The ecoPi series are a collection of modular devices we developed and built based on the implementation of an economical Raspberry Pi single-board computer (RPi, Raspberry Pi Foundation).

What is ecoPi:Bird-2D?

The ecoPi:Bird-2D is a further development of the ecoPi:Bird. The aim was to not only be able to record bird vocalisations but make it possible to identify the location of calling birds. Through the development of the ecoPi:Bird-2D we have successfully accomplished this aim.

The ecoPi:Bird-2D was developed in the course of a monitoring programme for rails in Neeracherried (Switzerland). More information about the project Neeracherried is available in our portfolio.

How does ecoPi:Bird-2D work?

The ecoPi:Bird-2D uses similar working principle as the ecoPi:Bird. The device makes it possible to automatically perform acoustic recordings of the environment/surroundings according to programmable recording times.
The new part is that two microphones are installed in the ecoPi:Bird-2D, facilitating stereo recordings.

The analysis of acoustic data regarding particular target species can, depending on the volume of data, be analysed automatically using machine learning. For this purpose we have developed a neuronal network. When applied to the data the neuronal network is capable of recognising the individual vocalisations of target bird species in each recorded file.
This data analysis method is being used in the project “Neeracherried”.

The position of the calling bird can be calculated using the time difference between the recordings of the bird on the two different microphones. Using the time difference we calculate the angle to the source of noise. If the bird vocalisation was loud enough and information about the angle to the source of noise exists at more than one ecoPi:Bird-2D unit, then it is possible to establish the location of the bird more precisely. In this case triangulation is used to determine the location of the calling bird.

How is ecoPi:Bird-2D constructed?

The ecoPi:Bird-2D consists of a small robust plastic box, containing all of the technical components. On the underside of the box two recording microphones are installed.
ecoPi:Bird-2D has an autonomous power supply comprised of a solar panel and a battery, which are found underneath the recording unit.

All parts are modular, enabling a flexible set-up of the devices. The devices can be installed free-standing, fixed to aluminum frames, or they can be fixed to existing solid structures (e.g. trees, fence posts etc.).

  • Installed ecoPi:Bird-2D.
    © BirdLife Schweiz
  • Schematic working principle of ecoPi:Bird-2D.
    © OekoFor GbR

Typical applications

ecoPi:Bird-2D can be implemented in long-term monitoring programs, particularly when the focus of monitoring is on assessing preferred habitats, where the localisation of birds plays a key role.

ecoPi:Bird-2D presents an economical monitoring solution,which can be combined with other monitoring methods and help improve the data basis for particular conservation concerns.