Thursday, 27 November 2008


Whale oil waxes on about how cool it is that Google data is now so extensive it is being used as a tool to predict flu epidemics.

It is clever but muttonbird harvest also provide us with unique predictions on weather patterns.

You see Titi ( muttonbird) harvests fluctuate . some years they are fat and abundant - and other years skinny and scarce. A birder had a diary that went back 50 years that recorded the harvest and it showed a clear correlation between the arrival of El Nino and El Nina Weather patterns.

This is all I could find on the Net - its from Otago University who have been studying Titi for about 15 years.

Climate-related patterns in titi harvest rates: Birders' diairies have been

analysed for trends in harvest rates and practices. Analysis of a 20-year plus

record of harvest information from a birder's diary led to the very significant

discovery of a strong link between titi harvest rates and ENSO weather

patterns. This statistical analysis was corroborated by birders' traditional

knowledge regarding long-term trends in titi abundance. Other diaries and

data sources are being examined to confirm the large-scale nature of this


Since then the correlation has been corroborated further.

So wee fluffy yummy birdies are just as good as bigger than big google at prediction.

1 comment:

Cactus Kate said...

Leave the birds alone BB