An Exciting Question, and a Look Ahead

By Miyoko Chu, July 13, 2018

After weeks of brainstorming, sorting, and discussing questions, we now have a winning question to investigate, based on more than 100 votes cast. Out of the seven proposed questions, the runaway winner was

Do the hawks use different kinds of calls in different situations at the nest?

We also saw strong interest in other questions as well. Perhaps we can investigate them, too, someday!

The Bird Cams team will now regroup to consider all of your feedback that we received throughout the project, including from the survey link you received by email recently. We’ll also start processing the recorded footage from the hawk cam and creating an activity at where we can review and tag footage to study vocalizations starting this fall.

Your feedback will also help us improve the project for an upcoming feeder cam investigation. We’re interested in seeing if the project can succeed equally well with feeder cams as nest cams.

Finally, we want to give you a huge thanks for your participation. This project is breaking new ground by creating a model enabling viewers and scientists to co-create research investigations. Because there are so many steps involved at each phase, we weren’t sure how well it would all work. Thanks to your participation, we’re excited and encouraged about the potential for success!

Our team here at the Lab reflected on some of our favorite moments and realizations so far:

I really enjoyed learning more about the Red-Tailed Hawks through the observations of those in the community. Working with the community to turn questions into investigations was really rewarding. This community is chock-full of curiosity and passion!

Watching the comments flow in during the live Q&A session was particularly exciting to me, as it really felt like we were exploring a topic in a collaborative environment. I also enjoyed reading the diversity of topics on the Wonder Board that participants were interested in; it’s always great to have fresh sets of eyes and ideas to widen perspectives.

After months of planning and wondering whether this project was too ambitious, it was thrilling to see how you, the participants, brought it all to life. We know we asked a lot of you, from the detailed surveys and email messages to a whole range of activities. We so appreciate your enthusiasm, patience, and insights to help show that amazing things can happen when online communities collaborate!

It was an incredible experience being part of the discussion on the Wonder Board. I was inspired by the way the community came together to share their insights, observations, and ideas about the questions they were interested in exploring deeper with the Bird Cams Lab. I can’t wait to start the next stage of the investigation!

Do you have favorite moments to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. See you in the fall as we delve into the world of hawk vocalizations!