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Assistance for MS project

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Subject: Assistance for MS project
From: Mitch Walters <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:07:06 -0500
Hello all,

My name is Mitch Walters and I am a first-year MS student in Zoology at the University of Florida under the guidance of Dr. Scott Robinson. I have joined this list serve, and am sending this email, because in addition to wanting to be apart of this community and gain knowledge on the subject of bioacoustics, I hope to get some expert assistance/advice on my current MS project.

My project in a nutshell is looking at the effects of urban noise on the acoustic signaling of the Northern Mockingbird (NOMO). My main hypothesis centers around the acoustic adaptation hypothesis, with several predictions on the NOMO's potential song adjustments. Given the NOMO's vast repertoire and ability to alter song, I predict that NOMOs will adjust their frequencies in areas with high urban noise (most likely increasing their minimum frequency). I also predict that songs will be repeated more often and an increase in night singing in areas of high anthropogenic noise. Because the NOMO is a mimic, I also want to see which species NOMOs mimic in urban areas. Can these species also adjust their frequencies to overcome masking? If so, do NOMOs mimic other species songs at their normal frequencies or do the mimic other species' adjusted song, given the low-frequency background noise. I also may look at whether NOMOs perform more "wing flashing" displays in areas of high urban noise (given this acoustic obstruction, perhaps birds rely on more visual cues) 

Given this information, I was hoping I could get some advice on which equipment I should purchase to adequately collect my data. What devices would work best for my project? What models do people recommend? 

This is a new topic for me and my advisor, so I am looking for some outside help in choosing equipment suitable for testing my hypotheses. I would very much appreciate advice about particular models in the following categories: 

- Digital recorder 
- Shotgun microphone
- Digital sound/decibel meter (for recording background noise)
- Digital Light Meter (for measuring artificial lighting at night)

Also, is Raven Pro an adequate software program to use for this MS project? Are there others that would be better for my purpose?

Thank you very much for your time

-- Mitch
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