Live From Bird Cams Lab: Understanding Food Fights
April 16, 2021
[Title Slide: First line of text reads The Cornell Lab of Ornithology with a illustration of a Yellow-bellied Sap-sucker next to it. Text below is the title that reads, “Understanding Food Fights: A Live Conversation About Tropical Birds Visiting The Panama Fruit Feeder.” The text below that reads, “Bird Cams Lab | Panama Fruit Feeder Cam. At the
very bottom of the screen is the National Science Foundation Logo with disclaimer text that reads, “This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant 1713225. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.]
[There is a screenshot of a Rufous Motmot, a large bird with an orange head and belly, black cheeks and beak, green wings, and blue tail, standing on a feeding table surrounded by oranges and bananas. The backdrop is large green leaves. Over the screenshot is the title of the webinar “Understanding Food Fights: A Live Conversation About Tropical Birds Visiting the Panama Fruit Feeders.” The speaker is in the top right-hand corner. There is a banner on the bottom of the screen with the National Science Foundation logo, Cornell Lab of Ornithology logo, and the Bird Cams logo that includes illustrations of different bird species. ]
Rachael Mady (she/her): I want to officially welcome you all to our webinar Today everyone that’s tuning in live and everyone that’s going to be watching this in the archive of work recording, thank you for joining us.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Today is understanding food fights a live conversation about tropical birds visiting the panorama fruit feeders and we are really excited to have you here today, my name is Rachel Mady.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And many of you have probably interacted with me online or via email, and I have been in the past month or so the project leader for bird cams lab.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Before that I started with the project back in 2018 now as the graduate student research assistant, and I am so happy to still be here with you all today thinking about the birds thinking about the science, that we could do together.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And it should be a great hour I will be kind of running things in terms of moving along through the different.
Rachael Mady (she/her): things we want to hit in terms of the birth in terms of the cool findings, we found out and I’ll be answering some of your questions and with that i’ll turn it over to Elliot to introduce himself.
Eliot Miller: Hey everybody I’m Elliot Miller, I am the collections development manager at the Macaulay Library and.
Eliot Miller: I’m excited to talk about some some verifies for the out today.
Charles Eldermire: I guess I’ll go next comes up in my name is Charles and the project leader for Bird Cams. I’ve been leading the project, since it start back in 2012.
Charles Eldermire: And I’m here today, just in case there any questions you have about the bird cams or anything specific to the spot in Panama I’ve actually been where this camera was and set it up so looking forward to talking with you all and hearing what you asked about.
Benjamin Walters: And Hello everybody, my name is Ben Walters, I’m the communication specialist for the Bird Cams Program.
Benjamin Walters: I’ve been working with the cams, since 2016 and today I’m excited to help shuttle all of your amazing questions to Rachel, Eliot, and Charles and just helping out if you have any technical.
Benjamin Walters: Issues or, if you have any questions that you want to ask just make sure to post them in the Q amp a section like Rachael said, thank you.
Rachael Mady (she/her): All right, Thank you everyone for introducing yourselves.
Rachael Mady (she/her): both us and you all in the chat it’s great to hear from you all and to see that we’ve chatted before or where you’ve interacted with us and from where you’re tuning in from.
Rachael Mady (she/her): With it go ahead and share my screen again there’s going to be a bit of back and forth with that between us talking and looking at a shared screen so bear with me one moment.
[Text: The title is in yellow and reads “Roadmap.” There is an icon of a map with a point on it below the title. To the right of the icon is a numbered list 1 to 4 with the following items: Overview of Bird Cams Lab, Battling Birds: Panama Edition, New Insights, and Discussion. ]
[Speaker’s video is in the upper right-hand corner]
Rachael Mady (she/her): Alright so, to give us a roadmap for the next hour, I want to just lay out what points we’re going to hit. so first off we’re going to talk about Bird Cams Lab so many of you here today are probably familiar.
Rachael Mady (she/her): But to get us all on the same page, I want to just give a brief overview of what it is and then we’ll talk about Battling Birds: Panama Edition.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Which is an investigation we’ve been doing with the birds on the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam so we’ll highlight some clips from the cam that we.
Rachael Mady (she/her): found really interesting and that relate to the investigation and we’ll talk about what we’ve been up to and what data we’ve collected.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And then we’ll move into talking about some new insights we’ve gotten that have been pretty exciting some even we haven’t shared with you all quite yet or as broadly it will.
Rachael Mady (she/her): We just got that out this morning, so we’re really excited.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And then open it up for discussion and have very much a space for some question answer and for sharing your thoughts and questions.
Rachael Mady (she/her): But know that even though we’ve had this a lot of time for discussion, please feel free to go into the chat or go into the Q & A.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And to ask those questions and share those thoughts throughout the whole entire webinar so if we’re talking about something in the Battling Birds section, please ask a question, so that we can make sure that.
Rachael Mady (she/her): we’re all having a good time here it’s not just us talking at you, because that’s not what we want.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Alright, so now that we know where we are going.
[The main screen changes to show a screenshot of the Bird Cams Lab website with the Cornell Lab logo at the top and the name of the website, Bird Cams Lab right below that. The next line down is a header with the different investigation names and a link to sign up. The middle of the screen shows a red-tailed hawk flying against a blurry gray background. The Words “Welcome to Bird Cams Lab” are overlaid on the image of the hawk flying.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): Bird Cams Lab. So we here at the corner lab of ornithology have created the space, and this is a screenshot of what the website looks like if you go there and visit it today.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And this is a space we created after seeing people watch the cams.
Rachael Mady (she/her): come up with their own questions collect data to answer it we wanted to give them a space to work with scientists to continue to do that, and so we created Bird Cams Lab where people like you listening today.
Rachael Mady (she/her): and others can work with scientists to answer questions they’re really interested in.
Rachael Mady (she/her): and be a part of the scientific process, from start to finish, or in any part that interest them so something that’s really cool about Bird Cams Lab is.
[Screen changes such that the website screenshot is grayed out and over it appears five blue boxes each with a word in it going from left to right: Observe, Question, Collect, Analyze, Share.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): That everyone gets the opportunity to jump in or out of the scientific process based on their interest or time or anything like that so from watching the cams, to choosing the question, to collecting the data, analyzing and exploring that data, and sharing it back out.
Rachael Mady (she/her): it’s it’s really fun and it’s something that we don’t always get the chance to do with people that aren’t professional scientists and involve them in all parts of the project if they’re interested in.
[A yellow circle highlights the investigation title in the heading on the website screenshot “Battling Birds: Panama Edition.” ]
Rachael Mady (she/her): And right now we’re going to talk about Battling Birds today that’s one of our current investigations and we are in the analyze and explore phase of that investigation so.
