Project FeederWatch is looking for people to be citizen scientists and help gather information on local bird populations.
The project tracks bird populations and migrations through participants’ reports of which bird species visit feeders throughout winter.
“Project FeederWatch participants are reporting more American robins than ever before,” Canadian coordinator Kerrie Wilcox said in a press release. “More robins are staying farther north than a few decades ago.”
Now in its 30th season, Project FeederWatch is a joint research and education initiative of Bird Studies Canada and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Project participation is open to anyone — from dedicated birdwatchers to people who just want to try it out — as well as student and community groups. Participants choose how much time to dedicate to the project by conducting periodic two-day counts from November through April.
Many important discoveries of large-scale bird population trends have been made through the project since it started in 1987, including the disappearance of the evening grosbeak from much of its former range, the rapid spread of the Eurasian collared-dove across North America and the expanding ranges of several species.
The project, which has more than 20,000 FeederWatchers, supports research and conservation of feeder birds. It is funded through an annual registration of $35 that provides participants with a subscription to Bird Studies Canada magazine, poster of common feeder birds and calendar, as well as access to previous survey results, online data tools and expert advice on identifying, understanding and caring for feeder birds. Registration is free for existing Bird Studies Canada members. Visit www.feederwatch.org for more information and to register, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-448-2473.
(Thanks to Tara Hatherly from the North York Mirror for this article.)