Yesterday Cornell’s nestcams Twitter account posted a link to the CamClickr, a project where citizen scientists can help to tag millions of archived nestcam images. I spent way too much time clicking nestcam images yesterday afternoon!
Three Hungry Chicks – May 23rd, 2011 by Ecstatic Mark, Creative Commons on Flickr
The site has a tutorial video that clearly explains everything — the basic concept is that users identify and tag images taken from nestcams. Each session is divided into two parts and the whole experience is set up somewhat like a game. In Level 1 you identify 99 images based on the number of eggs, nestlings or adult birds you see. In Level 2 you tag each image based on the behavior seen. Along the way there are opportunities for you to learn more about the species you are working with. When I was tagging Carolina Chickadee nest images, I found one photo that had two adults in it (jackpot!). I wasn’t familiar with two of the behavior types listed, so I clicked on the glossary to learn more:
Allofeeding: A behavioral event where one adult bird feeds another adult of the same species.
Allopreening: A behavioral event where one bird grooms another ibrd of the same species . Also known as allogrooming.
Helping scientists study birds and learning new stuff?! Cool!
Some of the photos are really hard to figure out, but I kinda think that’s part of the fun. The photos from the nestcams seem to be in sequence so if you can figure out what’s going on in one, it helps when looking at adjacent images. Right now the cam images are of nests at the nestling stage, which means lots of photos of little chick blobs and a parent feeding them. Go check it out – when you have some time to kill! CamClickr