This fall the University of Alberta Birds and Windows Project launched a new Scavenger Removal Experiment at houses in the Edmonton area. This study was designed to determine the number of bird window collisions being missed by homeowners because bird carcasses are being removed by scavengers before they can be found.
As part of her undergraduate thesis, Colina Collins has been heading this project with the help of myself, Justine Kummer, and undergraduate student Elita Grinde.
In participating in this study, each house is being equipped with a small webcam and raspberry pi computer that has been programmed for motion capture photography. A bird carcass is then placed in front of the window of choice and in direct view of the camera. The Royal Alberta Museum has graciously donated a number of bird carcasses to this project. After a week we return to each home and analyze the photos.
We were very excited to find a squirrel in our pictures one afternoon. This little fellow found himself a delicious afternoon snack on November 7th.