Live From Bird Cams Lab: A Webinar About What Goes On At The Cornell Feeders

June 17, 2021

[Title Slide: Against a white background are
text. The first line is the Cornell Lab of

Ornithology logo with the illustration of
the yellow-bellied sapsucker (black bird with

red head, throat, yellow underside, and shite
stripe on wing). The next line is the title

of the webinar, “What Goes On At The Cornell
Feeders? A Live Conversation With The Bird

Cams Lab Community.” The line after reads,
“Bird Cams Lab | Cornell Lab FeederWatch Cam.”

At the bottom is the National Science Foundation
logo with text that shares the grant number

that funded this work (#1713225), and then
that any opinions, findings, conclusion or

recommendations are those of the author(s)
and don’t represent the views of the National

Science Foundation.]

[Video: Title of the webinar is overlaid on
a screenshot of the Cornell FeederWatch cam,

showing a blue jay perched and looking at
a common grackle on a feeding table against

a leafy green background. The speaker’s video
is in the top right-hand corner, and the speaker

is a white woman with light brown hair wearing
a light blue top and gray sweater. Behind

them are gray walls and two white doors with
some decorations.]

Rachael Mady: I want to officially welcome
you all to our webinar today.

Rachael Mady: It’s titled, “What goes on at
the Cornell feeders? A live conversation with

the Bird Cams Lab community.” And whether
you’re joining us today live or you’re watching

this recording.

Rachael Mady: we’re really happy that you’re
with us, because having you be a part of the

conversation is what makes this fun.

Rachael Mady: I’m going to stop the slide
because you all have introduced yourselves,

but I want to introduce who we are and I will
start us off. My name is Rachel Mady. I am

the Project Leader for Bird Cams Lab.

[Video: Shared PowerPoint slide goes away
and speaker video takes up the full screen.]

Rachael Mady: I’ve been with a project since
2018 now. I started as a graduate student

and I graduated last August and I continued
on with the project it’s been.

Rachael Mady: A lot of fun working with you
all and working with the Bird Cams team, and

today I am going to be running the webinar,
answering your questions, giving you.

Rachael Mady: A sense of what Bird Cams lab
is, more about how that fits in with the feeders

and then we’ll explore the data together,
and with that I will turn it over to Ben.

[Video: Another speaker’s video is shown.
They are a white man with brown hair and a

black t-shirt with the Cornell Lab logo. Behind
them is a virtual background and is a screenshot

of the Cornell Lab FeederWatch cam, showing
a blue jay with some seed in its mouth perched

on the feeding table.]
Benjamin Walters: Hello everybody, my name

is Ben Walters and I’m the communication specialist

for the bird cams program. So in addition
to managing a lot of that content and communications.

Benjamin Walters: That come out through bird
cams, I also am in charge of the daily maintenance

at the Cornell lab FeederWatch cam.

Benjamin Walters: So i’m excited to hear all
of your questions about the cam about the

birds that visit and I’m super excited to
have this discussion with you today and i’m

driving in from Ithaca, New York.

Benjamin Walters: I live just down the road
from from the lab. so super excited to be


[Video: Video shifts to the third speaker,
a white man with silver over-the-ear headphones

and a pink-gray plaid collar shirt. They are
speaking into a microphone and in front of

an assortment of plants, a frame illustration
of birds, and a poster with the word “Voyager.”]

Charles Eldermire: you’ve got some fans in
the chat already been saying that you’re the

best got a bird man, you know you are well
known, I think, to some of the people on this


Charles Eldermire: And I’m the last person
that needs introduced i’m Charles and the

project leader for bird cams and leading the
project, since it started in 2012.

Charles Eldermire: And my job today is to
really keep an eye on the chat, keep an eye

on the Q & A, which a reminder to anybody
who’s just come in.

Charles Eldermire: The idea here is, if you
can use the Q &A a button, which should be

at the bottom of your zoom window to enter
your questions and that will keep them all

sort of in a queue for us to try and work

Charles Eldermire: And also as a reminder
we’ve dedicated time at the end for the last

third or so.

Charles Eldermire: Of this hour to really
do deserve an open Q & a, but if you are asking

questions that are really topical to something
we’re talking about.

Charles Eldermire: right then i’ll try and
squeeze them in. We also have a really ambitious

our planned for you guys to learn more about
feeders and about the cool science, that the

Bird Cams Lab community has been taking part

Rachael Mady: yeah so speaking of that ambitious
hour, I want to get right back into it i’m

going to share my slide again.

[Video: PowerPoint slide with the title “Land
Acknowledgment” in yellow and white text below.

Speaker’s video is in the top right-hand corner.]

Rachael Mady: And I want to start with saying
the webinar today focuses on the Cornell FeederWatch

cam, which is located at the Cornell Lab of
Ornithology, which is part of Cornell university.

Rachael Mady: As such, I’m going to share
Cornell University’s Land Acknowledgement.

Rachael Mady: Cornell University is located
on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’

(the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’
are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy,

an alliance of six sovereign Nations with
a historic and contemporary presence on this


Rachael Mady: The Confederacy precedes the
establishment of Cornell University, New York

state, and the United States of America. We
acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’

dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection
of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ people, past and present,

to these lands and waters.

Rachael Mady: If you want to learn more about
the land acknowledgement Charles is going

to go ahead and put a link in the chat and
you can click that and learn more.

[Video: PowerPoint Slide with “Roadmap” title
at the top. Below is a photo of two red-winged

blackbirds visiting the Cornell FeederWatch
cam. The the right of the photo is a numbered

list from one to five: Overview of Bird Cams
Lab, Cornell FeederWatch cam, Cornell Feeders

Live, Data Exploration, New Insights and Discussion.]

Rachael Mady: So today for the webinar I want
to give everyone a roadmap, so you know where

we’re going because, like Charles said, we
do have an ambitious hour ahead of us.

Rachael Mady: And we’re going to start with,
bring everyone up to speed on what Bird Cams

Lab is because we really want to share.

Rachael Mady: What we’ve been doing and to
give you a little bit more insight into our

community and then we’ll focus on the Cornell
FeederWatch can give you a behind the scenes,

look into where the cam is located, share
some of our favorite clips.

Rachael Mady: And then we will go into the
Cornell Feeders Live investigation, so this

is the investigation that has been focused
on this cam and then we’ll transition into

the data, which we’ve been exploring online
and we are excited to share today.

Rachael Mady: Like Charles said, and I said
at the beginning, we are going to reserve

the last part of the webinar for a discussion
with you all to participate in the chat and

the Q &A.

Rachael Mady: But if you have a question that
you really, really excited about please make

sure to put that into q&a so it doesn’t get
lost in the chat.

Rachael Mady: Alright, so Bird Cams Lab.

[Video: A screenshot of the Bird Cams Lab
website showing the head navigation and a

welcome screen with a red-tailed hawk flying.]

Rachael Mady: We here at the Cornell Lab saw
all you out there, watching the cams asking

questions being really curious and.

Rachael Mady: saw a lot of people collecting
data on their own and Bird Cams Lab is in

response to that it’s a space.

Rachael Mady: Where people watching the cam
and others in the Community can come together

with scientists to make new discoveries using
the cams.

