I help develop computational tools to detect patterns in bird species distributions using data from the Cornell Lab’s eBird project.
Birds have inspired awe and admiration throughout human history, featuring in our songs, lore, and imaginations. One contemporary manifestation of this is a growing community of humans who, for fun, surveil birds and share their observations with each other. Using the immense collective contribution of this community to the eBird project, we can find patterns of where birds are and how they move over the landscape. I help develop the tools to make this happen.
In the spring of 2020 and to my delight, a pair of black vultures began showing up in my back yard and copulating (in other words, getting frisky) nearly every day. It turns out that this pair was the first of their species documented to breed in the state of Vermont. From the depths of a dilapidated farmhouse barn in downtown Burlington, one black vulture successfully fledged in September 2020 despite harrowing circumstances. Check out their story.