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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

YouTube videos on habitats, Peru, IBWO, 4K, etc. (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
As discussed below, I have updated three bird related video playlists on YouTube. Some of the videos were posted previously in 1080p, but they have now been upgraded to 4K. I wasn't aware until recently that the difference between 1080p and 4K on YouTube is more than just the number of pixels. Videos that are uploaded in 4K are re-encoded using VP9, which is much better than the AVC encoder that is applied to 1080p uploads. There can be substantial differences for videos that show vegetation and motion, which often turn out blurry in 1080p but appear sharp in 4K.

I would like to share some information (learned the hard way) that might be useful to others who are interested in posting and viewing 4K videos. First of all, there is misleading information out there. Someone reported that videos must be uploaded in mp4 format rather than mov format in order to qualify for VP9 encoding. For my videos, this would have meant spending many hours converting from mov to mp4. Fortunately, I discovered (by trial and error) that at least some mov files (such as those captured by DJI Phantom drones) qualify for VP9 encoding.

Another possible source of confusion is that some combinations of browers and operating systems don't support 4K videos. I made several attempts to upload 4K videos, but I didn't see the 4K option when viewing with Safari on my computer. All that I could see was a blurry 1080p version that was encoded with AVC. While trying to sort this out, I uploaded one of the videos in mp4, but it still didn't seem to work. By chance, I happened to view one of the attempts with Chrome, and there was the 4K option in the little wheel at the bottom. When viewing a video on YouTube, you can check the encoding by right clicking on the picture and selecting "Stats for nerds." The codec will begin with avc or vp09.

Mike Collins
Alexandria, Virginia, USA


Manu Park in Peru (2019): On this trip, I took (1) a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone to obtain video footage of cloud forest and jungle habitats from above, (2) a Sony PCM-D100 to obtain audio recordings, and (3) a Sony FDR-AX53 video camera to obtain 4K footage of birds and other wildlife. I spent much of the trip at Amazonia Lodge, which I had visited briefly on a previous trip and would highly recommend. Some of the videos show Amazonia and the surrounding habitats. I placed the audio recorder in locations far from human disturbances and used this high-quality device to obtain recordings with lots of avian sounds, including the multiple knocks of a Campephilus woodpecker.

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Habitat from a Drone: Most of these videos are from sites in the Pearl River swamp in Louisiana and the Choctawhatchee River swamp in Florida, where Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were observed between 2005 and 2008. Some of them were obtained in other swamp forests that have similar habitats.

Conservation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker: If you're interested in learning about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the lectures in this playlist (and in papers that may be accessed at fishcrow.com) contain more information about the flights and double knocks of this fascinating bird than any other source. James Tanner was given the opportunity to study Ivory-billed Woodpeckers at the last known nest sites, but his descriptions lack details, and I'm sure that he didn't understand the mechanics of double knocks. As discussed in the lectures and in this paper, there is a great deal of nonsense about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker out there. The information that I have laid out is based on ten sightings, videos that were obtained during three of the encounters, and analysis of the flights and other behaviors that appear in the videos in terms of comparisons with historical accounts, flight mechanics models, and the flights and behaviors of other Campephilus woodpeckers.


I used to live in Peru. There used to be a Harpy’s nest downriver from Boca Manu near Blanquillo. Worth seeing if you visit the area again. Impressive birds. Thanks for the tech advice on uploads.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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