Panama Feeder Video Recap and New Poll

January 15, 2020

Take the poll


In the video above, we summarize the great discussions the community has had on the Question Design Board and introduce the next step: final refinement of our question for the investigation. 

Now we’d love your help with designing the study. The topic selected by participants is, “When do different bird species arrive at the feeder–and does the pattern change throughout the day?”

To answer this question we have an exciting new tool to collect the data in real time, but like any other tool, there are some things it does really well and there are some limitations. The tool will continue to evolve to meet different needs, but the current version has 3 main constraints that we need to keep in mind: maximum of 6-8 buttons, click (not fill in) buttons, and no rewind/DVR feature. 

On the Question Design board, the community has had great discussions filled with great insight, ideas, and more questions to consider. Several people pointed out that there are lots of things we could think about and consider for data collection. It can be tough to narrow things down because so many things would be interesting to do! 

The community also gave great suggestions about what species we should select study, such as the Rufous Motmot and the Crimson-backed Tanager. Some members also pointed out that we should think about the time of day for data collection — should we collect only during daytime hours? What about nighttime hours? 

The conversations on the Question Design board also turned to thoughts about the why: why do birds visit the feeder when they do? Does it have to do with weather? When food is there? Do mammals at the feeder prevent access to other birds? How about aggression, is that related to visitation patterns? 

As we think about the main research question, we also want to point out that coming up with a research question starts to get tricky when we think about the data we can collect. Are we asking the question in a clear way? Should we change the wording? For example, what does “pattern” mean to you. We could change the wording of the question to be, “When are certain bird species at the feeder? What is the variation day-to-day?”

We have some decisions to make! Weigh in and help us narrow how we’ll approach this first investigation.

Head to the poll.

Have any thoughts to share with us about the poll or the video recap? Comment below.