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  • Rights: Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
    Published 17 August 2022 Referencing Hub media

    Neil Fitzgerald is an ecosystems and conservation researcher at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. Neil shows us what bird calls look like on a spectrogram.

    Questions for discussion:

    • What are some of the calls the ruru make?
    • Why do you think they make these different calls?
    • How could you find this information?


    Voiceover – Neil Fitzgerald

    Once we’ve got the sound files from the recorders, we can use software to try to automatically find ruru calls. We can also look at the sounds in the spectrogram to see the calls, and this can be quite a quick way to scan through the files to find the birds we’re looking for.

    A spectrogram is just a way of showing sound. We have time and seconds on the bottom, with low frequencies near the bottom of the picture and high frequencies as you go up, and amplitude or loudness shown in different colours.

    The ruru call people tend to know the most, of course, is the ruru or morepork call, but these birds make quite a few other calls that people are often less familiar with. So this is what some of those calls look and sound like.

    [bird calls]

    Chris Harrison
    Jarmo Pirhonen
    Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research

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