Rachael Mady: And it gives everyone an opportunity
to participate in this investigation process

from the start from watching the cams.

[Video: The screenshot of the website fades
a little, but is still visible. Over the image

is now five blue boxes horizontally spaced
each with a word: Observe, Question, Collect,

Analyze, Share.]

Rachael Mady: And going through and participating
and whatever parts that people are interested

in. So people can jump in and out of this
process with us from asking the question,

collecting the data, analyzing and looking
at data, and sharing it out with the community.

Rachael Mady: One of the tenants is of Bird
Cams Lab as a whole is that everyone is invited,

so this process.

Rachael Mady: Even if you’re not familiar
with it, we invite you to be a part of it.

You don’t need to be a professional scientists
you don’t need to be a long time cam viewer.

You can be new to all of this, and still.

Rachael Mady: be a valuable member of our
community, because everyone’s perspective

is really valued here so that we can learn
about the birds together.

Rachael Mady: And we also provide really great
resources. So you’ll see below the cams there

are species ID resources, and we provide other
things along the way to guide us all on this

journey together.

[Video: Image is the same except there is
a yellow circle around one of the navigation

items on the website “Cornell Feeders Live.”]

Rachael Mady: And right now I’m highlighting
on our website right now the Cornell Feeders

Live is one of our current investigations
and, just like the title suggests.

Rachael Mady: it’s focused on the
Cornell FeederWatch. And this cam is one of

Bird Cam’s most popular cams. It’s located
right outside the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

and while many of you.

[Video: Image becomes a screenshot of the
Cornell FeederWatch cam, showing two red-winged

blackbirds feeding on the feeding table surrounded
by hanging feeders against a green leafy background.]

Rachael Mady: may be familiar with
this view of the cam today, we want to give

you a behind the scenes look at where the
cam is located. And with that I’m going to

turn it over to Ben.

Benjamin Walters: awesome thanks Rachel i’m
just gonna share my screen really quick here.

[Video: A video screen paused is shown and
the speaker’s video is in the top right-hand

corner. The video showing a concrete-stone
walkway leading to a brown building. There

are cottontails on the left and trees all

Benjamin Walters: And so, like Rachel said,
we wanted to give you a little behind the

scenes look at the feeder cam.

Benjamin Walters: So the feeder cam is located
right outside of the the Cornell lab building

and I place called the Treeman bird feeding

Benjamin Walters: The bird feeding garden
itself is off limits to the public, but you

can observe what goes on there when you’re
at the visitor Center at the Lab.

Benjamin Walters: Visitor Center is closed,
right now, but we hope to have it open soon

so we’ll give you a sort of a real behind
the scenes tour into places that.

Benjamin Walters: You know you can’t see otherwise.
So here we go, so this is us walking down

the entrance to the Cornell Lab visitor Center
on either side of the cement walkway are cattails

tales and.

[Video: the video plays and the speaker narrates
what is visually being seen.]

Benjamin Walters: little bits of marshland
where there’s lots of red winged Blackbirds

and sparrows and other birds hanging out.

Benjamin Walters: And as we turn the corner
here, we see the entrance to the Cornell lab

so that’s where you would go if you want to
visit in person.

Benjamin Walters: And the Lab itself is located
on a over 200 acre plot of land, known as

Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary. We have over four
miles of hiking trails there as well.

Benjamin Walters: Like I said right next to
the Lab is our bird feeding garden, and this

is kind of how I start my day, every day,

Benjamin Walters: pick up the bird seed, pick
up peanuts, you know, suet. I walk into the

bird feeding garden, you can see there’s a
glass observation area there that you can

actually watch what goes on.

Benjamin Walters: Within the feeder garden
if you’re if you’re at the visitor Center

and here we are at the actual.

Benjamin Walters: feeder cam setup you can
see the cam and the feeders are all on pole


Benjamin Walters: We baffle those poles in
order to reduce squirrel activity, so the

squirrels can’t come up and climb and get
onto the cam or the feeders. We also have

some birds spikes on top of the camera or
to reduce squirrels jumping on top of the

cameras and they just jump right on the feeders.

Benjamin Walters: Like you see there’s there’s
a you know, a wide variety of bird food that

we offer and it’s located you know right.

Benjamin Walters: In front of the Sapsucker
Woods Pond as well, right now, it’s pretty

leafed out so wanted to give you a view of
what that the pond looks like it’s more visible

on camera during the winter and like late
fall months when there’s not as many leaves.

Benjamin Walters: But this is the view you
get from inside the Visitor Center as well,

which you can see that the big observation
area of the Visitor Center here. So on the

pond you can see great blue heron, lots of
different waterfowl.

Benjamin Walters: And you know all the other
birds that reside in the forest.

Benjamin Walters: So yeah, those are, This
is where all those birds that you see on the

cam, This is where they live, this is where
they hang out.

Benjamin Walters: So yeah we definitely invite
you, if you’re able to come in person, some

time to come, visit.

Benjamin Walters: Like I said, we hope to
have the Visitor Center open later this year,

but the trails are open for anyone that wants
to come and.

Benjamin Walters: See the Lab.

[Video: video stops and the speaker’s video
takes up the screen.]

Benjamin Walters: And then I think we’re going
to move right along to showing some of the

fun some of our favorite clips from the camera
so i’m just going to share.

Benjamin Walters: yeah those as well perfect.

[Video: Speaker’s video is in top righthand
corner. And a new video player is seen. The

speaker will narrate what is going on.

Rachael Mady: So now, you all know where the
feeders are located, you can see kind of where

it’s situated and we’ve now want to share
some of our favorite clips which are also

some of yours too.

Rachael Mady: And so you’re seeing here our
latest feeder set up with our latest camera,

and that is pileated woodpecker.

Rachael Mady: The largest woodpecker that
comes to our feeder and visits and you can

tell that it’s a female because there’s no
red mustache. There’s the male, the male just

came in.

Rachael Mady: And this bird is one bird that
really inspires a lot of people watching this

cam I know.

Rachael Mady: The first time I saw this bird
on this cam was surprising and this clip is


Rachael Mady: a bunch of the species, we study
in the Cornell Feeders Live investigation

and it shows some snowfall and we wanted to
feature this today because.

Rachael Mady: weather events like this on
the cam are what inspired a lot of people

in our community to be interested in weather.
Not only were they seeing it in their own

backyards but seeing how it affected the birds
on cam.

Rachael Mady: And so, with that i’ll give
everyone a little bit more insight into Cornell

feeders live, which took observations like
this and we took weeks to discuss them to

actually come up with an investigation, but
I’m getting ahead of myself, let me share

my screen.

Rachael Mady: Thank you Ben for sharing those.

[Video: Same image of the Bird Cams Lab website
with the five blue boxes: Observe, Question,

Collect, Analyze, Share. The analyze box is
now highlighted in yellow.]

Rachael Mady: Alright, so Cornell Feeder Liv
today, where we’re at in the investigation

we’re in the analyze look at data. and so
that’s what we’re really excited to share

with you all today is what we’ve been finding
about what’s going on in this cam.