[The edges of the blue box with the word “Analyze” in it is highlighted yellow.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): We collected the data and now we’re looking at that data and seeing what it can tell us about some of our favorite birds.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And, knowing that we’re in this phase and not quite sure how involved everyone out there has been, I want to share a quick poll.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And that should come up on your screens and it’s asking the see how involved you been in this investigation battling birds up until today.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And you could have not participated at all, which is completely fine or you could have been a part of watching the cam or in that question, asking phase, or maybe you were one of the data collectors.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And it looks like people are chiming in right now we have about half of the votes in.
Rachael Mady (she/her): i’ll give it a couple more seconds you guys are quick voting.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And panelists you can also vote and what party that you participated in just so you know. Okay.
Rachael Mady (she/her): i’m going to go ahead and stop the vote no worries if you didn’t get a chance to vote that’s okay we’re just trying to get a picture of where you all are at in terms of your involvement today i’m going to share the results.
[Overlaying the previous visual is a poll. At the top it reads, “1. Have you participated in the investigation? If so, which phases? (Select one or multiple phases) (Multiple Choice).” Then for each option there is a bar that is filled from left to right corresponding to the percentage of people who answered. The first bar is red and the rest are blue. The first option is “Observe – Watch the Panama Fruit Feeders cam” with 49/80, 60%; the second option is “Question – Suggest or vote on a question for investigation” with 16/80, 20%; the third option is “Explore – View, discus, or explore graph and data with 10/80, 13%; the last option is I did not participate in investigation with 37/80, 24%.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): It looks like we have people across the board, which is happened in similar webinars where we have the majority of you 61% have been watching the cam which is great it’s a great can.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And about 20% were with us at that question, asking phase, and then it went back up to 35% of you are at collection, some of you have explored the data with us, which is really exciting.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And many of you have not participated, and we welcome you as well, and so.
Rachael Mady (she/her): I’ll take a moment just noting that there are so many people here today who haven’t been apart that’s one of the really great things about Bird Cams Lab is.
Rachael Mady (she/her): One of the tenants is that people can come in and be a part of the investigation at any stage, based on their interests and their curiosity about things that are going on.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And no prior experience or knowledge is needed so that’s we build supports and resources for you so that you can be a part of this with us, which is really fun.
Rachael Mady (she/her): For example, there was someone that posted in the registration ahead of time that they wanted to know a resource for how to ID the birds, so a lot of birds on this may not be as familiar.
[Screen changes to show a screenshot of the Panama Fruit feeder cam. Small text at the top reads “Cornell Lab | Panama Fruit Feeder Cam at Canopy Lodge 2021-04-15 11:55:32. On the feeding table is some rice, banana, and other citrus fruit. On the left-hand side of the table is a medium-sized bird with long pink legs, brown body, blue-gray neck, large yellow-green beak, and a red eye. The backdrop are a lot of big, green leaves among some thin trees and vines. On the right-hand side is a hanging nectar feeder (red, half filled, with several feeding ports).
Rachael Mady (she/her): like this bird right here, and we have put together resources so that you can get familiar with these birds and feel like you have something.
Rachael Mady (she/her): i’m in terms of knowledge to help us so there’s a great resource that ben’s going to put in the chat that actually walks you through some of the birds on this camp so identify.
Rachael Mady (she/her): If you are interested in learning a little bit more after today’s webinar, this is a Great-cowled Wood-Rail, which is one which is a great bird and it’s very fun to watch and we don’t see it um.
Rachael Mady (she/her): I don’t see birds like this at my feet are my backyard so it’s a pretty fun bird to see on the cam.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Okay, so Bird Cams Lab, Battling Birds, let me get a little bit more into the meat of what Battling Birds is about.
[The top half of the screen changes to have a dark-gray background. There is a square logo on the left with the words “Battling Birds” two birds fighting, one a Rufous Motmot and the other a Chestnut- headed Oropendola. The text next to it reads, “Main goal: Understand social dominance.”]
Rachael Mady (she/her): So battling birds, as the name suggests, and as the name of this webinar suggests we’re interested in the fights between birds going on at the feeder and.
Rachael Mady (she/her): we’ve been interested in this as scientists for a while and the people watching this cam when we were working with the community back last year in a investigation called Panama Live.
Rachael Mady (she/her): People started being really interested in understanding what’s going on with the aggression that we’re seeing between birds on the cam.
Rachael Mady (she/her): What is like who’s doing that who’s winning who’s losing, how is that playing out in terms of accessing the food, and so we worked with the Community in this investigation, Battling Birds Panama Edition.
Rachael Mady (she/her): to actually do that and understand the fights between birds and known as something a social dominance so social dominance relationships between birds can come out in the fights that go on and thinking about who is fighting who and how they’re winning and losing and before we get into.
Rachael Mady (she/her): How we are going to achieve that main goal of understanding the social dominance relationships, I want to turn it over to Ben.
Rachael Mady (she/her): to share and really dramatic interaction that kind of went past this level of aggression to a predation event and it’s something that we saw on the cam that was like one of those like birds are aggressive, we want to understand what’s going on.
[Video: Screen changes to show a video in which the Gray-cowled Wood-rail is foraging beside a Bananaquit on the feeder. A Bananaquit is a small yellow, black, gray and white bird. The Gray-cowled Wood-rail moves closer to the Bananaquit and then picks up the Bananaquit with its beak and walks off-screen.]
[Sound: background noise at the feeder obirds in the distance and some static.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): So you see you’re going to see here a Great-cowled Wood-Rail predate a Bananaquit that’s over here on the right hand side.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And it’s something that is rare to see in nature, is a Co production event like this.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And we went to the we went to the literature when that happened and we wonder, it has this happened before and.
Rachael Mady (she/her): What do we know about it, we know with the Great-cowled Wood=-rail that they do eat a lot of different things, but I bet in Charles correct me if i’m wrong I don’t think this has been something that’s considered normal or frequent whatsoever.
Charles Eldermire: yeah you know the um the rails are.
Charles Eldermire: One of these species that are incredible in terms of the diversity of things that they’re they’re actually capable of eating it’s kind of like people.
Charles Eldermire: it’s kind of like a great blue heron, even if, when you think about herons eating fish they can also wander out in the fields and.
Charles Eldermire: And grab you know ground squirrels and gophers and things and with most birds if.
Charles Eldermire: If they’re fairly omnivorous, the only thing that limits what they’re going to put in their mouth is how big their mouth is.
Charles Eldermire: And I do want to be clear, like that clip is cool and we don’t know if the banana quick got away once it got taken off screen, but you know that said they’re very opposite opportunistic predator.
Charles Eldermire: And, and what you saw was that bird you can actually see it sit there for a moment and notice that the the bananaquit’s head is like down inside of a fruit.
Charles Eldermire: is like well let’s even grab it, you know and that’s exactly what it did so there’s still Bananaquits coming to the feeder so it’s possible that bird got away, but just that level of interaction is.
