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Networked robotic camera for bird activity observation

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CONE (standards for collaborative observation of natural environments) team announce the CONE-Welder site for the networked robots community. We combine standard techniques of field biology with a new class of telerobotic "observatories" to intensively study relevant bird species at Welder Wildlife Foundation in South Texas. We construct a feeding station and capture and color-band birds for individual recognition. We will apply standard techniques such as color-marking, nest location, and specimen collection. We install an internet-accessible telerobotic "observatory" (Song and Goldberg, 2006).

Observers, using the networked robotic camera, collect data on bird individuals, pairs, and family groups and their residency over the course of an annual cycle. On-site investigators will supplement this effort with field and laboratory work (e.g., paternity testing) to provide further information on breeding range shift.

Our aim is to engage thousands of citizens from around the world, including students from local and non-local schools, to systematically photograph and collect data on the daily and seasonal occurrence of subtropical birds.
This study is relevant to larger questions regarding the proximate and ultimate causes for such shifts, which may include global effects such as climate change.

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For CONE Welder, please visit:

Project Team:
Welder Wildlife Foundation (Dr. Selma Glasscock)
Smithsonian National Zoological Park (Dr. John Rappole)
Texas A&M (Prof. Dezhen Song)
UC Berkeley (Prof. Ken Goldberg)
Sponsored by National Science Foundation