Become a Citizen Scientist by Watching the Birds in your Backyard!

Do you enjoy watching the birds in your backyard?  Whether you have feeders or not, you should consider becoming a citizen scientist by joining Project FeederWatch this winter.

What is Project FeederWatch?

Project FeederWatch lets you become the biologist of your own backyard. You identify the birds in your backyard or at your feeders and submit your observations to the Cornell Lab. You can count every week between November—April, or you can count only once all season—the time you spend is up to you! The easy online data entry lets you immediately see all of your counts and view colorful summaries and graphs. Anyone interested in birds can participate; you don’t have to be an expert. All you need is a comfortable chair, a window, and an interest in the birds in your neighborhood.

How do I participate?

Once you sign up you can immediately start collecting data at your feeders. Read the online instructions and use the printable tally sheets to collect your counts. In the meantime, you will be sent a research kit in the mail with your unique ID number; once you have your ID number you can enter your counts online. Kits take a few weeks to arrive, but don’t worry—it will be there soon, and you don’t need it to start collecting data.

What do I get when I register?

The cost to participate is $18 and you will receive:

  • FeederWatch Handbook & Instructions
  • Full-color poster of common feeder birds
  • Bird-Watching Days Calendar
  • The Project FeederWatch annual report, Winter Bird Highlights
  • Digital access to Living Bird magazine

The first day to count birds for the 2017-18 FeederWatch season is Saturday, November 11, 2017 and the season runs through April 13, 2018.  There are already four SIB members who have joined Project Feederwatch for the 2017-2018 winter season.  Let us know if you already are signed up! We hope more members will consider joining! 

If you would like to learn more about Project FeederWatch, SIB is hosting a seminar to explain the program and provide support to our members on Monday, December 4, from 4:00 – 5:00 pm.  The seminar will be held at the Lake House in the Eagle’s Nest room. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions and go to the Project FeederWatch website to Join Now!

Submitted by:  Nancy Brown

Author: sibirders

SEABROOK ISLAND BIRDERS / “watching, learning, protecting” Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC who have an interest in learning, protecting and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

2 thoughts on “Become a Citizen Scientist by Watching the Birds in your Backyard!”

  1. I learned about SIB through the Carolinabirds list. I am not a SIB member, but I do follow your most informative newsletters. I joined FeederWatch in 2006 and reported from my home and my mother’s home until she passed away in 2013. My bird counts have had satisfying consequences. The Baltimore Oriole counts I submitted were seen by a SCDNR researcher who later came to my home to catch and band orioles. A side benefit was seeing him examine the birds in front of my niece, a kindergartner, who was spending the weekend with us. He let her hold a bird to release it. The look on her face was priceless! Also, some trends I noticed from my observations were confirmed when the season analysis was published. Given the strong support of birds by your members, I strongly recommend participation in FeederWatch for anyone not yet enrolled.

    Thank you for allowing me this endorsement of FeederWatch.

    Frank Hamilton
    Member since February 2006


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