The tiny long-tailed tit (13–15 cm in length, including its 7–9 cm tail) is the only representative of the family Aegithalidae in northern Eurasia. Due to their small size these birds are vulnerable to extreme cold weather, with high population losses seen with prolonged cold. Populations seem to rapidly return to previous levels due to high breeding rates. Spotted here on a snowy day looking for food close to houses.
A common migrant and winter visitor to Switzerland, the Tufted duck is a medium-sized diving duck with striking yellow eyes.The adult male here shows the obvious head tuft that gives the species its name. They can easily be observed as seen here diving for food under water. They pop up like a cork without ever seeming getting wet.
The Common Pochard is a rare breeder but common winter visitor to Switzerland. The adult male seen here is distinctive with his long dark bill with a grey band, red head and neck, black breast, red eyes and grey back. Some of our winter visitors in Switzerland come from the remotest regions of Siberia.
One of a group of noisy house sparrows spotted on a sunny spring day. While house sparrows have successfully colonized most of the world, monitoring studies suggest they are in decline in many areas, including urban. An alarm signal for deteriorating environmental conditions when even common species are on the decrease.
This Black-headed gull in transitioning from its its winter plumage, which leaves it with just two black spots on the head, to its blackish hood. The last shot shows the two white leading edges on the outer wings, a good field mark when the bird is in flight.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.