Computational Ecology and Software, 2012, 2(2): 96-102
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Improving Eastern Bluebird nest box performance using computer analysis of satellite images

Sarah Svatora, Lior Shamir
The ResearchLawrence Technological University, 21000 W Ten Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48075, USA

Received 23 February 2012;Accepted 3 April 2012;Published online 1 June 2012

Bird conservationists have been introducing man-made boxes in an effort to increase the bluebird population. In this study we use computer analysis of satellite images to show that the performance of the boxes used by Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) in Michigan can be improved by ~48%. The analysis is based on a strong correlation found between the edge directionality measured in the satellite image of the area around the box, and the preferences of the birds when selecting their nesting site. The method is based on satellite images taken from Google Earth, and can be used by conservationists to select a box placement strategy that will optimize the efficacy of the boxes deployed in a given area.

Keywords Bluebird;satellite images;image analysis;nesting boxes.

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