Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Wet Day Movie Watching

Over several months, Latu has been filming the robins and watching closely their behaviour while the chicks are still in their nests.  She's been able to set up cameras and watch the nesting habits of some of the North Island Robins here in Zealandia.
For her Masters, she is looking into parent - offspring interactions and brood division.  Do mother birds feed both chicks or do they favour one?  Do males feed the chicks as much as the females do? Once you start thinking about it there are all sorts of interesting questions around who looks after who.  Through filming the nests, Latu can study closely the interactions between parents and chicks.

To ensure her research and analysis of what she has filmed is sound, she has had to get another person to watch 10% of her videos.  We each have to carefully record what we see happening, the time, who and the behaviour observed.  Then once we have recorded our observations she has to compare mine with hers.  If what we both observes matches over 85% of the time then her observations are scientifically sound.  The reason why she has to get someone else to watch the same videos is to ensure that she is not biased when watching the clips and that she is actually recording what she observes rather than what she thinks she sees.  Therefore its pretty important that I also make sure that I observe carefully and record by observations accurately.

 Luckily the weather in Wellington has been pretty cold and wet so its been a perfect time to sit indoors and watch the little chicks be fed!

Here's a couple of still shots from some of the video's.

 Can you spot the two chicks?  They are begging with their beaks wide open!

 Can you see the two beaks?  Look where the nest is - if this was in your backyard what might the problem be for this family of robins?

 Why do you think the inside of a birds beak is bright orange?

This chick is 15 days old, look how big it is sitting in its nest!