This one is for the birds

The bird ledgers at the Natural History Museum London stretch back over 250 years, and for those of you who have helped do over 319,000 (and counting) transcriptions of items from those ledger, you probably can tell just how old the specimens are just from the handwriting. The science team at Notes from Nature have also puzzled over those ledger entries, even for some of the more careful penmanship. We also know how amazing many of you are at solving the sometimes challenging puzzles found in these ledgers. Its an enormous collection and tremendous job that you are helping to accomplish.

The bird ledgers also have proven to be an adventure in citizen science development — it has required a new type of interface, and some different thinking about how to measure effort.  At the end of 2014, we finally got counting working per row of the ledger, which is somewhat equivalent to a specimen record for other collections in Notes From Nature.  Now we have set it up so we can count your individual row-by-row effort and offer you some rewards for completing work on these ledgers.

We are therefore pleased to announce three new bird badges, which you can acquire when you complete transcription work on the Ornithology collections.   While working on an individual ledger page, you won’t see your badges earned until you hit “Next Ledger” — at that point, you should see the badge you earned show up both in the transcription interface and in your profile page.

nest
You get this badge for transcribing one Ornitological record

fledgling
You get this badge for transcribing 25 Ornithological records

adult
You get this badge for transcribing 200 Ornithological records

This data really is for the birds – for understanding their past distributions and diversity, all in service of better understanding the future of this amazing, diverse and often inspiring group of animals with whom we share this planet.

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About Rob

Three "B's" of importance: biodiversity, bikes and bunnies. I get to express these "B's" in neat ways --- I bike to a job at the University of Florida where I am an Associate Curator of Biodiversity Informatics. Along with caretaking collections, I also have a small zoo at home, filled with two disapproving bunnies.

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