The Big Questions

1) Are eggs most camouflaged to their respective backgrounds, and to the eyes of their main predators?

We want to determine whether camouflage is optimised to the specific background types where each species nests, across several different bird species. Some use several different kinds of habitat, and we want to test whether they've evolved specialised adaptations towards one background type, or have evolved a 'jack-of-all-trades' solution. We also want to determine whether camouflage is optimised towards the vision of particular types of predators to which the breeding birds are most susceptible.

2) Do species use different types of camouflage on different background types?

We want to test whether different background types favour the evolution of different types of camouflage: background matching, disruptive coloration, or masquerade.

3) Does the degree of camouflage affect survival?

We want to test whether the level and type of camouflage directly influences the probability of predation. Amazingly, this basic question has very rarely been tested in real animals in their real environments.