Here at West Midlands Ringing Group we believe necessity drives innovation, and this resulted in the revolutionary development of thermal imaging technology within ornithology.
In the spring of 2016 we recognised that our ringing productivity when locating Lapwing pullus (Vanellus vanellus) was around 10% of birds seen. Added to this we also recognised that our time, effort and disturbance factors were greatly increased, with more time spent looking for naturally camouflaged birds.It was here that our creativity commenced and led to our innovative use of thermal image technology. A few weeks later, with the use of a loaned thermal camera our productivity increased and time, effort and disturbance decreased, both dramatically. Whilst met with scepticism from within our group, this was the start of exciting journey not only for WMRG but for ornithologists across the world.
With the support and foresight of West Midland Bird Club our group were able to purchase our own device for monitoring and ringing birds within the West Midlands region. over the next five years our use of thermal technology has increased and we are constantly looking at further innovative uses with ornithological surveys. There can be no doubt that this technology is changing the face of wildlife monitoring. Across the UK, this technology is now being widely used, from bird ringers and Bird Observatories to PHd students, further afield we have provided advice and guidance to ringers across the world including Japan, Australia, America and Norway.
Below you will find links to our most recent webinar, Magazine article for BTO's Life Cycle, BBC Midlands today programme and our guide to lamping with thermal..