Photo © Keith Williams
Photo © Oxford University Press

A New Chapter in Avian Studies

The new avian biology textbook Nests, Eggs, & Incubation: New ideas about avian reproduction, published by Oxford University Press, includes a chapter from NestWatch project leader Robyn Bailey, co-authored with two other leading experts in the field, Caren Cooper (North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences) and Dave Leech (The British Trust for Ornithology).

This chapter highlights the historic role that citizen science—including nest record schemes like NestWatch—has played in shaping this field. Citizen scientists have contributed to our understanding of:

  • Reproductive biology and natural history
  • Patterns in brood parasitism
  • Timing of nest cycles
  • Complex patterns in clutch size
  • Breeding distribution and habitat selection

The chapter also identifies future priorities which are uniquely suited for study using citizen-science methodologies, such as population modeling across the entire range of a species, as well as detection of rare phenomena. NestWatchers can be proud that their decades of contributions have been brought to light in this new ornithology text.