Scavenging with a Little Help

vulture for blogA recent study has documented how African vultures when searching for food, carrion that often occurs in unpredictable locations, rely on visually locating eagles that have already found the food.  Click here for further description of this work.

Our research shows the red-shouldered hawks in Connecticut are most likely to scavenge from compost piles when crows are already on the scene.  Both studies point to how interspecific interactions within a community of scavengers can influence an individual species foraging behavior.

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Recent WNPR coverage of Veterans Citizen Science Pilot Project

beaker logOur pilot project looking at veterans’ responses to wildlife images from ecological research runs through the end of September.   With good participation by local veterans in this pilot, we hope to convince the National Science Foundation to fund an on-line citizen science program that will benefit not only Connecticut veterans, but veterans nationwide.

To learn more about this opportunity for veterans, read and listen to recent coverage on WNPR:


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You Can Have Your Compost, and Eat It Too (sort of)

cooked cricketsCrickets eat your compost, and you eat the nutritious crickets.  To see how visit: .

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Habitat Changes Influence Scavengers

raven chick nest powerlineChanges to landscapes due to human activities can affect scavengers.  Power line towers in relatively treeless sagebrush ecosystems are preferred nesting sites for ravens, birds which are both predators and scavengers.  The addition of these artificial nesting locations appears linked to the raven’s increased abundance in these ecosystems over recent decades.  For more on this, check out

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Veterans’ Citizen Science Project on “Sandbox Chronicles”

Sandbox Chronicles logoThe Veterans’ Citizen Science Pilot Project was the subject of the July 21 “Sandbox Chronicles.”  This program on Citizen Television in New Haven (Channel 96) focuses on the transition of Iraq and Afghan veterans.   Video of the show will be posted later.

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Veterans’ Citizen Science Pilot Project on “Voice of the Veteran”

Voice of the Veteran logoOur Veterans’ Citizen Science Pilot was featured on the July 18th airing of ”Voice of the Veteran” on WNHU, hosted by Gabe Kautzner and Justin Furuare.  This show is dedicated to making veterans aware of resources available to aid their transition following military service.

Audio from the program is accessible below:

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Wildlife CSI Summer 2014 – Pilot Study with Veterans as Participants

forward observer for blogDuring this year, we will not be offering a citizen science competition as we did last summer.  Instead we are conducting a pilot study looking at the response of Veterans as they view wildlife images from our project and are gathering Veterans’ input regarding the development of this citizen science program.   If you are a Veteran in the Connecticut area and would like to take part, please see the menu link above and the accompanying recruitment flier at Trinity College Veterans Citizen Science Flyer summer 2014

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It’s not easy being a scavenger.

Cape VultureWe will be thinking a fair amount about scavengers in BIOL 182 as we consider ecology.  This news piece relates some challenges faced by vultures in southern Africa.

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Three Weeks into Wildlife CSI – Fall 2013

CSI Fall 2013 Team Standings_131111Here are the latest team standings (click on table to enlarge) as of Monday (11/11) morning.  Keep up the good work.  Looks like it will be an exciting run for the pizza dinner.  Thanks for your involvement.

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Wildlife CSI Fall 2013 – Current Team Standings

CSI Fall 2013 Team Standings_131105Two weeks of Wildlife CSI have now passed.  The contest remains very close, with the Trinvestigators maintaining their lead from last week.  At this early point, any team could be the leader next week, if they provide a strong showing of carefully identified images.

Collectively, your class has now provided over 31,000 image categorizations.  Thanks for this big contribution to our scavenging ecology research!

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