Planet Birdsong is a UK based charitable initiative inspired by the wonderful world of bird songs and calls.
Bird vocalisations are an international language that transcends geographical and species boundaries. Planet Birdsong explores the role of technology and data collection in connecting the maximum possible number of citizens with the natural world. We cross the boundaries between countries along migration routes to deliver maximum conservation value. Our initiative is multi-disciplinary, facilitating communication between scientists, conservationists, musicians, educators and IT professionals.
We are collaborating with Isak Herman at the Cambridge University Computer Department to create computer games that enjoyably enhance the engagement of a wide variety of people with bird vocalisations. Three such games are currently being trialled. We are also creating lesson plans for primary and secondary schools in collaboration with James de Winter of Cambridge University Education department. We plan to adapt these tools for international use.
Click here to watch a short BBC documentary about Planet Birdsong and its founders Peter and Liz Cowdrey.
We are well into the first year of a three year Heritage Lottery Funded residency in Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, part of the AONB’s Wild Watch programme www.nidderdaleaonb.org.uk/wild-watch. Data is being gathered on 50 species of national and international conservation concern by a combination of professional ecologists, by a Citizen Science campaign aimed at members of the public and by local people. The data will be used to create species action plans that can be implemented in conjunction with farmers and landowners. Planet Birdsong is working with schools, community organizations, conservation volunteers, farmers and gamekeepers to raise and share consciousness and understanding of bird songs and calls in Nidderdale. We are conducting trials of three computer games by Isak Herman which will be customised to enhance knowledge different species sets for different groups-garden birds for the schools, and species of conservation concern for the volunteers. We are working with the Nidderdale Moorland Group to create a game classifying all of the different curlew songs and calls, calling on the expertise of gamekeepers who are in daily contact with the species. We hope to repeat this process with other wader species, filling a gap in knowledge, and helping with conservation and public engagement with these vulnerable species.
Here are some highlights of the residency so far: