Feeds

Facebook tracking makes for non-angry birds

Research takes off as cockatoos “Like” no-nets scheme

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Sydney’s Royal Botanical Garden is using Facebook to track its population of sulphur-crested cockatoos.

John Martin, Wildlife Officer at the Garden and Ph.D candidate at the University of Wollongong, explained to The Register that he hopes to study the birds, which are infamously loud and destructive, the better to understand their breeding habits and general health.

To conduct studies of this type, researchers usually tag birds and attempt to recapture them, often in nets, a process called “mark and re-capture”. The capture process isn’t much fun for the birds or people: sulphur-crested cockatoos are big birds with large beaks that can inflict a nasty bite (as your correspondent learned first-hand in an earlier professional life).

Mark and re-capture also relies on birds flying in to spots where researchers can find them. But some cockatoos are wide-ranging while others drop in to regular haunts.

Martin hoped to overcome these issues with tags that are large and bright, in the hope that more birds would be spotted. A trickle of sightings did flow in to an email address he posted to the Garden’s website, but data has started to flow in greater volume since he established a Facebook page.

Cockatoo-spotters are asked to post which bird they sight and where they made the sighting.

Martin says this new “mark and re-sight” scheme is kinder to the birds and produces more useful data. He hopes to gather even more data by encouraging spotters to Tweet bird sightings. Using smartphones’ GPS facilities to geo-locate cockatoos is also on his agenda.

Now all we need to do is wait for the storage and analytics industries to declare this research represents ‘Big Bird’. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.