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Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Help Project FeederWatch track backyard birds

By Gary Bogue
Friday, October 2nd, 2009 at 8:53 am in Bird Watching, Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Western scrub jay by David Smith

Interested bird watchers are needed to help scientists discover changes in local bird populations. I just received the news release below from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York. Check it out, I think you’ll want to get involved. Do you watch birds in your backyard? Then you can do it. It’s lots of fun, too! /Gary

Ithaca, NY — What happens in the backyard should not stay in the backyard — at least when it comes to bird feeders.

Lesser goldfinch by David Smith

By sharing information about which birds visit their feeders between November and April, backyard bird watchers can help scientists track changes in bird numbers and movements from year to year, through Project FeederWatch (, a citizen-science program from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology ( and Bird Studies Canada (

Project FeederWatch begins on November 14 and runs through early April. Taking part is easy. Anyone can count the numbers and kinds of birds at their feeders and enter their information on the FeederWatch website. Participants submitted nearly 117,000 checklists last season. Since 1987, more than 40,000 people from the United States and Canada have taken part in the project.

“To get the most complete picture of bird movements, we always need new sets of eyes to tell us what species are showing up at backyard feeders,” says David Bonter, leader of Project FeederWatch. “Participants always tell us how much fun it is and how good it feels to contribute to our understanding of birds by submitting their sightings.”

House finch by Jeff & Cheryl Hurd

Project FeederWatch is for people of all ages and skill levels. To learn more and to sign up, visit or call the Cornell Lab toll-free at 866-982-2473. In return for the $15 fee ($12 for Cornell Lab members) participants receive the FeederWatcher’s Handbook, an identification poster of the most common feeder birds, a calendar, complete instructions, and Winter Bird Highlights, an annual summary of FeederWatch findings.

Participant Nancy Corr of Harrisburg, Oregon, sums up her Project FeederWatch experience: “Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to share our love of birding and to participate in something meaningful!”

Eurasian collared-dove by Patricia Jones-Mestas

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One Response to “Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Help Project FeederWatch track backyard birds”

  1. steve gallagher Says:


    I want to make you aware of a problem in the WC Open Space that has been going on for over a year. There is a Mexican family that hikes from Borges Ranch in the late afternoons and kills the ground squirrels up there for sport. I have seen them attempting this numerous times and have confronted them about it. I have seen dead squirrels in their wake.

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