Charles Eldermire: A rarely seen thing because anytime you interact with something else you might get hurt, even if you’re the bigger, stronger bird and that’s what makes these questions of why birds interact and how they interact that’s one of the things that makes them really interesting. So yeah.
Benjamin Walters: Yeah and it’s never it’s this isn’t something we is the first time i’ve seen something like this actually on the Fruit Feeder cam, so it was a really.
Benjamin Walters: unique thing to witness on the live stream so that made it super cool. We do see birds, you know they’ll pluck off the threshold pluck off butterflies and other things like that that are that can be sort of like unexpected while you’re watching.
Benjamin Walters: And then another feeder camps we’ve had larger birds actually pluck smaller species away from the feeder is sort of like a displacement more than an actual predation attempt, so you never know what you’re going to get with these 24 live streams 24 hour live streams.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Well, said Ben and Charles that’s so so fun so interesting and yeah hopefully the benefit quick getaway but who knows um with that I will also.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Get back into kind of that was what we were watching on the cam kind of his inspiration for this and we wanted to understand that aggression between species that sometimes even.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Maybe will lead to predation but more often or not like Ben said it’s more like a bird is pushing another bird out of the way or like removing it from the food, so it can get it. So Dr. Elliot Miller, I just wanted to ask about.
Rachael Mady (she/her): What we were doing in this investigation and why we came to you, of all people as helping us figure out what was going on.
Eliot Miller: yeah um.
Eliot Miller: So displacement and aggression at feeders and away from feeders is something that’s interested me for a really long time.
Eliot Miller: I’m particularly interested in how it might shape which species occur where. so some some birds have a real tendency to.
Eliot Miller: To be aggressive in general, and then in general there’s this tendency for say seed-eating birds to fight with other seed-eating birds and fruit eating birds to fight without a fruit-eating birds. it’s presumably has something to do with their shared ecology, where they really don’t like.
Eliot Miller: neighbors that that do similar things to them, they want the resources to themselves that that they prefer to use.
Eliot Miller: But all that stuff isn’t really well mapped out across you know large assemblages of birds lots of different species it’s sort of the relationships there.
Eliot Miller: How they might have evolved how they might shape distributions isn’t really well known, even in North America. and then in a place like Panama it’s essentially totally unknown so that’s where I come from, I guess, on this one.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Yeah and what the way that we were going to get at.
Rachael Mady (she/her): The way that we did get at because that’s what we’re talking about today in understanding those like social this social relationships was this concept of dominance hierarchy.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And then that term displacement, so I was wondering, could you just say what a displacement is for some people that weren’t part of it, and then what’s the dominance hierarchy and why is it interesting or important.
Eliot Miller: yeah so.
Eliot Miller: um displacement.
Eliot Miller: Is when one bird chases another one off and.
Eliot Miller: They can be pretty subtle sometimes.
Eliot Miller: But we tried in this study and I think it’s good practice in general to make it pretty obv-like to make the definition of what a displacement was very clear where it had to be obvious that.
Eliot Miller: The source bird was really having a go at the target bird and really intended to displace. It wasn’t an accidental thing.
Eliot Miller: And that can really help clear up sort of Gray areas by sort of sticking a such a strict definition.
Eliot Miller: Anyhow, the general gist is one bird chases the other one off. Subtle cases might be like one bird just kind of looks.
Eliot Miller: Cross at a different one and the other one knows that you’re proud again moving, but we kind of discouraged folks from recording those events, just because it leaves room for interpretation.
Eliot Miller: And then the second part of your question is, you can then take those displacements and basically put them in a big table where you’ve got one column of the aggressive bird and one column of not aggressive bird.
Eliot Miller: And of course species can go back and forth, but you were talking about pairwise interactions here just one bird displaced another and so you’ve got this.
Eliot Miller: Big old data frame, of database of these sort of interactions and you can use that to come up with a dominance hierarchy by any of a variety of methods and what you’re doing is basically creating a pecking order right where you use that database to.
Eliot Miller: come up with this pecking order who’s on top, who’s next, who’s next, who’s next, who’s next, and you create this linear dominance hierarchy of most dominant to most subordinate in that way.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Great and just so minutes, a lot of people, help us collect data and the explanation of the displace that makes a lot of set, but then I was wondering if you could share again.
Rachael Mady (she/her): We strung together some clips that people actually who collected data identified as displacements and we thought we would share them all, with you today because there’s some of our favorite birds and they’re really great examples.
[Speaker’s video moves to the top-right hand corner. A video plays in which multiple displacements happen in which one bird moves towards another and the other bird moves away. these all happen on the Panama Fruit Feeder cam on a feeding table filled with rice and fruit.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): So you just saw a displacement with a clay color thrush was the initiator.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And then, this is a second clip they happen pretty quickly, that was a Crimson-backed Tanager displacing a Green Honey creeper.
Rachael Mady (she/her): This is another clip. You may think that the video has paused but that’s just because.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Rufous motmot, which is this bird in the middle, is very good at being still, as well as as Clay-colored Thrush at the bottom is pretty still too. Which is a light morph of a Clay-colored Thrush if you’re familiar with the cams is much lighter than a lot of the other Clay-colored thrushes.
Charles Eldermire: This is like a classic standoff right there.
Charles Eldermire: between all three of those birds that’s that’s a pretty fun one.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And this one is a Great-cowled Wood-rail and a Gray-headed Chachalaca.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And you see he did exactly like push him off or get super close, but enough movement caused the other bird to leave.
Rachael Mady (she/her): So those are some of the highlights from data collection that are pretty great examples of displacement was just like.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Eliot was saying, there were a lot of instances that weren’t quite as clear and led to some interesting discussions on the Talk Boards that we had going, while we were collecting data.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And so I’ll get back into it to get us to the new insights that we’ve learned about these birds, but just want to recap that we were, our aim is to create a dominance hierarchy to understand the social dominance.
[Visual: Slide with dark gray background with the title “Data Collection.” On the left is a computer screen and a GIF is playing in which a flame-rumped tanager displaces a crimson-backed tanager. On the right-hand side is the title “Displacements” and underneath a numbered list with four lines: Size, Number of birds, Type of food, Type of displacement.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): and actually another piece of information, even though our main piece of information was collecting when displacements happened, who was initiating, who was the target and was it successful because they’re not always successful.
Rachael Mady (she/her): We also documented and looked at other factors so.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Elliot pulled the size of each bird because we were really interested in that, as well as well as the number of birds that were present the types of food, and the type of displacement during that clip.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And that those are identified by people helping us in that question, asking phase and trying to understand what’s going on and just for this first one size.
Rachael Mady (she/her): invite anyone that’s here today with us to.
Rachael Mady (she/her): kind of do something that we did the question asking phase, but to kind of bring to light before we share some of the data is why would size be important. What what are your thoughts on that anyone tuning in today before we share our thoughts on the researcher side of things.
