Be a Citizen Scientist at Home! Track Winter Birds for Project FeederWatch

If you feed birds in your yard each winter, you can support bird research and conservation. Join Project FeederWatch and share information about which birds visit your feeders between November and April to help scientists at Bird Studies Canada and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology track changes in bird numbers and movements. This year’s season runs from Saturday, November 8, 2014 to Friday, April 3, 2015.

Participating is easy. Just count the numbers and kinds of birds at your feeders, and enter the information on the Project FeederWatch website (or on printed forms). Last season, more than 3100 Canadians took part in this North America-wide program.

The 2013-14 Project FeederWatch season may have been the coldest, snowiest season since the program began in 1987. Participants in many cities across Canada experienced frigid temperatures, harsh winds, and record snowfall last winter – and reported fewer birds and less variety than in previous seasons.

Each checklist submitted by ‘FeederWatchers’ helps scientists learn more about where birds are, how they are doing, and how to protect them. Participating in Project FeederWatch is a great way for families and friends to connect with nature, have fun, and help birds. You don’t need to be an expert – they provide a poster of common birds and excellent online program resources, and you’re welcome to email or call them if you need help.

You choose how much time to spend on the project. Select your own count period, and count for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on count days. Then report your sightings online at or report them using paper data forms.

Project FeederWatch results have helped scientists learn about changes in bird distribution and abundance over time; expansions and contractions in winter ranges; the spread of disease through bird populations; and the kinds of habitats and foods that attract birds.

For more information about Project FeederWatch, please visit the website or contact the coordinator at 1-888-448-2473 or In the United States, please call 1-800-843-2473.

Bird Studies Canada is Canada’s national charity for bird research, Citizen Science, education, and conservation.

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