Applications of thermal imaging in avian science

McCafferty, D.J. (2013) Applications of thermal imaging in avian science. IBIS, 155(1), pp. 4-15. (doi: 10.1111/ibi.12010)

73507d.pdf - Published Version


Publisher's URL:


Thermal imaging, or infrared thermography, has been used in avian science since the 1960s. More than 30 species of birds, ranging in size from passerines to ratites, have been studied using this technology. The main strength of this technique is that it is a non-invasive and non-contact method of measuring surface temperature. Its limitations and measurement errors are well understood and suitable protocols have been developed for a variety of experimental settings. Thermal imaging has been used most successfully for research on the thermal physiology of captive species, including poultry. In comparison with work on mammals, thermal imaging has been less used for population counts, other than for some large bird species. However, more recently it has shown greater success for detection of flight paths and migration. The increasing availability and reduced cost of thermal imaging systems is likely to lead to further application of this technology in studies of avian welfare, disease monitoring, energetics, behaviour and population monitoring.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCafferty, Dr Dominic
Authors: McCafferty, D.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:IBIS
Publisher:Wiley, for the British Ornithologists' Union
ISSN (Online):1474-919X
Published Online:06 December 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The British Ornithologists' Union
First Published:First published in Ibis 155(1):4-15
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record