The iratebirds Citizen Science Project: a Dataset on Birds’ Visual Aesthetic Attractiveness to Humans

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Amidst a global biodiversity crisis, shedding light on the factors that make us like a species can help us understand human’s nature-related attitudes and inform conservation actions, e.g. by leveraging flagship potential and helping identify threats. Despite scattered attempts to quantify birds’ aesthetic attractiveness to humans, there is no large-scale database providing homogeneous measures of aesthetic attractiveness that are comparable across bird species. We present data on the visual aesthetic attractiveness of bird species to humans, generated through an internet browser-based questionnaire. Respondents (n = 6,212) were asked to rate the appearance of bird species on a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high) based on photographs from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library. The rating scores were modeled to obtain final scores of visual aesthetic attractiveness for each bird. The data covers 11,319 bird species and subspecies, with respondents from multiple backgrounds providing over 400,000 scores. This is the first attempt to quantify the overall visual aesthetic attractiveness of the world’s bird species to humans.
Original languageEnglish
Article number297
JournalScientific data
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • 1172 Environmental sciences

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