Wednesday, January 13, 2010

EclipseWatch: documenting animal behavior oddities during this week's solar eclipse

This Friday (Jan 15, 2010) some parts of the old world will experience a solar eclipse - even an annular one if you are in the right place! Now you may have heard stories of wild animals behaving strangely during eclipses, getting disoriented perhaps, showing unusual movement patterns, or just plain going nuts (heck, we humans probably behave most strangely of all!). A new citizen science project in India (parts of which will see the eclipse) seeks to document instances of such behavioral changes in animals through crowdsourcing! So if you happen to be in the path of the eclipse, and see something intriguing, go to EclipseWatch and share your observation! Here's the deal:

Have you wondered how animals and birds respond during a solar eclipse?

Here is a chance for you to contribute information based on your own observations during the solar eclipse on 15 January 2010! It’s very easy: just sign up using a simple form and map to indicate your intention to participate. Then download a data collection form (available on 14 Jan) with easy instructions, and fill it in with your observations.

EclipseWatch collects information about the flight of crows, kites, pigeons and bats; and the sounds of crows, sparrows, house lizards (geckoes) and dogs before, during, and after the eclipse. Please participate no matter where you are in the country, and no matter what the intensity of the eclipse will be in your area. The idea is to compare the reaction of animals across regions of different coverage of the eclipse.

Anyone can participate, so please join us in this unique India-wide effort to observe the natural world!

And if won't be in the eclipse's shadow, you can still help by spreading the word, so please retweet this / share it via Facebook / email anyone you know living in that region. It'll be cool to generate a good database of anecdotes from which interesting patterns may emerge!

Posted via web from a leaf warbler's gleanings



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