Project Nightjar is one of the Sensory Ecology Group’s studies, based at the University of Exeter (Cornwall Campus), in collaboration with the Behavioural Ecology Group at the University of Cambridge.
The project aims to increase our understanding of camouflage in the wild and its relationship with survival. To do this we study the camouflage of ground nesting birds, and their eggs and chicks.
Our fieldwork is conducted in Zambia and South Africa where we photograph the birds in their natural environment, identify their main predators and monitor their survival. Once back in the UK we can then use the images to model the relevant predator visual systems (which are often very different to our own). Using a range of visual processing techniques we compare the properties of the eggs, chicks and adult to those of their surroundings in order to quantify their level of camouflage.