capture sounds of animals in acoustic recordings), because they are quite territorial, having ‘song battles’ with nearby rival males during breeding season. Armed with this knowledge, a dedicated team of people set out to deployed acoustic sensors just before breeding season, and left the scene hoping the birds would sing soon after human intruders left!
Now, there are WAY too many recordings for a small team of ecologists to go through alone, but if we all listen to recordings together and better understand where the birds are living. This information can then help efforts to more effectively study and save them!