What Makes The Frogmouth So Appealing?

Tawny frogmouth – found to be ‘most Instagrammable’ after an algorithm recorded which photos attracted the most ‘likes’. Photograph: ImagePatch/Getty Images

Nearly a decade ago I first saw a photo of a Sri Lankan frogmouth bird. As more and more photos of this species were offered to us for our daily bird feature they seemed to become more impressive images. Or at least, we never tired of them. And this story may explain why:

Researchers find frogmouth is world’s most Instagrammable bird

A study of likes on the photo-sharing app has (perhaps surprisingly) deemed the Australian and south-east Asian native ‘most aesthetically appealing’

If someone were to ask what the most “Instagrammable” bird in the world would be, it’s unlikely that the frogmouth – whose main aesthetic goal is to look like a jagged tree branch – would be front of mind.

But it seems science says otherwise, the dishevelled looking Australian and south-east Asian native taking out the top spot in a study from Germany’s University Hospital Jena, which aimed to see which bird species reigned supreme on the photo-sharing app.

The study, published last week by German researchers Dr Katja Thömmes and Dr Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring set out to analyse nearly 30,000 bird photos from nine popular avian photography Instagram accounts, using an algorithm to record which photos comparatively attracted the most “likes” on the photo-sharing platform.

As the study’s summary suggests, the aim was simple: to learn “what makes a great bird photo?”.

But even the researchers admit the frogmouth was a “surprising winner” for the category of “Instagram’s most aesthetically appealing bird”…

Read the whole story here.

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