*Today’s blog Q & A was written by NCSU undergraduate, Christi Mileski. Christi has split her time this summer between Your Wild Life program and Steve Frank’s Eco-IPM Lab in the Department of Entomology. She’ll share more about her recent adventures with the Frank Lab collecting herbivorous insects on the streets of Baltimore in coming weeks. Today, she chats with Roland Kays about the Great Chicken Coop Stakeout*
Dr. Roland Kays is the director of the Biodiversity Lab in the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and an expert on all things mammal. He and colleagues are responsible for an exciting study that captivated eager museum visitors at the NRC Grand opening in downtown Raleigh last April: the theatrically named The Great Chicken Coop Stakeout. The Stakeout aims to uncover the various North American carnivores attracted to backyard chicken coops, an increasingly common yard feature in the Triangle area.
This project recruited many volunteer chicken-keepers to set camera traps near their chicken houses in an attempt to catch predators in the act of snooping around the unsuspecting chickens.
During a recent visit to the NRC Biodiversity Lab, I was intrigued by the early coop cam photos that had been printed and displayed on the lab windows. And so I asked Dr. Kays a few questions about the project: