The need to stick close to home because of COVID-19 has fueled a tremendous surge in birdwatching. Whether you’re new to the hobby or have been watching birds for decades, Project FeederWatch will keep you going through the winter months. Project FeederWatch started in the 1970s and is a joint project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada that depends on data submitted by volunteers. It is a chance to turn your bird feeding pastime into valuable data that has the power to help birds. Researchers have access to the data you submit, which they analyze to see how winter bird populations may be changing. Understanding long-term trends is an important step towards conserving bird populations.
Project FeederWatch is a winter survey of birds that visit feeders or gardens throughout North America. Everyone is welcome to participate. You don’t need to be an expert birder because resources to help you identify birds are provided. Participants can count birds as often as every week (for as little as 15 minutes each day for 2 consecutive days) or as little as once a season. Participants enter their data onto the FeederWatch website. Not only will the birds keep you entertained with their lively antics, but you’re sure to learn something new about them as you keep track of the species that stop by and notice their behaviors.
Since 2016, Project FeederWatch has been sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited, which has a store in Providence Town Center in Collegeville. They will be happy to help you pick out a bird feeder and get you started in bird feeding. Their Facebook page is full of helpful information as well.
The 2020-21 Project FeederWatch season runs from November 14, 2020 to April 9, 2021. Visit www.feederwatch.org to sign up and learn how to participate. If you are new to the program, Cornell is hosting a free webinar on Nov 19. Register for the FeederWatch webinar