Acoustic Monitoring With Vesper

Vesper is open source software for acoustic monitoring of nocturnal bird migration. Vesper aims to enable a wide range of users, including both bird enthusiasts and professional ornithologists, to collaboratively collect, view, and analyze nocturnal flight calls (NFCs) of migratory birds at a wide range of project scales.

Vesper has been used for several years by individuals and teams to operate acoustic monitoring networks ranging in size from a single recording station to more than 50 stations. In the latter case, a team of researchers at MPG Ranch used Vesper to collect and analyze several tens of thousands of hours of audio during each of two consecutive fall migration seasons. We intend that Vesper will eventually be able to support much larger projects, involving networks comprising hundreds or even thousands of monitoring stations operated by large teams of people. Even as the size of projects that Vesper can support grows, however, we will continue to improve its utility for smaller projects, including single-station ones.

Vesper is still very much a work in progress, and as such is not yet as full-featured and easy to use as it will be eventually. Nevertheless, experience has proved its utility for a range of users, and so we provide this documentation to help additional users adopt Vesper for their own monitoring efforts. We hope that Vesper will prove valuable to you, and welcome feedback that will help us improve it.

This documentation currently comprises installation instructions and a beginner’s tutorial. Additional documentation is under development.