Collect Data In Real Time On The FeederWatch Cam

March 30, 2021

Do you love watching the Cornell Lab FeederWatch cam? Now’s your chance to make discoveries about the birds you know and love from the cam. Join the Bird Cams Lab community and tag data for an investigation co-created by cam viewers and scientists called Cornell Feeders Live. The investigation’s main goal is to better understand how eight species visit the feeder station seen on the Cornell FeederWatch cam. Keep reading to learn about how the investigation got started, or take a survey to start tagging data right away.

What’s Bird Cams Lab?

Bird Cams Lab is an online community of cam viewers and scientists co-creating investigations to learn more about the birds seen on cam. Everyone, regardless of knowledge or experience, is invited to be a part of any and all phases of the scientific process: observing, asking a question, collecting data, visualizing and interpreting the data, writing up the results, and sharing the findings.

For the Cornell Feeders Live investigation, the community has finished the first two phases of the investigation (observing, asking a question) and is now in the third phase: collecting data. We hope you’ll join in if you haven’t already (no previous participation necessary)!

Two blue jays (bird with blue and white colors) are perched on a feeding platform against a backdrop of green vegetation. There are four hanging feeders and a suet feeder in the middle.
Two Blue Jays visit the feeding station seen on the Cornell FeederWatch cam.

What’s Cornell Feeders Live?

Cornell Feeders Live is an investigation that began back in February when participants worked with scientists to co-create an investigation to learn more about the birds seen on the Cornell FeederWatch cam.

Participants spent weeks watching the cam, sharing what they were curious about, proposing questions for the investigation, and refining those questions further. While there were several interesting ideas and questions, the community gravitated towards two questions in particular: (1) What is the daily visitation pattern of different species at the feeders? (2) How does weather affect the probability of different species visiting the feeders?

Then, the community narrowed down the species list to eight species (the maximum number allowed by the live data tagging tool): Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, and Red-winged Blackbird. We also plan to pull two types of weather data from the nearest weather station to the feeder: precipitation (ex: rain), and temperature.

We now need all hands on deck! The research team has set-up a live data tagging tool that allows everyone to tag data in real time on the FeederWatch cam. You can watch the Cornell FeederWatch cam as you always have, but can also now tag what you see for science!


Ready to get started? On the main Cornell FeederWatch cam page, head to the “Tag Data” tab next to the “Updates” tab.

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