Adults are short-necked, relatively short-legged and stout herons; the two extant species both have a black crown and a whitish belly, while the wings, chest, neck and auriculars are grey or rufous depending on the species. Young birds are brown, flecked with white and grey, and are quite similar to each other in the extant species. At least some of the extinct Mascarenes taxa appear to have retained this juvenile plumage in adult birds. Night herons nest in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reedbeds. 3-8 eggs are laid.
This medium-sized falcon has pointed wings, long tail and a short, strong beak, typical of most species of this group. The tail is somewhat a bit longer than that of its counterparts, giving it a more stylized aspect. There are differences in size and plumage between males and females of this species, the last one being bigger and less colored. Both have a very black mottled and rust-colored back, and the tip of the wings is dark. The tail of the female is barred while the male has a smooth, bluish-gray tail and neck, contrasting well with the tone of the back. The male's chest is less barred, looking smoother than the female.
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.