Rachael Mady: But before I do that just because
I know a lot of us here today haven’t been

a part of our investigation, so far, I want
to bring you up to speed.

Rachael Mady: Just so you know where we’ve
been and where we’re going So you see, there

are stages before the analyze phase so.

Rachael Mady: Back in February we all got
together and invited the community to watch

the cam we all discussed it in online forums
and a live webinar like this one, and we were

seeing what we were all interested in. We
were interested in a lot of things, but we

narrowed it down to 2 research questions.

[Video: PowerPoint slide with a dark gray
background and title at the top in yellow:

Research Questions. The speaker will read
the two research questions listed with numbers

1 and 2 below.]

Rachael Mady: And those research questions
are, what is the daily visitation pattern

of different species at the feeders?

Rachael Mady: And how does weather affect
the probability of different species being

at the feeder? And in terms of what species,
we study we took a vote.

Rachael Mady: And it came down to these species.
We could study eight because of the tool we

had and we.

[Video: Below the research questions photos
appear of all the study species with their

common English name below their photo. The
speaker will read all of the names.]

Rachael Mady: landed on species that gave
us a really great spread of species that were

all very common at the feeder.

Rachael Mady: And were large and small, and
had differently life histories, in terms of

do they store seeds or not store seeds are

Rachael Mady: Migratory or not, and so this
helped us kind of get a spread of what’s going

on in terms of these questions. So American
goldfinch to northern Cardinal, white breasted

nuthatch, the blue Jay.

Rachael Mady: Red winged Blackbird, tufted
titmouse, the Red-bellied woodpecker and the

little chickadee.

Rachael Mady: So those are the species, we
studied and then, once we have that decided

[Video: A new slide appears with the title
in yellow at the top, “Data collection.” Below

that is a screenshot of the Cornell FeederWatch
cam page with the tool opened to the right

of it and data recorded below.]

we work to get our tool ready for the first
time ever, on the Cornell FeederWatch cam


we were able to add a tab for “tag data.”

Rachael Mady: And this is what the
interface looks like if you were part of this

you’re familiar, but if you’re not you would
still have your cam view here in the middle

and then you would have these buttons here
alongside it.

Rachael Mady: So, you would have
eight buttons one for each of the species

to click when they would arrive at the feeding
station and then that data would show up below

so you can keep track of everything you’re

Rachael Mady: And over the two weeks
time we had more than 490 people participate

and amass 120,000 observations.

[Video: The screenshot of the tool disappear
and in its place is an icon of a person with

long hair at a laptop computer. To the left
of the icon is the text “>490 people >120,000

observations.” Below the text are the photos
from the slide before of the eight study species.]

Rachael Mady: Which blew us out
of the water! We were expecting

people to have fun and participate, but that
was just, we were very excited by that and

so we took all that data.

Rachael Mady: And we turned it into
visualizations so that not just us the scientists

in the community, but also everyone.

Rachael Mady: could look at that
data together because we wanted to make this

part of the investigation, where we could
explore it and all offer our perspectives

on what the data can tell us, what it means
in terms of our research question, why things

might be the way they are, and so.

Rachael Mady: I am going to launch
a poll, because I don’t want to just jump

into my favorite data visualizations I want
to ask you what your all’s are.

Rachael Mady: And so it should pop
up on your screen, you should see a little

screen that says, which visualizations.

[Video: Screen now has the title in yellow
text at the top “Data Exploration.” Below

that is text in white that is “Poll: What
would you like to explore together?” Next

to that text is an white circle with a question
mark in the middle.]

Rachael Mady: Do you want to explore
together today? and so we’re not gonna be


to go through all of them I wish we had hours
and hours but.

Rachael Mady: which ones are you
most excited about today and the “time watched”

is visualizations about the sampling efforts
so thinking about how much time was watched

by the Community.

Rachael Mady: And then the “when do
species visit?” deals with that first research

question and thinking about how daily visit
patient patterns differ.

Rachael Mady: Looks like we have
almost we’re at 70, 77% have voted. I’ll give

it just a couple more seconds.

Rachael Mady: I think I know which
way it’s going.

Rachael Mady: Alright Thank you
everyone that’s voted, if you haven’t that’s

Okay, no worries.

Rachael Mady: I’m going to share
out the results it’s pretty strong result

[Video: Overlaid on the PowerPoint slide is
a screenshot of the poll results. The top

is a purple background with the title “Poll
1: data visualizations.” Below that is a dark

purple banner that has white text “Poll closed”
and “119 voted.” Below that is the question

and voting results with a blue bar for category
“Time Watched” with 5 votes (4%), and a red

bar for category “When Do Species Visit?”
with 114 votes (96%).]

it looks like most of you want to see when
the species are coming and a smaller portion

of you want to see the time watch.

Rachael Mady: Lucky for you, you
can check out both of them, if you want after

the webinar today.

Rachael Mady: There is going to
be a link that’s going to be put into the

chat. so you can go there yourself but I’m
going to stop the share my PowerPoint presentation

[Video: Speaker’s video takes up whole screen.]

I’m going to shift over to the visualization
you all are most excited about.

Rachael Mady: So bear with me one


Rachael Mady: All right, can everyone
see my screen all right?

[Video: Speaker shares her internet browser
and the Bird Cams Lab website is visible with

four tabs opened at the top. A graph is highlighted
with the title “When do smaller species visit

the feeding station,” and the graph is a bar
graph with yellow-green colors.]

Rachael Mady: All right, so what
you should be seeing right now is a visualization

I’m going to zoom in a little bit so that’s
a bit bigger for everybody.

Rachael Mady: And what you can see
here is when do smaller species visit the

feeding station? and so we divide it up into
looking at the smaller species and the bigger

species separately, just because eight species
all on one graph would be a lot to take in.

Rachael Mady: And what you’re seeing
right now is the American Goldfinch.

Rachael Mady: And you’re seeing
that the half hour time interval is on the

horizontal axis, and then the vertical axis
is percent chance that a species arrives.

And so, for instance, if we look at the six
o’clock hour so.

Rachael Mady: The Community watched
the six o’clock to 6:30 interval and out of

all the intervals that were watched there
is a 50% chance that species would show up

during that time period.

Rachael Mady: And so you can look
at what it looks like over time, it looks

like this kind of quadratic or curve shape,
which is pretty neat to see, and then you

can compare it to other species so that’s
the American Goldfinch. What about the black-

capped chickadee?

Rachael Mady: You can see it looks
quite different and that the black-capped


is at 100% or close to 100% many half hour
intervals throughout the day.

Rachael Mady: And then I’m going
to turn off the black-capped chickadee, but


turn on the titmouse.

Rachael Mady: It looks like the
titmouse is more similar to the black-capped

chickadee not as similar to the American
goldfinch, but there is still that it’s in

the midday and towards the end of the day,
which makes sense sunrise or sunset the birds

are at not at the feeder as much.

Rachael Mady: And then i’ll turn
off the tufted titmouse, turn on the white

breasted nuthatch. You see it’s a little
bit different. So it still has that you’re

seeing higher percentages in the middle.