Rachael Mady (she/her): You can go ahead and type in the chat there if you have any ideas, why would size be important, what would you expect in terms of who dispalces who and maybe how successful they are.
Rachael Mady (she/her): It looks like someone, Rakan has chimed in maybe bigger birds are more intimidating.
Rachael Mady (she/her): that’s a good idea yeah definitely have a bigger size and a bigger presence.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Sometimes we see birds like putting their wings out to make themselves look bigger in some species.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Jackie says size might help them be more powerful or dangerous.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Wendy says bigger birds are heavier and can be successful.
Rachael Mady (she/her): You would expect the larger Ellen says you expect the larger birds always succeed but that’s not always true.
Rachael Mady (she/her): mm hmm big size yeah a lot of them are bigger birds like that great-cowled wood-rail has a pretty large beak in comparison to some of the smaller birds, so it can do, maybe more with its fight.
Rachael Mady (she/her): have more power yeah you can just do more as a bigger bird physical power, yes, so the bigger the bird it sounds like a lot of people are thinking bigger the bird.
Rachael Mady (she/her): you’re probably going to be the one that’s able to successfully displace another bird and that is something we looked at and I won’t say what we found quite yet some of you might already know.
Rachael Mady (she/her): But in terms of what data, we had to work with just to get us all on the same page we had over 1,300 people help us collect data.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And we had over 135,000 observations which was really, really exciting, so we had a lot of data to work with in terms of.
Rachael Mady (she/her): The number of displacements that we were able to locate because those placements, we found weren’t really comment about 10% of clips had displacements.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And we did I forgot to mention, we took video and we clipped into short clips so it was we had manageable chunks to look at on the platform Zooniverse that we collected the data on and so i’ll just start getting into it, in terms of what the data could tell us by stopping my screen again.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And we’ll start to get into what we actually learned about the birds and the first one is an interactive visualization we made and we already had some people share their thoughts with us online. Okay.
Rachael Mady (she/her): So everyone should see.
[Shared screen: A visualization with the title “who’s initiating conflict?” above a bar chart with blue and orange bars. The number of displacements is on the vertical axis from 0 to 1200 and the species names are along the horizontal axis. On the righthand side there is a “Choose What to Display” and below check-marked boxes next to species’ names.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): So we had all these birds on the Panama fruit feeder and their names are listed here along the horizontal axis.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And the number of displacements that each of these species initiated is on the vertical axis, you can see.
Rachael Mady (she/her): That and what in many of the videos we showed you the clay Clark thrash was part of a displacement and they are some of our most.
Rachael Mady (she/her): aggressive birds on the theater one participant refer to the clay color thrash and a thick build your phone is our most quarrelsome birds, and I would agree.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And the more the more displacements, you have the better information you have about how they relate to each other, so if I turn off the Clay-colored Thrush..
[Mouse hovers over check-boxed next to Clay-colored Thrush and Thick-billed Euphonia, clicks them, and turns them off. The graph changes to adjust to the numbers of the other species, so the vertical axis change to be from 0 to 60.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): You can see other species did still have a lot of displacements, but the Thick-billed and the Clay-colored Thrush are the two top contenders in terms of how frequently they interacted with other birds.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And because we have Dr. Miller here with us today, I want to focus in on the dominant scores that he was able to calculate and so.
[Visualizations changes to show a scatterplot with different colored points and a legend on the right where each species is a different color. The points are also different sizes with some larger and others smaller. Mass in grams is on the horizontal axis from 0 to 600 and the dominance score, from -50 to 70 is on the vertical axis.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): This is one visualization we’ve been able to put together, which is really exciting and took into account the size.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And plotted those out which you all were talking about on in the chat where the size is on the horizontal axis and then the dominant scores on the vertical axis and we’ve listed out the species here.
Rachael Mady (she/her): In their order so at the top, is the Great-cowled Wood-Rail or Gray-headed Chachalaca at the top of our dominance hierarchy at the bottom is the Prothonotary Warbler and each point color.
Rachael Mady (she/her): is referring to the point that’s on here and the size of the point refers to how many displacement so as I just showed Caly-colored Thrush is a big point.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Because we have a lot of interactions and this point with the Gray-headed chachalaca is smaller, because we have less interactions.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And Elliot just for orienting us I I know about the dominant scores because i’ve spent a lot of time with this graph but just for everyone tuning in today, what do, what are the, what are the scores telling us how did you get these.
Eliot Miller: Yes, so I used a.
Eliot Miller: method or a measure called Bradley Terry. They’re Bradley Terry models and and those scores are basically coefficients from the model where you’re.
Eliot Miller: you’re basically modeling the the probability that one species would win against another in a fight and you do this for all the different pairs.
Eliot Miller: And, and you can kind of just take a bunch of averages and it’s a way it’s designed for like say um.
Eliot Miller: Like the example I saw on Wikipedia when I first learned about it actually it’s it’s designed for like a situation where you’ve got.
Eliot Miller: You know 100 kinds of wine and and no one person is going to try, all of them at once, hopefully, and so you might pair wanted to.
Eliot Miller: Or you know, two or three against each other, and you get these pairwise comparisons and in that way you can.
Eliot Miller: actually create a hierarchy of the best wine to the worst, wine and so it’s similar where we don’t have.
Eliot Miller: You know, we don’t have say, probably Prothonotary warbler fighting with with the wood-rail we don’t have that observation in the data set, but we do have the Chachalaca with the wood-rail the motmot with the.
Eliot Miller: thrush and so so like you said Rachael the more observations you have for any given species, the better, you can do estimating its position in the hierarchy, but.
Eliot Miller: In the absence of knowing every interaction of an approach, like the Bradley Terry it’s still lets you make a guess at where everyone sits.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Thank you for that yeah that’s great to know and actually.
Rachael Mady (she/her): You you kind of perfectly segued into the one more visualization I want to show before we get into a little bit more back and forth, but I do want to before I leave this graph show that people’s.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Predictions in the chat about the larger one being more dominant does bear out for the most part, and we can dig into a little bit later about how there might be deviations from that, but the bigger species.
Rachael Mady (she/her): are at the top of the hierarchy and the smaller species down here are at the lower end of the hierarchy, so size those seem to matter.
Rachael Mady (she/her): But in terms of the numbers of interactions we did create a visualization hot off the press this morning.
[New visualization appears on the screen. There are 113 bird photos cropped to be circles with gray arrows pointing from one bird photo to another. To the right is a box in which the text reads “Common Name Hover on or tap a node to see more.” As the mouse hovers over bird photos the information in the box is populated with each bird’s fight score, size, and the number of species it loses and wins against. Also, when you hover over a bird photo the arrows connecting it to other photos turn blue if the bird wins against that species or red if it loses against that species. Soem arrows show up as dashed and blue and red because the two species have won and lost against each other.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): Where we can actually look at the interactions and see how that plays out so, for instance.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Gray-headed Chachalaca is at the top, we can see that that position, which is the fight score on the right hand side 67.5.
