Thursday, July 16, 2009

See the Bigger Picture - The Contest

See the Bigger Picture - The Contest: "See the Bigger Picture" Photo Contest Details: At Airbus they believe that biodiversity is a major issue with an endangered future. Protecting biodiversity is everyone's responsibility, from individuals and families to big companies and organisations. That's why at Airbus they are supporting The Green Wave project, which is making people smarter about the complex variety of life on Earth and helping us to build a more sustainable future. To celebrate the amazingly varied world around us They're asking you to grab your camera and show the world what biodiversity means to you by entering the "See the Bigger Picture" photo contest.

The contest is open to all kids around the world. In the US and Canada, it is open to 6 to 14 year-olds. In the rest of the world, it is open to kids aged between 6 and 16. Submit one colour image that you think captures the spirit or idea of biodiversity. It could be a favourite tree or a plant, an animal or an insect, even a whole ecosystem (from your own back yard to somewhere you've visited on vacation) — your image should show people why biodiversity is a good thing that we should try to preserve.

The submitted photographs should: *Show an understanding of biodiversity *Be of a good quality *Be original and creative

How to enter: Digital images as labelled jpegs files or mail-in submissions, including image on CD Begins: June 5, 2009Final submissions: September 8, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

My backyard groundhog

Allow me to introduce my backyard "mascot", Fat Phil. I moved to Spring Hill about 5 years ago and never had a close, personal relationship with a groundhog (who has?). Unfortunately, you mainly see them dead on the side of the road. We moved here in the fall, about the time these critters hibernate. Imagine my surprise when I'm sitting outside the following May and out walks the fattest groundhog I've ever seen. He sized me up, decided I was OK and went about eating his clover. Well, I set about learning all I could about these guys, aka, woodchucks. Contrary to popular belief, he's not destructive (at least not in my yard) and seems concerned with eating, eating and eating. Currently, he devours all the leftover safflower seed under my feeder and he's crazy about vanilla wafers. I've found his burrow entrance and he sticks pretty close, but never going straight to it in case of danger...he doesn't want to give away his hiding dude. He brings smile to my face just about everyday!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of OrnithologyJune 30, 2009

Play "tag" with the birds: Be a CamClickr!

Dear Birding Friend,

We need your keen eye and quick fingers! As you may know, we have live cameras positioned at active bird nests all around the country. Since 1999, we’ve archived more than eight million images from these from these NestCams. To help sort through the images, we developed CamClickr—an online tool you can use to view the images and sort them into albums, then tag each image by the type of behavior you see: preening, eating, feeding chicks, etc.

What’s in it for you? NestCams allow you to peek into the nests of Barn Owls, bluebirds, Wood Ducks, and other birds for an up-close look at fascinating bird behavior. CamClickr will appeal not only to bird lovers, but to people who enjoy testing their skills with online games. When you help sort and tag the camera images, you collect points and compete for prizes such as binoculars, DVDs, books, and posters. It's easy and fun!

Why do we need your help? By using CamClickr to help tag and sort the NestCam images, you help
scientists studying breeding bird behavior. The more we understand bird
behavior, the better equipped we will be to understand how birds are
responding to threats in their environment.

Just visit create an account. This allows you to chat in the NestCam forums, tag photos, and track your stats in CamClickr anytime. You can check your rankings in “my sessions” to see how you stack up against other taggers. The redesigned CamClickr home page also provides the latest Twitter feeds. Educators will appreciate the newly developed lesson plan, appropriate for all ages, and easily modified for individualized instruction. You can watch videos of fascinating nesting behaviors from the Lab's Macaulay Library.

Make it your summer project to help science and the birds—be a CamClickr!

Thank you for helping us help the birds.


Tina Phillips, project leader

NestWatch, NestCams, CamClickr

P.S. I've attached a CamClickr PDF flier for you to use as you see fit--pass it along!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution interpreting and conserving the earth's biodiversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit our website at

Copyright © 2009 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca NY 14850
Questions or Comments?
Call us toll-free at (800) 843-BIRD (2473)