Estimating Seabird Flight Height Using LiDAR

Data Type: 
Marine Scotland Data Portal

Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 9 no 14
Accurately estimating the proportion of birds at collision risk height forms a key part of assessing potential collision risk at offshore wind farms. Recent advances in LiDAR and digital aerial imaging offer the potential to collect precise estimates of the altitude of birds in flight. We trialled LiDAR and digital aerial photography as an approach to measuring the flight heights of seabirds in the Outer Forth and Tay Estuaries and carried out an exercise to validate measurements of flight height gained from LiDAR. The validation exercise demonstrated that the height of birds in flight could be measured using LiDAR to an accuracy of within 1 m. This compares very favourably to other approaches used for measure seabird flight height. Associated data are presented for download.