Votes Are In and Data Collection Starts Soon
March 19, 2021
749 people weighed in on what we should collect for the Cornell Feeders Live investigation
In the past month, Bird Cams Lab participants shared what they want to learn more about and discussed questions we could potentially investigate with the Cornell FeederWatch cam. In the most recent set of discussions on the Question Design Board, two questions rose to the top with the most upvotes and were refined further:
- What is the daily visitation pattern of different species at the feeders?
- How does weather affect the probability of different species visiting the feeders?
Then, 749 people ranked eleven species and five weather variables, helping narrow down what data we’d collect both in real time on the cam and gather afterwards from the nearest weather station. We have eight buttons that we can customize to collect data in real time on when species arrive at the feeder.
Based on the rankings, we’ll collect data on seven species with the highest rankings: Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, and American Goldfinch (Figure 1). Additionally, we’ll be collecting data on the Red-Winged Blackbird, a species that can be a short-distant migrant and just arrived back at the feeders. At this time of year, Red-Winged Blackbirds are not only frequent visitors, but relatively easy to identify as well.
We’ll also gather precipitation and temperature data from the nearest weather station as they were the variables with the top rankings (Figure 2).
The Bird Cams Lab team is modifying the live data tagging tool to reflect the species we want to collect data on for the investigation (we’ll be gathering the weather data afterwards). They are also creating a field guide and a tutorial to make sure that everyone, regardless of prior knowledge or experience, will be able to successfully collect data. We hope to start collecting data within one to two weeks.
Can’t wait to get started?
- Familiarize yourself with the eight study species in a short Species Identification video
- Practice your species identification in real time with the Cornell FeederWatch cam
- See The Data Tool: Live Tagging to learn more about the tool we’ll use to collect data
Have a question, thought, or comment? Share below.