Rachael Mady: similar to the American
goldfinch but it looks like it’s shifted a

little bit where the higher numbers are in
the later half of the day and it’s not reaching

as high percentage as the chickadee. It looks
a little bit more like the tufted titmouse,

which I can.

Rachael Mady: let you see just the
white-breasted nuthatch without any other


Rachael Mady: So that’s what it
looks like for the smaller species.

Rachael Mady: And I know some of
you were What about the food chain, what about

the larger species, we can look at those two.

[Video: Page reloads as the speaker pulls
up a new graph titled “When do the larger

species visit the feeding station?” They will
then click on and off the four different species

whose percentage chance of arriving at the
feeding station is shown in this graph.]

Rachael Mady: And a lot of data
when you have all four, but if we.

Rachael Mady: unclicks some of those
species and just look at the Blue Jay. There’s

a very cool pattern, where you see very high
percentage in the morning and then it tapers

off throughout the day.

Rachael Mady: And I bet some of
you out there have ideas for why, if you have

any ideas for why this pattern is or any of
the other species, for that matter, go ahead

and put them into the chat because I don’t
want to just share what I think I want to

hear what you all think.

Rachael Mady: Alright, so that’s
the Blue Jay and then Northern Cardinal is

a bit different. So you see the Northern Cardinal
doesn’t have.

Rachael Mady: That same pattern
as the Blue Jay. it looks more similar to


chickadee. And I’ll turn off the Blue Jay
for a moment.

Rachael Mady: And that it’s very
high percentage for a lot of the day, but

there is is very high percentage in the morning
and I.

Rachael Mady: If I’m remembering
some of the discussions correctly, I think

that mirrors what some people.

Rachael Mady: know about the Cardinal
when they’re watching it and I see Amanda

you chimed in because the feeder runs out
of food.

Rachael Mady: You are onto something,
yes, Barbara yes, the peanuts I think you’re

onto it. The blue jays all about those peanuts
and we saw that when we did data collection,

where they would just eat them all and the
peanuts will be gone.

Rachael Mady: And so that’s where
you can see where maybe there were birds coming

back to check, but they weren’t there like
they were in the morning, where there was

just peanuts there for them to take left and
right. So great observations Amanda and Barbara.

Rachael Mady: Alright, so northern
Cardinal, Blue Jay, and then the Red-bellied


it looks more similar to some of the first
smaller species that we saw. IT has that kind

of hump in the middle, not quite reaching
100 like the chickadee.

Rachael Mady: But still pretty high,
but isn’t there in the morning, like the cardinal


Rachael Mady: And then Red-winged Blackbird
looks very similar to the chickadee and is

very high, and if you have any ideas as to
why you can share them in the chat. But is

definitely that morning the cardinal out of
the bigger species.

Rachael Mady: is the one that has
the higher percentage, and everyone seems

to taper off once it gets these later hours.
And Megan

Charles Eldermire: Sorry. No why don’t you
finish your

thought sorry about that didn’t mean interrupt.

Rachael Mady: Oh that’s okay. so
Megan it looks like you’re saying for the

smaller species, and I’ll go back to that

for a moment.

Rachael Mady: The smallest species,
I think it’s because hawks are out between

sunrise and sunset so the small birds don’t
want to be around then.

Rachael Mady: Definitely, the idea
of this predation risk, and this idea that

you have to worry about predators is something
that’s going on.

Rachael Mady: A lot of scientists,
think about the starvation-predation trade-

off where birds are trying to navigate like.

Rachael Mady: Can I eat and be safe? or
do I need to prioritize safety, right now,

and so I think that’s probably driving some
of the pattern we’re seeing is that trade

off. Exactly how it’s driving it can be a

bit more tricky but definitely great great

thoughts there.

[Video: Speaker switches but the main screen
is still the visualization.]

Charles Eldermire: I was just going to jump
in for a second because you’re talking about

a lot of data here, and someone in the Q & A
pointed out that they use FeederWatch data.

Charles Eldermire: for homeschooling
and they wondered whether or not the raw data

from any of this is available to people, so
I thought, maybe you could talk about what

is available and any other way people can
get data.

Rachael Mady: That’s a great question,
thank you for asking that we’ve had some people

from the community as well asked about the
data wanting to look at it. And we do have

the raw data, and we are, if you request by
email, we can.

Rachael Mady: distribute that data.
I will say, like, I said that 120,000 observations

it’s a lot of data.

Rachael Mady: And we’ve done some
work on our end to calculate these percentage

chances and maybe that’s the data that you’re
more interested in and so that would be kind

of cleaned and.

Rachael Mady: transformed to look
like this, and maybe that’s the data you’re

interested in, but the raw data is certainly
there. So is this data, and if you are, if

you want to engage with these graphs if you
scroll down a little bit.

Rachael Mady: There’s a click to
download and you can not only download the

image, but the data that was used to make
this graph.

Rachael Mady: And reproduce it on
your own or engage with your students to do

that as well, so that might be the best approach.
And if you want to get in deeper levels of

data, you can definitely reach out to us.

Charles Eldermire: Where should they reach

to you again, Rachael? So they know.

Rachael Mady: it’s a great question, Charles.

Rachael Mady: I don’t think i’ve
said yet. So is a

great way to get ahold of us. You can ask
anything from Bird Cams to the Bird Cams Lab

at that email address, and we will get back
to you there.

Rachael Mady: Thank you for putting
that in the chat, Charles. Yeah nice copy


paste right there if you all want to keep
that, for your records.

Rachael Mady: All right, and with
that, that’s the data exploration, I wanted

to highlight was the one you all were interested
in, we can, if anyone has a question.

Rachael Mady: about these visualizations
specifically, we can get into that if you

want to see another one, you can ask that
question as well, but for now I will turn

off the shared screen and we’ll just open
the floor for talking through what some of

you all are interested in.

[Video: Shared screen stops and the speaker’s
video takes up the screen.]

Charles Eldermire: That’s great so there’s
been a couple of questions more generally.

Charles Eldermire: About bird feeding and
bird feeders, but I wonder if it does make

sense to just sort of since we’re kind of
deep in the bird cams lab.

Charles Eldermire: Part of the presentation
we can kind of finish up the questions we’ve

gotten about that and then we’ll move into
the more general questions if that sounds

okay with you Rachael?

Rachael Mady: sounds great

Charles Eldermire: Great. So we had
a question from Robin that really was wondering

about the weather part of this investigation.
so Were there anything’s any relationships


came about in looking at different weather
and the patterns of visitation on the feeder?

Rachael Mady: Great question. I have
been thinking a lot about that the past couple


Rachael Mady: Very soon we’re going
to have a blog post up that dives into a little

bit more of that second research question
about the weather and how that relates to

visitation and what we did on our end.

Rachael Mady: In terms of running
some statistics. And we can get into that


a teaser if anyone’s interested. But i’ll


Rachael Mady: Because we’re looking
at presence of species at the feeder, because

of the way the observations are, we haven’t
been able to quantify just number of visits,

because we have people watching, at the same
time, and potentially um.

Rachael Mady: Logging the same species,
but maybe not at the exact same time so we’ve

done presence of species.

