The birds we study are all ground nesting species living in South Africa and Zambia. These include several species of nightjar, plover and courser. They are highly reliant on camouflage to prevent detection by the many prowling predators looking for a tasty meal.
Eggs are the central focus of our research. This is because they are immobile and therefore more easily photographed than adults and chicks. Eggs are also located exactly where the parent chose to lay them, so we can test whether parents choose nest sites to optimise camouflage. However for some species, such as nightjars, it is possible to get photographs of adults, chicks and eggs, allowing us to study camouflage across different life stages.