Rachael Mady (she/her): um it did interact with these birds, but not the other birds and then, when it interacted with the Great-cowled Wood-Rail.
Rachael Mady (she/her): There was a time at loss so even though five times at one in terms of it displace the wood-rail there was one time, where the Wood-Rail displace the Gray-headed Chachalaca.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And you can look at other birds, where we only have one displacement to go off of which may be can speak to do we need to collect more data.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Maybe this is actually representative of what’s happening, and then you have the clay-colored thrush.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Which is interacting with almost every other bird on this chart and so you can kind of get a sense of how strong or confident we are in certain relationships versus others, and this is definitely a fun one to see the behind the scenes of the dominant score and how things came to be.
Charles Eldermire: I think one one other thing about this figure that maybe Elliot you might want to touch on.
Charles Eldermire: Is when we talk about dominance hierarchies.
Charles Eldermire: We tend to.
Charles Eldermire: default to this idea of a linear relationship that’s stable, and you know, going from the top, to the bottom, and I wonder if he had any any thoughts or comments about that way of thinking and and what your models might.
Charles Eldermire: also be showing.
Eliot Miller: yeah it’s a tricky.
Eliot Miller: question and I agree it’s sort of the default assumption that these things are linear but in a lot of.
Eliot Miller: They might not always be linear.
Eliot Miller: And, and I think that Wood-rail Chachalaca example sort of drives that one home.
Eliot Miller: But that you know they.
Eliot Miller: They generally tend to be linear with as more data comes in.
Eliot Miller: sort of on the average right but that doesn’t mean that every single interaction goes that way.
Eliot Miller: And yeah without going too into the weeds there’s this whole literature on.
Eliot Miller: How these sort of rock paper scissors relationships, as you might call them might actually promote species coexistence, so it could, for example, be more rock paper scissors type relationships in the tropics and that could help lead to greater diversity in the tropics.
Eliot Miller: But that’s requires a lot more data collection, and I say to that for sure.
Charles Eldermire: Right and when you say rock paper scissors what you’re really saying is you have three sort of equally strong things one is the others kryptonite.
Charles Eldermire: But just because you’re a rock doesn’t mean that you’re better than says we’re better than yeah it said basically there’s no there’s no clear winner once you can there’s no way to put all three of them in a line that doesn’t show it’s more like a triangle relationship.
Charles Eldermire: pockets of those.
Charles Eldermire: Even within this linear hierarchy.
Charles Eldermire: And I think that’s really a cool feature and it’s really hard to show, and like you said requires a lot of data, but it also might be a really interesting thing promoting species diversity, sometimes too which is cool.
Eliot Miller: Yeah the closest I’ve come to sort of well that we’ve come to find in any well supported one in.
Eliot Miller: in real life so far that I know of from feeder interactions is.
Eliot Miller: redheaded woodpecker, red bellied woodpecker, and European starling.
Eliot Miller: may actually be in a bit of a.
Eliot Miller: rock paper scissors relationship.
Eliot Miller: Which is nice because they compete over three cavities for nesting.
Rachael Mady (she/her): That’s really cool.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And for people who may not know there is a hierarchy out there that Eliot has created with collaborators that’s for North American species so that’s it’s a very cool thing to think about the comparison between the two.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And so Ben I would love to open the floor to address some of the Q & A questions or if people are interested, they can also go in the chat there’s any visual that I touched on, or, if you want to see more we can also do that too.
Benjamin Walters: Sure um well, the first question actually came in beforehand, and this was from Jen Clots and.
Benjamin Walters: You guys both just touched on it a little bit about the the North American dominance hierarchy that’s been made, but.
Benjamin Walters: She asked should we be surprised at all the Chachalaca is a top this hierarchy and we talked about size, a little bit.
Benjamin Walters: You know, and they say it’s the largest bird, that is, the feeder so it’s not surprising to her, it seems, and she wanted just to mention that.
Benjamin Walters: You know they remember checking out that recent feeder watch webinar were likely we were talking about that North American dominance hierarchy that you worked with Eliot.
Benjamin Walters: And they saw that the Wild Turkey was the dominant bird which is probably surprising to a lot of people don’t necessarily think of a Turkey being a feeder bird right.
Benjamin Walters: So I don’t know if you guys want to expand on what you learned in that.
Benjamin Walters: A little bit more Eliot just kind of give.
Benjamin Walters: You know what we’re seeing here in Panama versus what you learned in North America.
Eliot Miller: yeah that’s a good question um I haven’t even thought of as much as I probably should have about parallels.
Eliot Miller: So in North America, we saw a few different clades, or groups, families of birds were more dominant than expected so it’s a general trend bigger birds more dominant in North America as well.
Eliot Miller: In so i’m already on digression two of this statement, but the second digression is that.
Eliot Miller: Dominant more dominant doesn’t mean more aggressive and so that’s sometimes hard for people to.
Eliot Miller: grasp right away when you start thinking about this right like so it’s not like turkeys.
Eliot Miller: We all know this not like turkeys are out there at feeders like just chasing everything away, they possibly can they don’t park themselves under a feeder.
Eliot Miller: But when they interact with another bird they win and that’s sort of what it means to be the most dominant right it doesn’t necessarily mean that.
Eliot Miller: You just be everyone up, it means that if you get in a fight you win.
Eliot Miller: And okay so back to the point about which lineages are more or less dominant we saw things like warblers, tanagers,.
Eliot Miller: orioles being more dominant than expected, based on their body mass and I think some of those trends might be in the Panama cam as well, but I’m not sure.
Rachael Mady (she/her): I can bring that up.
[Visualization takes up the screen with a scatterplot graph that has Log(Mass(g) on the horizontal axis from 0.8 to 2.6 and Dominance score on the vertical axis from -50 to 70. Each point on the graph is a different color and is shown to the right of the graph by a species name. There is along a line on the graph that is the best fit line that goes from the bottom left corner of the graph to the top right, showing a positive relationship between mass and dominance score.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): yeah there was one visual we were able to make where we did do something so that we can look at that relationship of like are they more dominant than expected and less dominant than expected and one thing for people who haven’t been able to check this out is that.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Here I’ll scroll back up to the first visual I showed you this was the relationship we just looked at where it’s kind of this curve.
[Web page changes to show the previous visualization of a scatterplot with mass (grams) on the horizontal axis and dominance score on the vertical axis. Each point is a different size depending on how many displacements the species was in and each point is a different color and its species it refers to is on the right-hand side of the graph. There is a concave down curve from left to right showing that as the mass increases the dominance score increases]
Rachael Mady (she/her): Of when you’re small to big there is this relationship, but it’s in this shape and so the good at.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Trying to understand the magnitude of that like relationship and how species may deviate from what you expect, on average, you can take something called the log.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And, as my mouse turns into a different type of scrolling mechanism, the log of the mass helps you get at this linear relationship, and you can plot a.
