Finch research — フィンチの研究
(1) Offspring Gender Bias by Female Gouldian Finches
(2) Automated Species Classification of Finch Vocalisations Via Pattern Recognition
(3) Preferred Seed Types of Various Finch Species
(4) Gouldian Reverse Genetics Forecaster
(1) Proposed research: Offspring Gender Bias by Female Gouldian Finches
Wild female Gouldian finches have the ability to bias the gender ratio of offspring based on a number of factors including environmental (abundance, or lack, of food) and partner quality (mismatched head colour). I intend to undertake long-term research into the domesticated varieties of Gouldian finch here in Japan to determine whether gender bias ability is still present.
(2) Proposed research: Automated Species Classification of Finch Vocalisations Via Pattern Recognition
I will attempt to automatically classify the vocalisations of various species of finch housed in a mixed aviary, using pattern recognition and classification techniques. This can be useful in a variety of situations when, as is usually the case, the aviary is unattended for the majority of the time:
The list of possible research topics is of course only limited by one's imagination.
- To detect a bird in distress (injured, leg caught in cage wire, etc.);
- To detect the presence of new-born chicks. Nest checks for various species are discouraged due to the possibility of egg or chick abandonment. Automatic detection of the vocalisations of chicks can help increase the chances of successful raising and fledging of chicks by allowing the owner/carer to provide specific assistance to the chick's parents, i.e., providing a tailored high-protean food programme, allowing the timely application/inclusion of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in food and water;
- If vocalisation classification to the individual bird level is possible, a system can be implemented to automatically detect birds that may be sick or dead. If an individual has not been automatically detected for a certain period of time, the system can automatically notify the carer to check on the well-being of that individual;
- To detect the first signs of breeding among species, by automatically detecting specific breeding-related vocalisations by male and female finches. This can help the caretaker prepare for breeding in a timely matter, or indeed, allow the carer to remove breeding stimulants (nests and nesting material, high-protean diet) should breeding be undesired;