Rachael Mady: per hour and related
that to weather, and so we haven’t thought

about doing it at the daily scale, because
every species was present every day, but it’s

something to think about and something that
is a solidified or anything like that, so

we welcome your input on that.

Charles Eldermire: Yeah, and it just underscores
how complicated.

Charles Eldermire: Number one weather. You
know how weather’s measured.

Charles Eldermire: How it might affect birds
and how the presence of a food source that

never changes.

Charles Eldermire: might make it not, that
big a deal.

Charles Eldermire: Because they can just come

Charles Eldermire: So it is an interesting
thing. We also had a question from Monica


if there was a relationship between the kind
of food offered in the feeders

Charles Eldermire: And the birds that visited
the feeders and whether or not there’s any

patterns of aggression that we might have
seen related to the food availability? And

I know Ben were Rachel if either you want
to take that because Ben you deal with the

food and could probably speak to that personally.

Benjamin Walters: Yeah yeah I can take that
first part, definitely um so yeah there there

definitely is a relationship between the types
of food that we offer and the birds that might


Benjamin Walters: You know, with any different
species of feeder bird, they have preferences,

just like we all have preferences for our
favorite types of foods.

Benjamin Walters: So birds like woodpeckers
are going to love coming to suet feeders

or if we have blue jays they love peanuts,
especially peanuts in the shell, those are


Benjamin Walters: graph that Rachel was showing
earlier with the decrease in Blue Jay attendance

at the feeder I can, you know, I’m a witness
to that because I feel that.

Benjamin Walters: I fill a feeder full of
peanuts in the shell every morning and every

afternoon, sometimes even before noon that
entire feeder is gone all thanks to the blue

jays. So there’s definitely

Benjamin Walters: a relationship between the
types of food that you put out and the types

of species they’re going to attract.

Benjamin Walters: Some foods are sort of ubiquitous
favorites amongst species like sunflower seed

as a as one that a lot of species really love,

Benjamin Walters: peanuts are another one
that are really popular. So if you have those

types of foods that your feeder you’re going
to attract a wide range of species.

Benjamin Walters: There’s also feeds
or types of food, you can put out that that

may reduce certain types of species, like
a lot of people use safflower seed to reduce.

Benjamin Walters: Heavy blackbird activity
like grackles and things like that they don’t

tend to like safflower as much so, people
will put that out to attract.

Benjamin Walters: Certain birds, but to you
know, keep the Blackbirds at bay, a little

bit because they can really take over a feeder
if if they there’s something that they like


Charles Eldermire: Yeah and, as you might
imagine there’s a lot of questions that you’re

going to get here in the next couple of minutes
about food, but before we get there there’s

one last question I wanted to get

Charles Eldermire: To and it’s a very general
and did any birds visit at night during the

study? Where are you getting any reports of
these birds visiting at night, because the

graph stop at eight o’clock right.

Rachael Mady: Yep and there is a
reason is, I allowed the time to go further

and there’s no nothing there birds were not
visiting during that time at least our studies


Rachael Mady: And our studies species
are some of the more common person visit,

so the cardinal would be there before the
sun rises some of those mornings, the sun

doesn’t rise until closer to six to seven
during our sampling period, so the cardinal

was there before technically the sun was up.

Rachael Mady: But in terms of at
nighttime birds were pretty pretty consistent

in dipping off at the end.

Benjamin Walters: Yeah and during you know,
during the sampling period we didn’t have

any instances, that I was aware of a birds
visiting like in the nighttime hours.

Benjamin Walters: But we do often see flying
squirrels visit the feeder at night we even

had an Eastern screech owl predate a flying
squirrel earlier this year, which was like

pretty harrowing.

Benjamin Walters: clip. It was really amazing
if you’re not squeamish for that sort of thing

I definitely recommend checking it out on
our YouTube channel.

Charles Eldermire: So great question, though.

Charles Eldermire: Because that’s our it’s
kind of cool birds are out there night.

Charles Eldermire: Some of them are specialized
and some of them.

Charles Eldermire: are less but they’re still
out there.

Charles Eldermire: So there’s a lot of questions
I’m going to try and like group a few together

from a couple people is generally some questions
both about attracting.

Charles Eldermire: And deterring birds and
so Ben you already touched on safflower for

being a deterrent sometimes to.

Charles Eldermire: Different Blackbirds, but
we have questions about house sparrows, how

do we keep them away starlings how do I keep
them away? so let’s start there and then we

can get into how we get more birds there.

Benjamin Walters: Yeah so those are both great
questions because you know when people put

out bird feeders they’re often you know their.

Benjamin Walters: reason for putting them
out as it to attract house sparrows and European

starlings and things like that some people
love them and just love the.

Benjamin Walters: relationship with nature
that you get no matter the species by by feeding

birds, but there are you know, in the world
of bird feeding more attractive species and

like less desirable feeder visitors. With
something like a European starling.

Benjamin Walters: there’s not like there’s
not a lot, you can do to prevent them from

coming to the feeder there are certain types

Benjamin Walters: Actual feeders that can
physically prevent them from visiting. So


you have a tube feeders , for example, they

Benjamin Walters: Tube feeders with cages

them that allows small birds like chickadees

and titmice to fit through the slots and
get to the feeder, but they prevent larger

birds from visiting. House sparrows is a another
tough one, because they are smaller like.

Benjamin Walters: Those those other birds
of those cage features don’t work so well

for them, but if you look on Project FeederWatch’s
website, they do have a resource about

I believe they’re called halos.

Benjamin Walters: That you can install on
your feeders and, for some reason, I don’t

know the science behind it so don’t quote
me but with house sparrows they don’t like


sort of dangling.

Benjamin Walters: sort of apparatuses that

Benjamin Walters: sit around the feeder and
they’re called feeder halos, I believe, so

you can check those I think Charles just put
a link in the chat. So if you are interested

in preventing house sparrows at your feeders

one thing you can test out.

Charles Eldermire: And there were a couple
others added upside down suet feeders for


Charles Eldermire: And starlings have figured
out Amanda’s cage feeder which is one thing

I always tell people is you know these animals
wild animals have 24 hours 24 hours they’ve

all day.

Charles Eldermire: Whether it’s a squirrel
or starling or house sparrow to decide how


time to put into like beating, whatever your
good idea is.

Charles Eldermire: And part of bird feeding


Charles Eldermire: For for me is.

Charles Eldermire: just making peace with
the idea that.

Charles Eldermire: they’re pretty incredible
animals that can figure out a lot of different

ways past our big brains coming up with

Benjamin Walters: And the same thing can be
said for squirrels.

Benjamin Walters: You know there’s a lot of
people that are just dead set on preventing

squirrels from visiting their feeders. You
know we do some of that same.

Benjamin Walters: Preventative measures like
I showed you in the video we have those baffles

or you know we trim the vegetation around
the feeders in order to try to.

Benjamin Walters: provide a little bit of
distance between any jumping platforms, that

the squirrels might use to get onto the feeder
but still we get squirrels you know they’re

they’re very industrious creatures and some
people have you know, have tried every

Benjamin Walters: tactic in the book to you
know, try to prevent squirrels. I would say

that the most

Benjamin Walters: effective measure is just
getting your feeder and an area that is far

away from anything else, where the squirrels
can jump.