Rachael Mady (she/her): line and see where the species fall to try to see are they following the pattern, so it looks like for the species that has the most number of displacements.
[The webpage has scrolled back down to show the visualization with Log(Mass(g)) on the horizontal axis and the mouse is hovering over a dot that is labelled “Clay-colored Thrush.” Clay-colored Thrush is the species with the most displacements and is right on the best fit line.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): it’s following the pattern that may be, because we have a lot of information.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And then you look at the Gray-headed Chachalaca and the Great-cowled Wood-rail and they’re very close to the line but they’re very similar, and so, even though one is above the other.
Rachael Mady (she/her): they’re kind of on the same tier in terms of that line and then you look at these birds over here, the tanagers.
[Mouse is now hovering over points and the speaker is calling out ones that are above the line, which are more dominant than expected for their size, and points below the line, which are less dominant than expected for their size.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): are more dominant than expected for their size and same with the red-crowned woodpecker and then the green honeycreeper, silver-throated tanager, summer tanager, some of these other tanagers are less expected then based on their size and um.
Rachael Mady (she/her): I think Eliot you may have spoken to this before, but the number of displacements can also.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Talk about like how the probability of like where they are in the hierarchy and so some of these birds that are more or less expected might be real and.
Rachael Mady (she/her): kind of reflect what we know about North America, but also might be an artifact of we have one displacement that was documented and so maybe with more displacements, they might fall on the pattern a little bit better or maybe they would stay where they are.
Eliot Miller: Yeah yeah exactly I mean you know, the more data we have available, the better we can do it estimating it positions, and you can kind of see that.
Eliot Miller: Those clusters of dots you know are fairly limited in our ability to pick apart the sort of positions of those species and the dominance.
[Share screen stops and the speaker is now the main screen.]
Eliot Miller: hierarchy, but yeah we do sort of see that trend for the tanagers and yeah I should have mentioned woodpecker is actually in North America, particularly dominant for their body size, so I would suspect red crowned woodpeckers melon Eric these those guys are.
Eliot Miller: brutes so.
Benjamin Walters: yeah and, just to clarify when we.
Benjamin Walters: say in North America we’re talking about.
Benjamin Walters: Data that we’ve gotten from a Project FeederWatchers who basically collect behavioral data from their bird feeders in the US and Canada right?
Eliot Miller: Yeah that’s right yeah so um a couple years ago.
Eliot Miller: The project feeder watch made it possible to.
Eliot Miller: Start adding these sorts of interactions to your your.
Eliot Miller: counts, so you can record what the birds are doing, as well as just which ones are at your feeder now.
Benjamin Walters: Well, I just wanted to point out one.
Benjamin Walters: fun note from the chat Jessica shared that when she was in Panama they called the Chachalacas “tree turkeys.” Basically what was translated to tree turkeys in Spanish so we’ve got them on the top of the hierarchy in Panama and got the wild Turkey in US and Canada so it’s it’s a nice parallel there.
Benjamin Walters: Um so we have a few more questions that have popped up since we’ve been talking about this Rakan put a question in the Q & A asking, “If there were any cases where there was like you know, an odd case where a really small bird was beating out bigger birds than its size?
Rachael Mady (she/her): Let me, let me pull up that visual so we can all look at it together.
[Screen is shared again to show the visual of a scatterplot graph with Log (Mass (g)) on the horizontal axis and dominance score on the vertical axis. Points are all different colors and each refer to a species and there is a best fit line from bottom left to top-right showing that as mass increases so does the dominance score.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): So i’ll pull that back up, and so this is their size here on the horizontal axis and their dominant score so we’re seeing if any of the smaller birds
Rachael Mady (she/her): are beating out big birds and it looks like these two birds at Tennessee warbler and the Bananaquit over here are more their dominant score is higher than expected for their size.
[Speaker is mousing over two points that are above the best fit line.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): I think we have a couple interactions for them, so I don’t think they were beating out a lot of really big birds, I think it might have just been some birds that the difference in their mass wasn’t that large but still it’s.
Rachael Mady (she/her): I wouldn’t I would not have predicted, I think a Tennessee warbler to be more aggressive than its size, it looks like these other ones are less aggressive than their size.
Rachael Mady (she/her): same with these two small ones down here.
Eliot Miller: Looking at the data to I see that.
Eliot Miller: By and large dusky-faced tanager.
Eliot Miller: Displaced clay-colored thrush but there were a fair few instances of clay Collins thrush displacing dusky-face tanager so that’s one.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Now we can look back at this one for that so let’s see.
Rachael Mady (she/her): So the desk he faced yeah it looks like the clay color thrash.
Rachael Mady (she/her): They were three and three.
Rachael Mady (she/her): So I think I think there’s more instances to answer the question of more than just a smaller bird always beating out a bigger one but definitely some of that rock-paper-scissors or that back and forth going on.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Great question.
Benjamin Walters: Cool um another question from from Martha touches on this, so we know that there are sometimes these weird paper-rock-scissors interactions are like some birds may be tough for their size.
Benjamin Walters: Have you looked at anything else, maybe, besides body size in order to explain these relationships, could it be they mentioned beak size, but something else or other things you’ve explored the data.
Eliot Miller: Here I we haven’t yet, and I think that’d be fun to do um but uh.
Eliot Miller: In North America, beak size does matter. We haven’t published that yeah it’s actually a review, but beak size does matter so it’s like body mass is the main predictor but beak size does matter as well.
Eliot Miller: And, and I guess, I should also say um I’ve always suspected that diet matters as well, but I’ve never looked into it like you know I’m sure plenty of you are aware that hummingbirds are super aggressive for their body size.
Eliot Miller: I’ve actually seen one take a bald eagle.
Eliot Miller: To.
Eliot Miller: It.
Eliot Miller: caused it to barrel roll in the air it was pretty impressive um.
Eliot Miller: I think that that’s you know they have big beaks sure, but I think also they’re super hyped up on sugar and need to get more in a timely fashion, so I think they’re more aggressive and I think diet matters as well.
Eliot Miller: Where something like a seedeater there which can afford to just sort of hang around.
Benjamin Walters: Cool.
Benjamin Walters: Another person chimed in the Q & A Jackie asked were there any hummingbird interactions observed, we do get a.
Benjamin Walters: Few language species on cam and then Sean similarly was asking, is there any differences in aggression between the migrants or non migrants that we saw visiting the feeder or is that something we could look at?
Rachael Mady (she/her): Yeah so for the hummingbirds there was, I think one documented interaction and we.
Rachael Mady (she/her): reduced it to Hummingbird species because sometimes the species are hard to tell apart and so that’s something that we can look into was like what species, was it actually and what bird to displace.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And then terms of the migrants it’s not something we’ve parsed out. Elliot it looks like you might have a thought on that.
