Mississippi State University
Jesse I. Morrison
Scott A. Rush
Mark D. McConnell
Joby M. Czarnecki
Date of Degree
Original embargo terms
Visible to MSU only for 1 year
Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only
Plant and Soil Sciences
Master of Science
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
North American grassland bird populations are declining more rapidly than other groups of birds. A well-established method of quantifying and monitoring grassland bird populations is by locating active nests. Active nests are often difficult to locate in grassland swards due to the varying heights within the canopy that nests are established. Studies quantifying grassland bird populations have low statistical power due to low sample sizes and high disturbance. Advances in small, unmanned aerial systems and thermographic imaging technologies have potential to improve efficiency of locating nests throughout canopies. This study explored detection accuracy of using thermal imagery to identify simulated grassland bird nests located at different heights within monoculture tall-stature grass canopies. This methodology was tested in blind evaluations, using multiple evaluators. Results from this study suggest that surveying thermal images is a reliable method for detecting active nests at depths of up to 1 m into a grass canopy.
Hearon, Lori, "Assessing capabilities of thermal imaging technologies equipped to small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) to detect grassland bird nests" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 5235.