Benjamin Walters: That’s how the squirrels

on to our feeder. They’re not climbing up

the baffles. They’re jumping on from limbs
of trees, or from a fence post.

Benjamin Walters: You know they’re they’re
evil knievel types. So they’re they’re not

scared of you know, failing over and over
and over until they finally get there. It’s

actually pretty funny to watch if you sit
there long enough.

Charles Eldermire: And, and I Rorry
in the chat has some advice put up a squirrel


Charles Eldermire: fill it with peanuts and
watch them get distracted and it’s true if

there’s food that is easier for them to get
to typically they will go to it. That includes

like if there’s seed that you know, is being
wasted by your birds being thrown on the ground.

Charles Eldermire: So it’s it’s it’s a it’s

Charles Eldermire: Whatever there’s there’s
pros and cons to lots of different things

with bird feeding, but the flip side is and
somebody mentioned this in the chat I just

love to get birds at the feeder so you know.

Charles Eldermire: One challenge people have
is attracting birds and I saw one question

asking how do I attract warblers?

Charles Eldermire: And that’s a hard one because
they’re not really feeder birds, you know

they don’t tend to come to feeders so much
as putting in good landscaping that might

attract birds to your yard for the natural
food that’s out there because of insects coming

in, but when we think about.

Charles Eldermire: Whether it’s woodpeckers.

Charles Eldermire: I see someone asked about

Charles Eldermire: Somebody else said their
favorite were chickadees. You’ve mentioned,


some seed preferences, Ben. But I don’t know
if you have anything else to share, about

generally attracting birds to to feeders and
maybe how long it could take.

Charles Eldermire: to actually get it and
I suite of stuff.

Benjamin Walters: that’s a that’s a great
point Charles.

Benjamin Walters: So for anybody new to bird
feeding it’s important to point out the fact

that it can take a while for birds to actually
discover your feeder and to start routinely

visiting. So don’t give up if you put up a
feeder a month or two ago and you’re not seeing

that much action yet because.

Benjamin Walters: It can take a while for
for birds to start coming, and it can also

vary year to year. There’s great

Benjamin Walters: You know variation in abundance
of birds in certain areas, so they may be,

you know migrating over your property in one
year and then they shift their migration patterns,

or there might be a bigger abundance of predators
around in one year.

Benjamin Walters: It’s it’s hard to tell exactly
what those reasons, might be year to year

but there’s definitely fluctuation.

Benjamin Walters: As far as attracting birds
like woodpeckers and nuthatches, suet is

a super great option, you can you know make
your own Suet. There are recipes online for

for actually making your own suet out of
like beef kidney fat rendered beef kidney


Benjamin Walters: If you do make your own
suet it’s best to like serve that in cold

temperatures, because it can become rancid
in hot temperatures. but there’s also.

Benjamin Walters: Like store bought
pre-processed suet, so you can use your suet

year round. There’s

even some no melt stuff that doesn’t.

Benjamin Walters: melt in hot temperatures

can get on the birds feathers and create problems

for them if they do come in contact with really
melty suet.

Benjamin Walters: But yeah that’s a that’s
a great option for both woodpeckers and nuthatches.

Chickadees and nuthatches also
love sunflower seeds, peanuts, you’re going

to get a lot of species if those are the things
you’re you’re feeding with.

Benjamin Walters: There’s there’s you know,

Benjamin Walters: And it’s not just food types,
I should say to the feeder type also plays

a big role. Charles mentioned upside down

feeders to you know.

Benjamin Walters: preserve that suet for for
woodpeckers and things that actually can hitch

to and cling to those types of feeders where
they can only be accessed from underneath.

Benjamin Walters: And then you have things
like platform feeders where that will invite

almost every type of species that visits feeders
because there’s a ton of space, their food

is easily accessible, there’s no small perches
that bigger birds have to try to deal with.

Benjamin Walters: So that’s going to be a

Benjamin Walters: way to attract a whole diverse
set of birds, but, of course, then you also

run the risk of attracting birds that may
be deemed undesirable in cases so.

Benjamin Walters: there’s like different tube
feeders you can use that are designed for


Benjamin Walters: birds that have small little
perches and small feeder ports and then

there’s the larger perches which will accommodate
those those bigger birds and they can monopolize

the type of feeders that they can access.

Charles Eldermire: And I threw a link in the
chat for an interactive tool that our Project

FeederWatch has that allows you to select
a bird and it’ll tell you what kind of feeders

work well, what kind of seed types or foods
work well.

Charles Eldermire: The other thing, some people
have asked about you know why I haven’t gotten

anything yet and my feeders and you know one
thing is the feeders are a source of food,


Charles Eldermire: You have to think almost
like a bird, birds still like cover.

Charles Eldermire: They like water nearby
usually so if you think about creating like

a habitat for the bird feeder is like the
Crown jewel of that place is the place where

they can get food reliably.

Charles Eldermire: But it makes them feel
comfortable to have these other elements and

sometimes those then are in conflict with.

Charles Eldermire: Some other things like
I don’t want squirrels on my feeder. Well

if you have some bushes near your feeder the
birds are more likely to use those bushes

to stage and check out the scene, but you
know, make sure that it’s safe.

Charles Eldermire: So, since we’re talking
about seed,

Charles Eldermire: How, specific to the camera,
how much seed, are we using on that camera

Charles Eldermire: Every year?

Benjamin Walters: That’s a great question
we go through a lot of bird seed, especially

because we have that tray platform, you know
that’s the biggest consumer of seed because

you know we fill that thing pretty full almost
every day and

Benjamin Walters: the birds go through you
know, most of it in 24 hours.

Benjamin Walters: And I’ve estimated conservatively
about 2,000 pounds of seed that they go through

just from that feeder and the tube feeders.

Benjamin Walters: And so the seed we use in
there is called no mess no millet blend from

wild birds unlimited. It’s a mix of hulled
peanuts, hulled sunflower seeds and also

a variety of different tree nuts as well,

Benjamin Walters: like they have like pistachios
and hazelnuts and stuff in there as well,

so it’s a really you know prized type of food
and the birds don’t have to do any work to

un-crack the seeds.

Benjamin Walters: So it’s a it’s a you know
it goes pretty quick and you know feeding

that much seed can get expensive as well,
so you have to you know when you’re going

envisioning your ideal feeder setup you have
to factor, the costs of seed and the costs

of feeders into it.

Benjamin Walters: Um yeah we also have a bunch
of we also have a big stand up suet feeder

and metal log that holds a suet cylinder,
and I mean we go through about you know, a

full 12.

Benjamin Walters: suet cakes a month, at
least. It can really vary depending on the

year. During summertime when the birds are
feeding their young and stuff like that they

go through this really, really fast.

Charles Eldermire: yeah and along with that
so we’ve talked a lot about seeds and and

people are also wondering well why isn’t there
a hummingbird feeder up there you guys get


Charles Eldermire: And, and we do put out
oranges, for the orioles we don’t put out

a feeder specific the orioles you want to
just touch on why we haven’t continued to

put up a hummingbird feeder.