Eliot Miller: I I was only unmuting because I wondered if you’d grab it.
Eliot Miller: No, I mean, I noticed.
Rachael Mady (she/her): um.
Eliot Miller: I think Summer Tanager was a little less dominant than expected there on that plot.
Eliot Miller: No, we haven’t really looked at that in enough detail yeah it’s a really interesting thing. I’ve always wondered what happens with these.
Eliot Miller: Migrant can like what happens with the resident birds and tropical forest when the migrants get there, a lot of people have wanted that but it’s not really well studied.
Eliot Miller: You know in some places in the tropics you can find the migrants actually out numbering the residence at certain times of the year sort of in sheer density and certainly must impact the local community.
Benjamin Walters: Awesome.
Charles Eldermire: So that wasn’t say Rachel if you brought that graph backup with the log relationship.
Charles Eldermire: I think, just a quick look at that shows that we have migrants on both sides of that both sides of that line right so there’s migrants that are kind of operating below what you’d expect for their mass, suggesting that they’re not that.
[Screen shows the log relationship visualization from before.]
Charles Eldermire: Dominant so like the summer tanager and the prothonotary warbler and then we have the uh.
Charles Eldermire: Tennessee warbler which is over there that’s a little bit more, and so, even just from the data that we have There probably isn’t enough data.
Charles Eldermire: Yet to to really understand, at least for those migrants and on this camera we do see some migrants, we don’t see very many like those are the three most common migrants, we see we don’t see them very commonly at all so.
Charles Eldermire: That would be a harder one to tell but certainly even with very, very dominant individuals they can be swamped by the number of individuals.
Charles Eldermire: So I remember seeing a Townsend solitaire which set up little territories to guard their like berry bushes all winter long.
Charles Eldermire: Out West and seeing you know, an entire winters savings of berries being taken by a giant flock of you know wax wings.
Charles Eldermire: That came in and the entire time the Wax wings were there that bird was fighting with them and displacing birds, but it was a losing battle, you know, and so, sometimes dominance doesn’t get you what you think it’s going to get you too. and you get dominance by numbers.
Rachael Mady (she/her): yeah and I’ll just echo a comment that came in by Jennifer Jennifer says she’s often seen multiple clay-colored together on the feeder. Does having a wing man allow birds to be more aggressive?
Rachael Mady (she/her): I would say there’s something definitely going on with numbers.
[Screen changes to show visualization with 13 bird photos cropped as circles and gray arrows connecting them. The mouse hovers over the photo of the clay-colored thrush in the middle and all the arrows change color — red signals the species loses against another and blue signs it wins. Some arrows are blue and red showing they win and lose against a species.]
Rachael Mady (she/her): If you look at the clay color thrush that, despite its fight score is still displacing some of those other birds and that might have to do that when the clay-colored thrush on the feeder.
Rachael Mady (she/her): there’s probably another clay-colored thrush there, whereas some of these other birds are in fewer numbers on the feeder so that’s something that I think.
Rachael Mady (she/her): it’s not easy to look at in terms of how that goes into factoring into the dominant score, but I think and looking at like the probability that displacement might happen, we could take into account.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Is number important and we saw in the battling birds investigation.
Rachael Mady (she/her): This was Battling Birds Panama, and the Battling Birds that we did with the Cornell FeederWatch cam we did see as the number of birds increase that the um.
Rachael Mady (she/her): I think it was the number of clips with displacements with those species went up to, so the more birds that are there, more likely there’s going to be some fights.
[Screen share stops. Speakers are front and center.]
Eliot Miller: I was just going to offer really briefly on the migrant thing that.
Eliot Miller: You know I’ve got red bellied woodpeckers nesting in.
Eliot Miller: And hanging out as a resident year round in the backyard and when the sapsucker start showing up last couple of weeks there’s always this epic battle.
Eliot Miller: between them and then the sapsuckers seem to win out in my house, at least so it’s neat to think about it seems like they are a little smaller but the migrants win out in that case.
Benjamin Walters: Cool. So we’ve had a number of questions come in over the last couple minutes and there’s some really good ones here um.
Benjamin Walters: Elliot you had touched on earlier that just because a bird is dominant doesn’t mean it’s necessarily more aggressive.
Benjamin Walters: Adele was asking you know what type of assumptions, can we make about these birds like are you know birds their lower on the dominance hierarchy, maybe more passive.
Benjamin Walters: And then you know Gray also follows up is there anything that a bird could do in terms of their behavior that might make them more vulnerable to being a bird that would be displaced.
Eliot Miller: These are really unexplored questions like we could definitely get at some of these things.
Eliot Miller: In North America we have.
Eliot Miller: dabbled in looking at it, where you can.
Eliot Miller: So, so the thing about sort of aggressiveness or passiveness is one needs to make an accounting for how common the bird is at the feeder,
Eliot Miller: Independent of how many interactions you have right, because if clinically thrushes are 99% of the birds at the feeder and obviously we’re going to have more interactions of click colored thrushes.
Eliot Miller: So the question is, are we seeing more or less interactions than expected, given how abundant those birds are the feeder and when you sort of take those things into account in North America, you start saying things like.
Eliot Miller: Siskins pop out as being really aggressive.
Eliot Miller: Goldfinches and things like chickadees, titmice, things that are in these sort of more stable flop stable flocks tend to be a lot less aggressive than you might expect.
Eliot Miller: I think they just show up sort of in in their flocks have already got all this stuff worked out, you know they live in year-round groups.
Eliot Miller: Whereas things like Siskins are eruptive and they probably like met each other yesterday and there’s like 50 of them and they got plenty to fight about still.
Benjamin Walters: yeah and that kind of leads to another question from.
Benjamin Walters: Believe it was from Sean and you talked about the flock of birds, a little bit, but you know we’re collecting all these all this data at feeders so there’s a lot of birds, a lot of different species coming to one place to gather to eat food right so.
Benjamin Walters: How can what we’re learning here for the day to be effectively straddle extrapolated to a wider environment where maybe you know food is more dispersed you know, in the forest or wherever these birds are going to be foraging.
Eliot Miller: yeah my take on this has always been that these feeders sortof serve as a big boxing arena, where we can learn about these interactions and how the outcomes.
Eliot Miller: might go if it went down in the wild. These things are just really rare to see in the wild and I think you know, like a wild Turkey fighting with a.
Eliot Miller: Gray-headed Chachalaca fighting with a Bananaquit or Wood-Rail and a bananaquit are probably like you know one in a million sort of events in in the wild, but I think that they, the outcome of the events at the feed is still mirrors what would happen.
Eliot Miller: In in.
Eliot Miller: The wild and so we can sort of start making some.
Eliot Miller: We can learn about how these interactions might shape they distributions you know again like we’re not so.
