August 22, 2007
Mobile phones used to call owls
A professor has taken to ringing owls on his mobile phone. What is most remarkable is that they return his calls in a project that could revolutionise surveys of wild bird populations, reports The Telegraph.
"Researchers at MIT near Boston report today that the phones can help keep more accurate counts of owls.
When Eben Goodale wants to count the birds, he places a call that triggers phones in the forest to play, via speakers, pre-recorded owl calls, such as hoots and whistles.
Territorial owls raise their heads and approach what they think may be an intruder. If they respond with a hoot, the phones transmit the sound back to the "Owl Project" website.
Goodale and Dale Joachim, who describe the research today in the journal Biology Letters, believe that they have shown that mobiles are an effective way to listen in to how birds are doing in the wild, and the diversity of the area. " Read full article.
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