Benjamin Walters: Sure yeah so we actually
had put out hummingbird feeder in previous

years, and we do see hummingbirds
in the feeder garden foraging on the flowers

that we have that bloom in there. The reason
we don’t have it on cam, though, is because

hummingbirds can be very

Benjamin Walters: timid to larger birds being
present near them so we’re really getting

a lot of visitors it’s best to sort of keep
a hummingbird feeder off on its own

Benjamin Walters: away from feeders away from
regular sort of bird feeders where there’s

larger birds like constantly visiting because
then that gives them a chance to approach

that feeder how they’re comfortable

Benjamin Walters: and forge from it sort of
at a distance away from all those other species.

Charles Eldermire: Right that makes a lot
of sense.

Charles Eldermire: Trying to make sure that
I’m not missing anything. Do you have any,

so one

question was, just generally, Julie asked

don’t we use certain other kinds of seed like

millet? And I don’t know if you want to touch
on that at all or whether just you know there

isn’t a reason, both those okay.

Benjamin Walters: yeah I mean millet is a

fine seed to offer. It just isn’t a favorite

of a lot of the common feeder species that
we often see on cam. It does tend to attract

birds like cardinals and stuff like that,
but it also attracts a lot of blackbirds.

Benjamin Walters: And it’s also something

Benjamin Walters: isn’t going to be super
attractive to like chickadees, titmice, things

like that, the other forest residents that
we have. So you know we tried to with the

feeder cam because we are.

Benjamin Walters: You know, sharing the live
stream we try to put in the the type of seed

that’s going to attract a very wide variety
of species. You know, we want a diverse

Benjamin Walters: set of visitors to entertain
us on camera so that’s that’s kind of why

we don’t offer millet. Although we have actually
used some seed there’s also a.

Benjamin Walters: version of the no mass blend
that I was talking about earlier that has

millet and we did use a few bags of that this
summer and it still went through pretty quickly.

Charles Eldermire: With all this bird feeding,
and all this bird visitation, there’s a few

questions that have come in from Maria and
Kim and Sheila…

Charles Eldermire: What about keeping these
feeders clean? What about disease, you know

what are, what are we doing to keep bird safe,
while we’re watching them on camera and coming

to this, you know great variety of feeders?

Benjamin Walters: yeah that’s a super good
question and very important thing to consider

even before you decide feeding birds because
it’s our responsibility if we do decide to

feed birds to make sure we’re doing it in
a responsible and healthy manner for the birds,


Benjamin Walters: So what we do is not only
do we sort of

Benjamin Walters: Let me back up because
there’s there certain feeders that get messier

faster than other feeders, right? So if you
take the tray feeder, for example, that thing

gets trashed almost every single day because
there’s you know hundreds of birds visiting

it in a 24 hour period so

Benjamin Walters: What I what I do every morning
is I come, and I manually you know clear

off all the chaff and stuff that’s on the
on the screens.

Benjamin Walters: You know the underneath
the seed, or some drainage ports which allow

if it rains you know the water to pass through
so it’s not building up and like causing,

harboring a bunch of mold growth or anything
like that.

Benjamin Walters: And that feeder does get
dirtier faster than the other ones, but

I’m physically, you know clearing out every
little inch of that feeder every single day

to reduce any build up.

Benjamin Walters: And then it’s really important
to make sure to take down your feeders on

a regular schedule to wash them thoroughly
and clean them, you know, because even

Benjamin Walters: The tube feeders they can
get gunk and wet seed built up in the bottom

of them so it’s important to really take those
apart scrub them well I know Project FeederWatch

has some really good resources on on different
types of

Benjamin Walters: solutions to use like bleach
solutions, what works best to kill, you know

the most amount of bacteria.

Benjamin Walters: So there’s there’s some
great resources on their website, for you

know if you know.

Benjamin Walters: Of course there’s different
ways to clean a feeder you can use vinegar

solutions, you can use specifically designed
cleaner products for bird feeders, and then

you can just use a you know.

Benjamin Walters: hot soapy water or or like
a bleach solution, whatever works best for

you, but there are ones that have been scientifically
tested to be shown more effective, and those

are like the bleach water solutions.

Charles Eldermire: That’s great.

Charles Eldermire: One, a couple other questions
are have to do with

Charles Eldermire: Similar to our bird cams
lab study,

whether or not birds are showing up at feeders

Charles Eldermire: I don’t know if either
of you can speak anything to this but there’s

been a couple of questions about American

Charles Eldermire: and wondering whether or
not there are fewer around this year due to

disease. I can say personally looking at my
feeders I have not

Charles Eldermire: had any lack of goldfinches
the entire winter and still now

there’s probably 25 down on the feeders as
I sit here talking. So I don’t know if either

of you have any information about that or
if that’s, something that would would take

a little longer to dig into.

Benjamin Walters: I can start with that I
don’t know I don’t know Rachel, are you

online right now? but um

Benjamin Walters: yeah so I don’t have any

Benjamin Walters: specific numbers to point
isn’t a little.

Benjamin Walters: Oh, it looks like you froze
a little. I don’t have any numbers to point

out that there’s you know, a decrease of American
gold fishes specifically.

Benjamin Walters: In terms of you know, broad
population-level stuff. We’ve seen and I’ve

personally seen and heard plenty of them around
the feeder garden, one thing that you might

notice, you know as sort of spring goes in
to summer as like I noticed this on our Cornell

FeederWatch cam.

Benjamin Walters: Like short distance migrants
that arrive, like the Red-winged Blackbirds

Common Grackles, as they arrive, some of these
smaller species, like the chickadee, Goldfinch.

Benjamin Walters: titmouse, they they aren’t
as they don’t at least seem as common at the

bird feeder as they are like during wintertime
when you see them more often.

Benjamin Walters: And that can be you know
attributed to more than one thing right?

Benjamin Walters: It’s that these larger birds
are able to monopolize the feeders and the

smaller species are off gathering their food
and other places, because they don’t want


Benjamin Walters: be displaced by by these
larger species or risk being displaced by

was by larger species, but also certain species
diets change throughout the season as well.

Benjamin Walters: You know, specifically like
chickadees. They’re eating a lot more seed

and vegetation in wintertime and then, once
spring hits their diet shifts too much more

in sector borealis diet, where they’re eating
spiders, insects, other animal um

Benjamin Walters: food. And then they’re not
eating as many seeds and vegetation as part

of a you know total makeup of their diet.

Charles Eldermire: yeah and and when you think
about again birds at feeders, what an adult

wants to eat may not be what it wants to feed.

Charles Eldermire: To its young so, especially

Charles Eldermire: nestlings are fed insects,
for the most part due to the high protein

content. And so you’ll notice a shift for

species when they’re feeding nestlings the

adult still might be

Charles Eldermire: eating a lot of seeds if
the if seeds are a big part of their diet,

normally, but they also are going out and
preferentially forage and even birds that

tend to forage on seeds are going on preferentially
foraging for insect prey.

Charles Eldermire: to feed their nestlings
because it’s a it’s like the best thing to


Benjamin Walters: Protein-packed.

Charles Eldermire: Exactly it’s like taking
those protein shakes so you can get you know

super buff.

