I was kindly reminded today by Tara to post some of my research so far.
My plan so far, to use a non-contact thermometer to better identify nesting sites, has been primarily based on a paper summarizing the use of thermal cameras to identify nesting sites. Using a Thermographic Imager to Find Nests of Grassland Birds by Edward W. Galligan, George S. Bakken and Steven L. Lima appeared in Wildlife Society Bulletin in Fall, 2003.
This paper, in summary, finds that thermal cameras cannot discern nests from any considerable distance, and found that they were useful in tandem with rope-dragging as a way of confirming nesting sites after potential nests had been previously identified. This is useful for my approach in Iceland, where years of rope-dragging will hopefully mean potential sites have been identified can we can then focus on that data rather than mapping massive swaths of terrain with painstaking detail. My primary ambition is to improve on the technique described in the paper by causing reducing nest disturbances caused by rope dragging.
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