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Night Flight Calls (NFCs)

I'm a big fan of recording and identifying the calls of birds as they migrate overhead at night.  This is a new frontier in birding, as well as ornithology, and there is still a lot to learn.

My Setup
OldBird 21c Mic
Since April 2012 I've been recording and monitoring birds migrating over my home in Hunterdon County, NJ.  I use an Oldbird 21c microphone mounted on a chair in my yard, and I record each evening's flight with Easy Hi-Q Recorder on a laptop computer connected to the microphone.  Sometimes I listen to the recording in progress with headphones, and watch a spectrogram of the recording in progress on Raven Lite.  In the morning after the recording is done, I 
  1. Run autodetection software (Tseep-X and Thrush-X) on the recording to locate potential bird calls, which I then 
  2. Sort through manually using OldBird GlassOFire software.  
  3. Sometimes I also review a spectrogram of the recording again in Raven Lite to locate bird calls not picked up by the autodetections software.
  4. After bird calls are located and saved as separate sound files, I then identify them by referencing both published and online night flight call libraries, as well as other bird call collections such as
  5. I am currently publishing reviews of nightly migration events here on the Birdchaser Blog, and entering NFC counts in eBird.
UPDATE Fall 2014: I crashed and abandoned my PC in 2014, and am now recording on a MacBook Pro.  The system above isn't set up for Mac, so I'm currently recording using Audacity, and just browsing through the spectrogram to locate and identify the calls.

Whimbrel calls recorded over Hunterdon County, NJ on the night of 25 May 2012.
My aim here is to share the wonder and excitement of NFC research and birding, as well as provide resources that can help others get started recording and listening to NFCs, as well as tools to aid in learning to identify and enjoy NFCs.

Birdchaser NFC Resources


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Unknown said...

I am interested in any details that you can share (suggestions/recommendations) for using a MacBook to record night flight bird calls using the 21c microphone. Thank you!

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