A Snowy Owl sitting on the dunes near Delaware Seashore State Park. The Snowy Owl irruption of 2013-2014 has been record setting in many states along the Atlantic coast. As many as 10 of these owls are believed to have been in my home state of Delaware this year; the first winter since 2005 that they've been recorded here. These owls have flown thousands of miles from their homes in the arctic tundra of northern Canada.
An brown moth with attractive white, grey and black patterns and a wing span of about 40 mm. Wings were tented, with a white tipped abdomen just visible at the rear end. The head and thorax was covered with dense short white setae with the thorax showing three dark spots. The antennae were dark and feathery (Main Pic) indicating that this was a male moth. The underside of the wings appeared to be of a similar colour as the upper side and the abdomen showed bands of sooty brown and white.
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.