A BioBlitz, also written without capitals bioblitz, is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area . Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a short, usually 24 hour, period of time. There is also a public component to many BioBlitzes, with the goal of getting the public interested in biodiversity. In order to encourage more public participation, these BioBlitzes are often held in urban parks or nature reserves close to cities.
Andrew Farnsworth (Cornell Ph.D. student) studies flight calls of migrating birds. These vocalizations are short in duration, variable in frequency, species-specific, and primarily nocturnal. As part of a larger study of the function of flight calls and flight calling behavior, Andrew is using a phylogeny of wood-warblers (family Parulidae) reconstructed from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to study what factors (e.g., body mass) might drive the variation in flight calls (e.g., frequency) among different species.
Migrating birds are attracted to the lights on television, radio, and cell-phone towers and will circle them for hours. Many mornings, Kemper found hundreds of dead birds. One morning he found 11,000. In 2002, he discontinued his study because he was no longer finding dead birds. He says he’s not certain why, but speculates that birds are becoming accustomed to the towers.