Home > Activities > Hamilton Bioacoustics Research Project

Hamilton Bioacoustics Research Project

Started in 2018, this initiative of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club involves both collecting and analyzing acoustic data from its sanctuaries and other sites around the Hamilton Study Area, and using acoustics tools to attract Ontario bird species-at-risk to suitable breeding habitats.

Field Recorder Surveys

Each survey period will centre around a target species or theme, though the recordings will be scanned for any and all data of interest.

All our recordings are uploaded to archive.org.

Help needed

We need those with some experience identifying species by ear in reviewing the recordings. If you’d like to help, follow this link for the more detailed instructions.

Winter Owls Survey

Survey period: December 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019.

Our current survey is listening for owl species at the following sites:

  • Cartwright Nature Sanctuary
  • Anita Dutka-Buchin Nature Sanctuary
  • McMaster Forest
  • Spooky Hollow Nature Sanctuary
  • Amaolo Nature Sanctuary
  • Vinemount Nature Sanctuary
  • Grimsby Wetlands
  • Short Hills Nature Sanctuary
  • Hayesland Swamp Nature Sanctuary

Spring Wetlands Survey

Survey period: March 9, 2019 through April 28, 2019.

This survey will target both migratory birds and marsh amphibians, such as spring peepers, and will target:

  • Amaolo Nature Sanctuary
  • Grimsby Wetlands
  • Vinemount Meadows Nature Sanctuary
  • Hayesland Swamp Nature Sanctuary

Breeding Birds & Amphibians Survey

Survey period: April 29, 2019 through July 24, 2019.

This survey will target various locations known to have breeding birds & amphibians.


Beyond the above, we plan to target:

  • Insects, and bats (July-Sept)
  • Fall bird migrations (Sept-Nov)
  • Winter wootlots survey (Dec-Feb)

Eastern Meadowlark & Bobolink Bioacoustic Project

Working with Dr. Jim Quinn of McMaster University, this project involves using pre-recorded birdsong to attract tallgrass prairie species to McMaster Forest.

Each spring, a solar-powered speaker setup is installed, and plays songs and calls of a target species.

The HNC has recently provided some funding for programmable mini-computers to help better target the desired species with the song and call playback.

Soon we will add documentation about how this is accomplished, for those who might want to undertake similar initiatives.