Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, is looking for good photos of birds carrying insects for a study he is doing in hopes of measuring the impact of invasive plants on insect prey available to birds.
Here is what Dr. Tallamy is looking for in his own words:
“I need all the “birds with insects” photos I can get. I am starting a study to see just how specialized some species of birds are in their diet. The ultimate goal is to see how plant invasions change the availability of insects for birds and then to measure whether birds can adjust to those changes or whether they simply leave those areas. This is all hampered by having very poor data on exactly what birds are eating. “insects” isn’t good enough. I need to know what species of insects. There are so many existing photos out there that are good enough to ID the insect in the beak that I thought I would start a data base from citizen scientists. There could be regional specialization so I think I will seek photos from all over the country. I won’t use any pics other than to ID the insect. I would like to have the date the photo was taken, whether the bird was migrating or not (best guess), the location of the shot (nearest post office is usually good enough), and the photographer and the email address (if he or she feels like sharing that). All participants will be given credit when I publish the results. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.”
I know there are some amazing bird photographers out there and even more beginning photographers, like myself, that must have quite a lot of ‘birds with bugs’ photos. If any of you have good quailty photos of birds carrying insects, please consider emailing them to Dr. Tallamy (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is a great opportunity for birders to help with bird research, and to further our understanding of the natural world. Here is a link to more info about Dr. Tallamy.