How do greylag geese and northern bald ibises behave at the nest? School classes analysed their breeding behaviour. 

breeding behaviour, bird watching, reproductive success

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: Austria
Used Devices: with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Computer, tablet or smartphone with internet access
Activities of citizen scientists: observing, analysing
Suitable for: Youngsters
Project duration: 15.03.2019 - 31.08.2019
Time to join in: 01.04.2019 - 05.07.2019
Expenditure of time: After a short introduction (approx. 10 minutes), as often and as long as one feels for. Maximum length of a video sequence: 20 seconds

Project objective

In birds, reproductive success can be related to individual fitness but also provides a better understanding of their adaptive capacity. However, bird species behave differently at the nest and apply different breeding strategies. Greylag geese, for example, are precocial, long-term monogamous and the female takes care of the nest alone. The endangered northern bald ibis, on the other hand, is altricial, seasonally monogamous and both partners take care of the nest.

The aim of the project was to investigate the breeding behaviour of the two avian species with different breeding strategies in order to clarify why there are successful and unsuccessful pairs within a flock or colony of birds. Therefore, citizen scientists watched and coded videos showing the breeding behaviour of greylag geese and northern bald ibises. 

How did citizen scientists participate?

Citizen scientists watched and coded short video sequences taken at the nests of breeding northern bald ibises and greylag geese. 

In order to verify the codings, each video was shown to numerous citizen scientists. Only after a video has been coded the same way by different users, the coding was marked as true. 

What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?

The coded video sequences provided the dataset for statistical analysis in order to relate observed behavioural patterns to the reproductive success of single individuals. The results will be presented as contributions to conferences and peer-reviewed journals. 


How are winners being determined 
The winners will be determined by the number of coded videos, the more the better. The accuracy of the observation is automatically checked by the system.  

 The winners will be announced at the festive ceremony on 19 November 2019. 

One non-cash prize for an individual,
cash prizes for two school classes: 
1st prize: 1.000 euros 
2nd prize: 750 euros 

Participating and supporting institutions


Share this Page