Eliot Miller: curious about wood-rail and banana quit, but if we get enough between close relatives and we can sort of start to ask some more in depth questions about what it might be doing today distributions and it’s just a way to.
Eliot Miller: Get the data, where we’re most interested in i’d say that it’s really hard to come by and in natural settings.
Rachael Mady (she/her): That’s a great point Elliot and i’ll just weird that it is really hard to come out your natural settings because think events where you have superfood abundance happen.
Rachael Mady (she/her): But they happen, where it’s in a place where we’re not at, and so we essentially create a super abundance more frequently, so that we could see what what happened in those events like when trees bloom.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Or, if you have an animal die in the woods and then birds come like that happens and we’re just kind of creating that for us to watch.
Eliot Miller: Yeah exactly like I you know these things, certainly happen at say scavengers at a carcass, fruiting trees, Toucans, flowering but I like to.
Eliot Miller: show this graphic of.
Eliot Miller: A data set that my wife and I collected on interactions between honey eaters at flowers in Australia and we worked for like four years down there, I think we got like 200 observations across four years and then.
Eliot Miller: Project FeederWatch started and we’re up to like 200,000 or something, and the first year between it’s just like it vastly different scale of inference.
Benjamin Walters: That’s great um there’s still a lot of questions out here, but I did want to touch on um.
Benjamin Walters: One thing before we had to wrap up since we’re getting close, we had a question number one about how can we access all the resources that we posted about today, like where can we find that stuff.
Benjamin Walters: And again, what is next for Bird Cams Lab or they’re going to be more investigations at, what else is going on with Bird Cams Lab right now and are you know, how can, how can we participate, so if Rachel you want to touch on those things before we have to wrap up that would be great.
Rachael Mady (she/her): Definitely yeah it’s always amazing how fast the time goes I don’t know where it goes.
Rachael Mady (she/her): So Bird Cams Lab. If you want to access any of the Bird Cams Lab resources, you can go to the Bird Cams Lab website and.
Rachael Mady (she/her): If you could maybe pop that link into the chat, Ben, that would be great.
Rachael Mady (she/her): You can also find it if you Google, the name of the investigation, if you Google “battling birds Panama edition.”
Rachael Mady (she/her): Bidr Cams Lab you would also find it. If you want to find any of the resources for identifying the birds, go to any of the cam pages, so if you went to the Panama Fruit Feeder cams and you scroll down.
Rachael Mady (she/her): All the birds are listed down below and you can learn about those birds there, and you can also see the news items we’ve created as well.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And we will be sending a recording of this webinar and it will also be living on the Bird Cams Lab page so that will get you another way to get back to the website.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And you can always contact us if you do lose track of any of those links and you can’t seem to Google your way there you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachael Mady (she/her): But in terms of what’s next. Well, this is like I said we’re at the analyze phase of the investigation.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And so we are now going to start coalescing all the things you all surface today. I’m going to take note of your great interpretations and your great.
Rachael Mady (she/her): takeaways and we’re going to start coalescing that into a report to share out to the community, and so, if you have any more thoughts about the graphs we showed.
Rachael Mady (she/her): or about interpretations, you have with the data if you go to the Bird Cams Lab website and find the graphs and comment there, we will still be able to include that in our final report but we’ll start wrapping up this investigation.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And we have another investigation going on right now. I know a lot of you are a part of the Cornell Feeders Live, which is with the FeederWatch cam.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And we just finished data collection yesterday, which is hard to imagine two weeks went by so quickly.
Rachael Mady (she/her): And so, for that investigation we’re just starting the data exploration analysis phase so it’s one step kind of behind where we’re now at with this investigation, so you can become involved in that too, because.
Rachael Mady (she/her): All birds are interesting whether they’re in Panama or in North America, so you can become involved in either those investigations by making sure you’re on our mailing list and checking out the website, for the most recent updates.
Benjamin Walters: Alright that is awesome it looks like we have about one minute left if anybody has any last second comments.
[Shared screen appears. There is a dark gray background with the words in white at the top “Thank you for tuning in!.” Below that is a screenshot of a Gray-cowled Wood-Rail on the left (a medium-sized bird with long pink legs, red-brown body, blue-gray neck, red eyes, and yellow beak). On the right are three lines of text: “Sign up: https://bit.ly/BCLBattlingBirds,” “Follow on Twitter: @BirdCamsLab,” and “Contact us: email@example.com.”]
Rachael Mady (she/her): And I’ll just put out the shared screen, just so some of those links are also more visual visual visible for everybody.
Charles Eldermire: I think one thing that I’d love to share is just that.
Charles Eldermire: You know we’ve been talking about doing all this stuff on our website and on Zooniverse, and with us, and these are These are all things you can go outside and see if you can go outside and you have birds around you. If there’s a flock of house sparrows hanging out in the you know.
Charles Eldermire: The Bushes outside of where you work or down at the park, you can watch these bird those birds, just like you’re watching these birds and see interactions you can see, who the dominant individuals are.
Charles Eldermire: You can follow them around with your eyes and you can observe this stuff happening it’s not like some giant secret it’s happening all around us and so.
Charles Eldermire: Consider anything you’re doing with us in Bird Cams Lab is whether it’s the question asking or the data collection.
Charles Eldermire: it’s something you can carry into your own lives to you know, and you can you can do with your family with your friends or with us, or just by yourself and it’s way is the way you learned about the world. So it’s been fun participating with this participating in this with everybody.
Rachael Mady (she/her): All right, so I think that is our hour wrapping up. Thank you everyone for joining us today and know that you are essentially part of this co-created process and.
Rachael Mady (she/her): We really couldn’t be doing this without you so thank you and we hope to see you again either online or again live at our next webinar. Take care, everybody.
Benjamin Walters: bye everybody.
Charles Eldermire: bye.
Eliot Miller: Thanks everybody.
End of Transcript
Check out Bird Cams staff and Cornell Lab researcher Dr. Eliot Miller talk about the birds at the Panama Fruit Feeder and what we found out about them in the Battling Birds: Panama Edition investigation.
On April 14, 106 people tuned in and shared their questions and thoughts with Cornell Lab researcher Dr. Eliot Miller and the Bird Cams staff about the most recent findings from the Battling Birds: Panama Edition investigation. The researchers highlighted what we already knew about the birds and as well as what new insights we had thanks to the data collected by the community.
Thank you to everyone who either attended the live event or watched the archived recording. Please share any questions or thoughts you have in the forum below. We value your input as we explore and seek to understand the patterns in the data together.
We also invite you to explore the data visualizations mentioned in the webinar:
- Who’s Initiating Conflict? – A visualization that shows the number of displacements initiated by each species
- Bigger The Bird, Bigger The Punch – Multiple visualizations showing the relationship between dominance score and species size
- The Interactions Behind The Rankings – A visualization that shows the actual interactions that are behind the dominance scores