Page last updated at 00:27 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Birdsong helps scientists to count bird populations

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The chirps and whistles of birdsongs can help to provide an accurate estimate of the size of bird populations, a study shows.

The researchers looked at the ovenbird, a small warbler found across North America, which has a distinctive song.

The team combined the recordings from several microphones positioned at regular intervals across the bird's habitat, and then used a new analysis technique to determine its abundance.

Writing in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, the researchers say the technique gives a more accurate estimate of numbers than using nets to capture birds.

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