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What makes big bird photos a reality?Researchers look for answers on Instagram

Two German researchers began to answer a simple question: What makes a great bird photo? But to find the answer, they must collect more than 20,000 bird photos from the nine largest bird accounts on Instagram and attach the corresponding data. The results are surprising. They found that the favorite bird image on the photo-sharing platform was the night frog’s beak, which was once designated as the “world’s most unfortunate bird” due to its very distinctive facial features. Katja Thomas and Gregor Hayen-Lichsering, postdoctoral researchers at the University Hospital of Jena, Germany, stated in their research that their research papers published in Sage Journals will provide ornithologists with some surprising insights.

Using their database, the researchers detected 27,621 images from the nine largest bird accounts. They found that the color of the bird in the image significantly affects the viewer’s preferences and behavior, making it more aesthetically appealing than others. They use an algorithm called “Image Aesthetic Attraction” (IAA) to rate the aesthetic appeal of photos based on “likes.” For images that get more “likes” than expected, the score is positive; for the opposite images, the score is negative.

Instagram accounts that collect research data include @best_birds_planet, @best_birds_of_world, @nuts_about_birds, @birdfreaks, @birdonearth, @bestbirdshots, @audubonsociety, @bird_brilliance, and @your_best_birds.

The Frogmouth’s IAA score is 19, ranking first. The second place is the colored pigeon with decorative feathers, with an IAA score of 17, and the third is the emerald turaco with a crown of third with a score of 16.

The study shows that Instagram users are indifferent to photos of noise, bee-eaters, pita and flamingo, and the average IAA score is close to zero. On the negative side, the most disliked bird photo is Isopi with a negative 22 score.

The researchers said that their study also considered human preference for color-prefer blue objects to objects with a yellow hue, and explained through ecological value that blue is related to beautiful things, such as clear skies and Clean water, while rotten food is usually yellow.


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