Sign Up For Project FeederWatch
Pat Sziber and Tom Cosmas
Feedewatch 25 Years

It is time once again for dedicated feeder-tenders to sign up for Project FeederWatch, the winter census project you can do from your kitchen window. This is a wonderful program that enables ordinary folks to take their enjoyment of our feathered winter visitors a notch further and make a real contribution to bird population science. One of several Citizen Science programs run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in partnership with National Audubon, Project FeederWatch is the oldest and largest.

Project FeederWatch had its roots in Ontario in the mid-1970s. Through Canada's Long Point Bird Observatory, Dr. Erica Dunn established the Ontario Bird Feeder Survey in 1976. After a successful 10-year run with more than 500 participants, its organizers realized that only a continental survey could accurately monitor the large-scale movements of birds. Therefore, Long Point Bird Observatory decided to expand the survey to cover all of North America.

You do not have to be a super birder to participate. You only need to be able to identify the birds that come to your feeders. But you must be willing to commit to keeping an eye on your feeders for a couple of hours or more during two consecutive days every two weeks during the winter months. There is a $15 fee for enrolling in the program ($12 for Lab of Ornithology members.). You will receive a project kit and the Lab's very informative quarterly newsletter, BirdScope. Participants report that the tremendous satisfaction they receive from participating in the program is well worth the small investment of time and money.

You can sign up now if you have Internet access at Project FeederWatch. If you are interested in what other Citizen Science projects Cornell has, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website has a number of projects you may want to investigate. If you can't register electronically, we plan to have registration material available at our fall programs. Or contact The Cornell Lab of Ornithology 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd Ithaca, NY 14850 Tel: 800.843.2473.

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Last revision: Wednesday, August 30, 2011