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About

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What is ParaChirp?

  • ParaChirp is an acoustic mirror designed by Mark Adams for citizen scientists to gain greater interaction with and understanding of birds using domestic and affordable universal technology that they already own.

  • PC gathers and reflects birdsong sounds towards the 'device' microphone -typically a smartphone or inexpensive  lavaliere (tie clip) microphone. This amplifies the sound and reduces background noise. The recordings made can be processed for scientific use or for creative activities that we offer at T&S.

  • Audio and Video recordings can be made, edited and shared in the field because unlike many specialist recording devices smartphones come equipped with a huge range of technical capability and connectivity. 

  • PC is tested and proven in the most arduous of environments of Africa.

  • Key to its success is its DIY assembly and maintenance which unlike many high end products can be repaired very easily and parts replaced. It is commonly known among scientists that professional equipment can be vulnerable to theft or confiscation. 

  • Laser cutting from sheet material is a rapid and inexpensive production method for low volume high accuracy products. In this way suitably equipped educational establishments may choose to produce their own devices under licence.

  • The name comes from 'parabolic'  which is the scientific name for the shape of the reflector surface and 'chirp' which is the noise all birds make  . . . or so we thought . . .!

Disclaimer

ParaChirp is not designed or intended for surveillance

​Two Options:

  • P22 can be dismantled quickly for travel/portability.

  • P24 assembled more permanently for extra robustness.

  • Bith versions can be disassembled and reassembled.

Potted History

  • The original device was conceived by Mark Adams in 2013 to facilitate a Project for young adults with verbal barriers to learning to access birdsong for creativity and therapeutic purposes.

  • It has always been a laser cut kit for students to assemble to make recordings of birdsong on a tight budget.

  • Planet Birdsong team have assisted considerably in testing ParaChirp in RWANDA. We are now on version 24 which accommodates a wide range of smartphones and user friendly features.

  • Most recently ParaChirp is planned to be used by Planet Birdsong in collaboration with the University of Rwanda to equip wildlife tour guides with cost effective resilient means to make quality recordings of birds in the field.

  • We are promoting UK sales to facilitate Citizen Science and a engender a general awareness of birdlife.

  • We exhibited ParaChirp in Planet Birdsong stand at the Global Bird fair 2022

Using P22BB (Barebones) assembled kit with your phone.

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WATCH THIS!! The latest Planet Birdsong publication of their work in RWANDA with ParaChirp as central to citizen scientists using smartphones to capture, edit and share recordings of rare birds.

Still from the first visit Hillary made to train the first group of guides in the use of ParaChirp and recording processing for sharing with EBird.

This extended video explains the assembly of ParaChirp. Note it's an older design in plywood but the principle is the same. Fettling the parts to ensure a secure fitment. NB P22 requires the ribs to slide easily out of the handle so more fettling is required.

P24 5 minute step by step assembly instructions of P22 and P24 with background sounds of Para Chirp recordings. Pause the video to read the texts.

Camouflage ideas

An outing at Titchmarsh Fen with three ParaChirps

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Aniya shows how P20 (P22) is quick to assemble and disassemble. Ideal for space saving and travel.

Recordings

What do we do with our recordings?

  • Use live with a bird recognition app to increase accuracy of identification

  • Record with free app on the phone to share with 'E-Bird' 

  • Use with apps on the device to edit and process sounds for creativity (Garage Band, Thumb Jam, Voice Jam etc)

  • Export to your PC apps such as  Audacity, OcenAudio or Raven to visualise the birdsong as a graphic.

  • The higher pitch sounds are higher up the scale and the louder they are they change more yellow from blue which are the quietest sounds. These can be used for creative purposes or for analysing the birdsong.

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