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Project FeederWatch

Project FeederWatch

Thousands of FeederWatchers in communities across North America count birds and send their tallies to the FeederWatch database, creating a treasure trove of statistics that FeederWatch scientists analyze to draw a picture of winter bird abundance and distribution. FeederWatch data show which bird species visit feeders at thousands of locations across the continent every winter. The data also indicate how many individuals of each species are seen. This information can be used to measure changes in the winter ranges and abundances of bird species over time.

FeederWatch data provide a picture of weekly changes in bird distribution and abundance across the United States and Canada. Importantly, FeederWatch data tell us where birds are as well as where they are not. This crucial information enables scientists to piece together the most accurate population maps.

FeederWatch is a joint research and education project of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. They have provided an instructional video on the FeederWatchers Web site.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: David Bonter
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • LOCATION: - North America
  • PROJECT TYPE: Observation
  • COST: $20-$50
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    The observation season runs from November to April. To get started, visit the Project FeederWatcher Web site.

See more projects in $20-$50ObservationAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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