Count birds, save birds! Citizen science needs you! #Autumnwatch

by Matthew Cobb

The BBC TV programme Autumnwatch has teamed up with Zooniverse to analyse photographic records of seabirds on cliffs from around the UK. This is something that machines are very poor at, and humans can do easily.

The idea is to calculate how many of different birds are based on cliffs around the UK’s coast. Many species are under threat, so the aim of the project is to help preserve their habitats and protect their futures.

All you have to do is go here and then simply follow the instructions, clicking on every blob that you think is a bird. That’s it. Go and do it now, even if it’s just for five minutes. You’ll be helping seabird conservation!


JAC: I endorse this effort so please go invest give minutes.


  1. Posted October 26, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    OK, I’ve done about fifteen minutes. It can become addictive.

  2. Liz
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I’m on the fourth one now.

    • Liz
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much for sharing this. This is amazing. I’m not sure how many I have done, but the coolest things happened. After doing them again and again and seeing most of the guillemots on that one rock and the chicks of the kittiwakes as tiny little specs if at all, I came across a guillemot on the nest of a kittiwake on the other side of the cliff. So neat. Then I got a new cliff with kittiwake chicks that I could actually see. Definitely chicks with this stripe along the side and darker. I haven’t been using the negative image too much but just did where the birds are up closer on the different cliff or different view of the cliff. It looks like it’s getting their heads? I wonder why that is. Thank you again.

  3. Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Can I put in a mention for Spermwatch?

    Serious citizen science with lugworms!

  4. Steve Pollard
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    This is seriously addictive!

    I’m not sure when, or even whether, Autumnwatch gets broadcast outside the UK. At this moment I am watching the last programme in this year’s series, and the whole thing is worth accessing if you have the opportunity. One of the many fascinating items this evening has been a profile of Richard and Ian Lewington, brothers who have spent their lives as illustrators of, respectively, insects and birds. Total dedication on both their parts, and quite moving. Look them up!

  5. Liz
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    With the thermal/negative -? imaging I can see adult kittiwake heads and darkness inside the nest. It looks like it could be about three eggs or maybe chicks that are tucked away and not visible. I googled them and found they have about one to three eggs so that would make sense. There is no indicator for kittiwake eggs.

    • Liz
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      It indicates I’ve done 37 classifications. The best day. Thank you.

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