Tracking Movement at the Bronx Zoo
This semester, my final project for Animal Behavior 1 at the Graduate Center utilizes animal behavior tracking software to analyze movement in several bird species at the bronx zoo. The freely available Tracker program developed by Douglas Brown allows for tracking movement patterns in a variety of ways.
For this project, I compared movement of weaver birds, puffins, pintails and lapwings. In order to compare their exploratory behavior I calculated the total distance of their trajectory, as well as the area of their exhibit utilized by estimating the area of an irregular polygon placed of their dispersal path (right).
Below is the resulting footage from tracking a Tufted Puffin's movements over several minutes. I placed a dot on the individual's head every 10 frames (providing roughly 5 (x,y) data points for every 2 seconds of footage. I then recorded the output of the program, and sped up the stop-motion like video to provide a more realistic example of the behavior as followed by the Tracker program.