Angry Birds

The autonomous bird collision monitor (fondly named “Angry Birds”) is a simplistic and compact ecological research tool for biologists studying bird strikes against plate glass. This is a critical issue when birds are drawn towards glass reflections, which deceptively capture the natural scenery of its background, leading to a high number of in flight mortality.  The problem is an especially endemic concern as San Diego is located in the path of a major flyway for migratory birds.

(Photo Cred: Kenneth Herdy/FLAP)

The Angry Birds project will not only strive to provide valuable biological footage and data, but it will aid the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research in monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of a new preventive UV film technology (in development) aimed at deterring bird collisions against plate glass.

The camera module uses a Logitech C310 webcam for capturing video footage which is housed in a specially designed 3D printed enclosure fitted to encase its microcontrollers and sensor circuitry into a compact unit

Using a series of piezoelectric sensors mounted onto glass, the monitor will be able to detect vibrations and determine whether a collision has occurred. Once a collision has been detected, the system will then proceed to store data and video footage belonging to that event in order to further avian research by biologists. Our detection system will be a significant technical improvement  for researchers seeking to quantify an accurate number of collisions over conventional retrieve-and-count methods which provide only rough estimates at best.