Panama Fruit Feeder Investigation Finalized After Final Poll

January 28, 2020


The community has spoken! After the most recent poll for your input about designing the study, we now have final, revised research questions:

When do focal species arrive at the feeder, and how does this vary from day to day? Does the timing of food affect when birds arrive at the feeder?

We also have a final selection of the species we will collect data on for this investigation: Crimson-backed Tanager, Thick-billed Euphonia, Gray-headed Chacalaca, Gray-cowled Wood-rail, Rufous Motmot, and Clay-colored Thrush.

We already knew that we wanted to investigate bird visitation at the feeder because the topic rose to the top in an initial vote by the community. This final poll allowed us to refine the type of data we wanted to collect and revise the question further. 

Thank you to all those that helped us revise the question to be more specific. For example, based on your write-ins, we swapped out “different species” for “focal species” to reflect the fact that we will be collecting data for a small set of “focal” species. 

As for the data to collect in addition to bird visitations, the poll showed that most of you would prioritize collecting data on when food is added to the feeder, so we plan to include a button that enables participants to log that information. Poll results showed the next most-suggested types of additional data to collect would be weather, aggression, and then mammal presence. Even though we could collect data about these factors, the more data we try to collect the more complicated the data collection itself becomes and the fewer buttons we would have available to collect data on species, so we decided not to add any other buttons at this time.

We’ll also be focusing our data collection efforts during the daytime, as per community vote. Even though we won’t be looking at weather, aggression, or mammal presence in this round, there is always potential to return to these in future investigations! 

Now the Bird Cams Lab will work to make the necessary tweaks to the existing data tagging tool so it works for our investigation. 

Thanks again for your input. Stay tuned! We’ll begin data collection soon.