Project FeederWatch is a joint project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada. It 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 or mobile app. 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. 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.
The 2023-24 Project FeederWatch season runs from November 1, 2023 until April 30, 2024. You can sign up and learn how to participate here. The annual participation fee is $18 for U.S. residents ($15 for Cornell Lab members). These contributions cover materials, staff support, web design, data analysis, and the year-end report (Winter Bird Highlights). Without the support of the participants, this project wouldn’t be possible. If you are new to the program, you can go through the PowerPoint training at your own pace and watch a video from the Cornell team here.
New in 2023
Project FeederWatch is delighted to announce that, thanks to grant funding, participants are now able to record several types of additional information with their regular bird counts. Along with different bird species you see and their behavioral interactions, you may now record types of mammals seen during your count, specific signs of disease in birds, bird mortality during counts, and management activities conducted at your site. If this sounds exciting to you, great! We hope you will contribute! But if it sounds overwhelming, know that all of these additional data are optional, so if you prefer to stick to only the traditional bird counts, that is completely fine.
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.