Battling Birds: Panama Edition Launches

December 8, 2020
An illustration of a Rufous Motmot battling a Chestnut-headed Oropendola.

Join the Bird Cams Lab community in the newest investigation, Battling Birds: Panama Edition. Just like the first Battling Birds investigation, we want to learn more about what birds are doing at a feeder. However, this time we’ll virtually be in Panama, watching the Panama Fruit Feeder cam!

As we designed Panama Live, the last investigation on the Panama Fruit Feeder cam, viewers wondered about the aggression they saw between different bird species on the feeder. Turns out, Cornell Lab of Ornithology researcher, Dr. Eliot Miller, is interested in the same thing! He has previously studied aggressive interactions between North American species at feeders, finding that species can be ranked in what is known as a social “dominance hierarchy.” A dominance hierarchy is the pecking order in which different species, or individuals, are ranked based on how they win or lose to others when accessing resources like food. With his help we can see what the dominance hierarchy looks like for the species on the Panama Fruit Feeder cam. Seventy species visit the cam–who’s on top? 

Start brainstorming with Dr. Miller and other cam viewers in the first part of the investigation on the Wonder Board. There you can share your thoughts, suggestions, and questions as we figure out how to piece together the dominance hierarchy for the Panama Fruit Feeder cam. Even if you don’t have anything to post yourself, see what others are posting!

Head over to the Wonder Board.