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Sept 12, 2023
Speaker: Rob Furrow
Title: Flight Calls to Monitor Nocturnal Migration in the Central Valley
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Most songbird migration happens while we’re sleeping, with warblers, sparrows, and other birds passing overhead during their nocturnal flights. These migrating birds are not entirely silent during the night; many species repeatedly make short calls as they fly, referred to as nocturnal flight calls. In this presentation Rob will outline the basics of how bird migration can be monitored using audio recordings of nocturnal flight calls. Then he will describe initial results from a pilot study of nocturnal flight calls in the Central Valley, conducted with UC Davis undergraduate Cameron Tescher, as well as more recent work recording sight-verified flight calls of western migrants at ridge migration sites. Throughout, the audience will learn about when and where they might be able to hear these flight calls, and how to identify a few of the most common calls.
Rob Furrow is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis. He has been birding since his youth and revels in early mornings with migrating songbirds. Nocturnal flight calls have long been an interest of his, so he was thrilled to take on these projects working alongside curious and dedicated UC Davis undergraduates.