Wind Energy in Forests


What is this project about?

The multi-year BfN (German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation) research project “Operational monitoring of wind turbines in the forest with regard to avifauna”, in short: “Wind energy in the forest”, aims to clarify whether wind parks lead to a change in the use of forest habitat in selected bird species. The project focuses on all native woodpecker species, the Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) and the tawny owl (Strix aluco).

For the study, territorial surveys and habitat mapping was carried out alongside a thorough search for breeding sites of the target species. Furthermore, extensive acoustic surveys were conducted as part of a systematic impact gradient approach.

The aim of the study is to use the results to optimise the planning and approval processes for the species affected and thus contribute to species conservation. A final report is expected in the course of 2021.

What does OekoFor do?

We developed the ecoPi:Bird for the acoustic surveys of target bird species. The mapping work, as well as the search for breeding sites was carried out by employees of ARSU GmbH.

With the ecoPi:Bird we were able to implement a self-sufficient automated device for recording bird calls. Detailed information about the functionality of the device can be found in our ecoPi:Bird portfolio article.
In addition to the development and construction of in total 100 recording devices, we also installed them on site. In total two years of recording (2019 and 2020) have successfully been completed and enormous amounts of data have been collected: over 5TB, which equates to more than 25,000 hours of recordings.

Via the online music service SoundCloud, you can listen to some interesting recordings captured by our ecoPi:Bird devices during the recording period.

The evaluation of the recordings will be carried out automatically, with the help of machine learning. We are developing our own neuronal network, which can be applied to the acoustic recordings of the ecoPi:Bird devices, automatically recognising the individual vocalisations of the target bird species in each recording.

  • An ecoPi:Bird installed in the study area.
    © OekoFor GbR
  • Due to its small size, the ecoPi:Bird is relatively inconspicuous.
    © OekoFor GbR
  • Installation of an ecoPi:Bird.
    © OekoFor GbR

More information about this project (unfortunately not available in english):
Selected recordings to listen to:


February 2021:
  • The project is in its final phase and data analysis is underway. A final report is expected in the coming months.

Partners and Funding Organisations

The project is funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). The project manager is Dr Marc Reichenbach from ARSU GmbH. OekoFor is the project partner of ARSU.

Logo BfN Logo ARSU