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Low-budget ready-to-fly unmanned aerial vehicles: an effective tool for evaluating the nesting status of canopy-breeding bird species
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 46, no 4, 425-430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Remotely controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) promise to be of high potential for a variety of applications in ecological and behavioural research. Off-the-shelf solutions have recently become available for civil use at steeply decreasing costs. In this study, we explored the utility of an UAV equipped with an on-board camera (14 megapixel photo and 1920 x 1080 pixel video resolution) in assessing the breeding status, offspring number and age of a canopy-breeding bird species, the hooded crow Corvus [corone] cornix. We further quantified performance and potential time savings using the UAV versus inspection with alternative approaches (optical instruments, camera on a telescopic rod, tree climbing). Nesting status, number and approximate age of nestlings could be assessed with good success in all 24 attempts using the UAV. Eighty-five percent of the time required for inspection by climbing could be saved. Disturbance was moderate and lower than caused by climbing or using a camera on a telescopic rod. Additionally, UAV usage avoided tree damage and circumvented health risks associated with tree-climbing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 46, no 4, 425-430 p.
National Category
Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260310DOI: 10.1111/jav.00619ISI: 000357949300014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260310DiVA: diva2:847513
Funder
EU, European Research Council, ERC StG 336536 FuncSpecGenSwedish Research Council, 621-2013-4510
Available from: 2015-08-20 Created: 2015-08-18 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Weissensteiner, Matthias H.Poelstra, Jelmer W.Wolf, Jochen B. W.

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