Charles Eldermire: So we’re coming up on the
hour, we have a few more minutes left for

questions and I wanted to circle back to Bird
Cams Lab

since that’s where we were deep in the

data weeds, the happy data weeds,

Charles Eldermire: and

Charles Eldermire: We had one question come
in from Paula.

Charles Eldermire: She mentioned that while
tagging data I thought that some species were

more likely to show up when the feeder was
not as busy.

Charles Eldermire: Did your analysis indicate
any of that behavior? Thank you. So I wondered

if Rachael, you might talk on what sort of

we’ve done, but also like did you do anything

that might shed some light on that.

Rachael Mady: Oh wonderful question
and I think some people were wondering similar

things in our other investigations,
so I’m really glad you brought that up in

the context of this one. So currently

Rachael Mady: I have, we have not
looked at that. And I think the next question

after your question would be like, how would

Rachael Mady: measure like lots
of activity versus no activity? Do we add

up the number of species that were seem in

hour or half hour?

Rachael Mady: Something like that,
so we need to come up with a measure.

Rachael Mady: What we have done
so far is looked at the presence and absence

of individual species each half hour or each
hour, and then created visualizations like

the one I showed.

Rachael Mady: Where we’re looking
at the percent chance that one of the species

arrives, and we haven’t related that to what
the other species are doing.

Rachael Mady: And whether maybe
the time before affects the time after or

something like that, but it’s definitely a
really interesting question, and we did see

in a past investigation that when we looked
at the Panama fruit feeder cam, some of

you might be familiar with that cam. It’s

Rachael Mady: That when there was
food put out, it seems like some species were

delaying when they would arrive they didn’t
come right when the food was there, and one

of the thoughts was maybe.

Rachael Mady: That species, I think
it was a Great-cowled Wood-Rail is like

keying into other species coming to the feeder,
so maybe some species are waiting or following

other species so, for instance on this feeder.

Rachael Mady: What would be having
like a black-capped chickadee is known as


as a flock leader, so maybe there’s some species
that are following others, but maybe some

species like yours or avoiding.

Rachael Mady: Others so they can
come in quick grab a seed and leave, so I

think that’s a great question, if you want
to follow up with us in the forums or via

email, would love to think more about that
because i’m not quite sure how we would get

at it, but I think there might be a way.

Charles Eldermire: Awesome I just want to
make sure I fit that in.

Rachael Mady: Yeah I saw that question and
I’m so glad you brought

it up. I was like oh good question.

Charles Eldermire: yeah and I thought Ben
this would be a good question for you, since

we’re also doing sort of a behind the scenes
kind of theme here.

Charles Eldermire: yeah Laura wrote in that
she loves the variety of feeders and how their

placed together.

Charles Eldermire: Can you discuss the design
for the feeders you use? What determines

what type of feeders you use? How they are

together? and do you have a diagram of the

feeders which might be a nice follow up at
some point.

Charles Eldermire: Your video shows pretty
nicely how they came up, we have like probably

a minute or two, if you want to touch on just
generally the feeders and why they’re there.

Benjamin Walters: Sure, so um you know.

Benjamin Walters: One one I guess sort of
design element, with the feeders first off.

Benjamin Walters: Let you guys know that the
theaters and the poll system are all supplied

by Wild Birds Unlimited. So if you want to
replicate the setup exactly you can do that.

Benjamin Walters: We are, all of the products
are supplied by Wild Birds Unlimited and

they’ve got an online store and multiple stores
across US and Canada.

Benjamin Walters: So if you have any more
information or questions on specific feeders

related to the cams, what’s on cam, you can
email us at, but

when it comes to decisions on like how to
place the feeders and what feeders to use

it really depends on

Benjamin Walters: You know one thing is making
sure we can get a lot of action in sort of

a small frame right, and so the it’s nice
to have that platform feeder as sort of the

centerpiece because it attracts such a diverse
set of species and then having sort of.

Benjamin Walters: More species specific types
of feeders or things with a lot of feeder

ports for smaller birds can perch while bigger
birds are controlling the feeders or the

tray feeder. So that all sort of plays a role
into it is you know

Benjamin Walters: How can our feeder selection
attract a wide variety of birds number one,

how can we make it look good on camera, how
can we fit as much.

Benjamin Walters: feeders as many feeders,
to attract as many birds, as we can, within

that frame right without getting too messy

Benjamin Walters: Too congested where the
birds, you know can’t actually traffic in

and out. So that’s sort of the the idea behind
the the setup and how it’s arranged, and we

also love experimenting.

Benjamin Walters: You know, when we have new
feeder designs that might be fun to test

out we’re open to it, and we have to try that
stuff out.

Charles Eldermire: Thanks, Ben.

Rachael Mady: All right y’all we’re
coming up on the hour. Like many webinars,

I don’t

know how that happened, but there you all

wonderful questions and we were able to cover

a lot of ground everything from.

Rachael Mady: seeing where the feeders
located to digging in to some of our data

I’m going to share my screen, one more time
and Charles is going to share some of the

links in the chat.

[Video: PowerPoint slide with title at top,
“Thank you for tuning in!” A photo of a Blue

Jay perch on a tray feeder is on the left
and text is on the right. The text reads “Sign

Up:,” “Follow
on Twitter: @BirdCamsLab,” and “Contact us:” The speaker’s screen
is in the top-right corner.]

Rachael Mady: But I really just
want to thank you all for tuning in today.

We could not do this, unless you all showed
up, so thank you for being here, asking questions

engaging with us, and each other in the chat.

Rachael Mady: If you want to sign
up for our email communications about bird

cams lab,

Rachael Mady: you can do so at that
link and you can also follow us.

Rachael Mady: On Twitter, you can
contact us if you have any more questions.

We really want to keep engaging with you all
and invite you to do so because Cornell Feeders


the investigation, isn’t over. We still
have data to look at together online.

Rachael Mady: And we still have
to share what we find with the community at

large and bird cams,

Rachael Mady: you all engage with
us all the time of bird cams via email already

or in our other events, so we definitely want
to stay in contact with you all to see birds,

both on the bird cams and out in nature, around
us, so thank you for being here today.

Benjamin Walters: Thanks everybody have a
great rest of your day.

Charles Eldermire: Take care. Keep watching
those birds.

Rachael Mady: All right, bye everyone.

Charles Eldermire: Buh-bye.

[Video: Speaker screens disappear and entire
view becomes a white background with black

text. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Logo
is at the top. Below that is “Thanks for watching!”

Below that is “Sign up to join Bird Cams LAb

End of Transcript

Go behind-the-scenes with Bird Cams staff to learn more about the Cornell FeederWatch cam and check out the data visualizations from the Cornell Feeders Live investigation.

On June 16, 164 people tuned in for an engaging hour all about the Cornell FeederWatch cam. Bird Cams staff showed where the cam is located at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and shared two of our favorite clips from the cam. They also walked everyone through the Cornell Feeders Live investigation and the data visualizations showing how different species visit the feeding station. Then, for the last half of the hour they answered questions submitted ahead of time and during the live session, resulting in an interesting conversation about bird feeding and the data.

Thank you to everyone who 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 featured in the webinar: