Since 2018, automatic camera systems have been mounted in the nesting places of greylag geese and nothern bald ibises in the Cumberland Game Park in Grünau im Almtal in Austria. The behaviour of the birds on the nest needs to be classified for scientific purposes. Therefore, we need your help! The NestCams project runs on the Zooniverse platform and you can participate directly there:
Citizen Science Award 2019
NestCams is part of the Citizen Science Award 2019 in Austria! Join in and have fun observing the behaviours of greylag geese and northern bald ibises on their nests.
If you are going to compete for the Citizen Science Award, please send us an email with your
When: 1st April to 5th July 2019
Where: online on BirdScience.net or the platform Zooniverse
Who can participate: children, school classes, adolescents, adults, everybody who is interested
How can you participate?
During the research period citizen scientists can watch and code short video sequences of breeding greylag geese and northern bald ibises, i.e. determine what the birds are doing on the nest.
Just register on the platform Zooniverse and go to the project "NestCams" via this LINK!
The aim is to investigate the breeding behaviour of two bird species that use two different strategies.
Greylag geese: precocial, long-term monogamous, the nest is exclusively cared for by the female
Northern bald ibis: altricial, seasonally monogamous, the nest is cared for by both partners
The observation of breeding behaviour should reveal why there are successful and unsuccessful pairs within a flock or colony.
What happens to the contributions of the citizen scientists?
The contributions of the citizen scientists, the coded video sequences, represent the data set from which the results are statistically evaluated in order to relate the observed behavioural patterns to the reproductive success of the individuals. The results will be presented as papers at conferences and in journals.
How are the winners determined?
For organisational reasons, prizes will only be awarded to participants from Austria.
The winners will be determined by the quantity of coded videos. The more the better! The correctness of the observation is automatically checked by the system. The data of the winners will be sent to the Centre for Citizen Science for the award ceremony.
1st price | 1000 EUR for the best school class
2nd price | 750 EUR for the second best school class
3rd price | Material price for the best single person
Photo credits: KLF archive & Verena Pühringer-Sturmayr
"Forschen im Almtal" is a Citizen Science project of the University of Vienna in cooperation with the Cumberland Game Park in Grünau im Almtal. Its aim is to actively involve the visitors of the game park in the research activities of the Core Facility Konrad Lorenz Research Station for Behaviour and Cognition (Austria). Everybody is welcome to join in!
The aim of the project is the monitoring of the time-space patterns of three avian species (greylag geese, northern bald ibises and common ravens) which are considered as models. Because of their availability and accessibility in the study area (Cumberland Wildpark, Grünau im Almtal, Upper Austria), as well as the interest given to them by the public, they are perfectly suitable for the project. Birds are individually marked, which allows recognition of the single animals in the field also for citizen scientists.
The greylag geese and the northern bald ibises are marked with coloured rings on their legs, whereas the ravens are recognizable by different wingtags.
We aim at investigating when and where exactly which animals are to be found: do they have preferences for certain places of the park or do they prefer the company of other conspecifics?
The Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami) is an endemic Australian bird species from the Megapode family. Birds in the Megapode family are also known as mound-builders. Brush-turkeys occur naturally in rainforests and woodlands, where they forage by raking through leaf litter and soil for fruit, seeds, insects, lizards, and almost anything edible. Despite being poor fliers, they are capable runners and climbers. What sets them apart from other birds is their unique reproductive behaviour. Rather than incubating their eggs with their body heat, Brush-turkey males construct huge nest mounds out of soil and leaf litter, often weighing up to 3 tonnes. The breakdown and decomposition of this material produces heat that keeps the buried eggs around 33°C. Once the chicks hatch they are completely independent of their parents and are capable of forging and flight from day one.
"Crows in the zoo" is a Citizen Science project of the Department for Behavioral and Cognitive Biology of the University of Vienna in cooperation with the Konrad Lorenz Research Station and the Zoo Vienna. The researchers aim to find out more about the species and subspecies of crows that use the Zoo area. All visitors of the Zoo Vienna are welcome to join in!
As typical cultural followers, corvids regularly profit from human settlements as places to stay and as a source of food. The birds often form flocks of varying sizes. Recent research results suggest that these groups are not completely anonymous aggregations of random composition, as several birds meet again and again. In the present study, participants are to investigate which species of crows are found in Zoo Vienna, where they prefer to be and what they do in different places. The project will significantly contribute to the study of crow behaviour in human environment.
The aim is to record which species/subspecies of crows are present at the Zoo Vienna and what behaviour they display. This will allow their group dynamics and the influence of ecological factors (e.g. availability of food or presence of zoo animals) to be investigated.
Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Thomas Bugnyar: Project leader and management
Dr. Dott.ssa. Didone Frigerio: Project leader and management
Dr. Palmyre Boucherie: management, Data evaluation and publication
Mag. Regina Kramer, MSc: Public relations, communication
Paulus Leidinger, BSc: Supervision of the app, communication with the participants, public relations
Dr. Didone Frigerio
We humans are capable of dramatically altering the landscape. Cities are a familiar and extreme example of this change. Intriguingly, some animals can adapt to these changed environments by flexibly changing their behaviour. The project focuses on five bird species that have done so successfully: Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian Brush-turkey, Australian White Ibis, Little Corella, and Long-billed Corella. Additional species can be reported by selecting “other.”
The five focal species have all been observed adapting to human modified areas , and are increasing their population in urban areas. Occasionally they are considered a nuisance, yet they are all Australian native birds that are doing their best to survive in human altered landscapes. The data collected will help scientists understand these species’ behaviour, movement, reproduction, distribution, and habitat use in suburban areas. We aim to use this information to help understand the behavioural traits that have allowed some species to adapt to the challenges and opportunities of city living.