A group of ornithologists at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania have developed a new way to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for their study on bird songs -- The Auk: Ornithological Advances.
Using a DJI Phantom 2, the ornithologists founded that the data on songbirds compiled with a drone was comparable to that of “standard counts for most species.”
Professor Andrew Wilson explained that using the drone is more effective than audio recordings from the ground. "Drones have greater range and mobility, and can be used to access sites normally not surveyed by terrestrial methods," Wilson said.
This means that scientist can cover more space with a drone, but even though the drone provides a better sound, there are some drawbacks.
“Excessive UAV noise is a major hurdle to using UAVs for bioacoustic monitoring, but we are optimistic that technological innovations to reduce motor and rotor noise will significantly reduce this issue,” the study reads. “We conclude that UAV-based bioacoustic monitoring holds great promise, and we urge other researchers to consider further experimentation to refine techniques.”