No Night Flight Calls

My partner and I, Nikki Goncalves, used the bird call recording equipment  to record bird night flight calls.  Nikki lives on the 6th floor of an apartment building in Charlottesville, so on Wednesday, April 10th, we placed the machine on her balcony and recorded for a couple of hours starting at 1:00AM.  We came back the next morning to retrieve the memory card and I listened to a few hours of the recording.  Unfortunately, I did not hear a single bird sound.  Through the entire recording, I heard a lot of static noises, which were probably a result of the wind and the machine itself.  At first I was concerned that the machine was not working since I was not hearing any birds but then I started hearing unexpected noises created by humans.  I heard music playing at random points, people talking, a car driving by and even a honk.  39 minutes into the recording, I was even able to make out the words in a conversation two boys were having.  I am assuming these noises were a result of the people living in apartments that surround the balcony and also just the typical noises of a Charlottesville street.  15 minutes and 46 seconds into the video, I thought I may have heard a bird but it turned out to just be what sounded like a dog squealing.

After finishing the recording, I was concerned that I did not hear a single bird call, but even as I am sitting at my desk tonight I do not hear a chirp outside.  After doing some research, I concluded that birds are more likely to migrate during the end of spring and the beginning of summer, and it is still the start of spring here.  A “Birder’s Guide to Charlottesville,” written by the Monticello Bird Club, claims that the birds that do migrate over Charlottesville during the Spring migrate at the end of April and the beginning of May, in which 50 species can be seen.  One bird specifically, the Warbler, is known to migrate over Charlottesville between April 15th-May 15th.  Unfortunately my week of recording was the week prior to this period and thus I did not hear any Warblers.  Hopefully the people in my group who are assigned to record during that period will record birdcalls!

Lastly, another factor that could have affected my results is global warming.  We have had an extremely cold and long winter, and even during the beginning of spring there are random drops in temperature.  This might affect or alter birds’ migration patterns and cause them to migrate later than expected.  Because of this, I unfortunately did not hear bird sounds during my April 10th recording.


Koltz, K. (2003, May 1). A Birder’s Guide to Charlottesville, Virginia and Vicinity. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from’s%20Gude%20to%20Charlottesvile%20&%20Vicinity_rev%20June%202009.pdf

Recording notes:


-very static

-people yelling


-slamming noise

-car driving by

-man screaming (4 min)

-dog bark at 5 min

-crash noise at 9:10

-picking up neighborhood sounds but no bird sounds

-15:46- dog barking? squealing?

-alot of people talking

-23:07 car passing

-convo at 39:02

-still mainly static

Post by Jordana Greenberg, Third-Year, Architecture