As I wrote the other day (Let’s Count Stars!), we enjoy participating in citizen science projects. It’s a fun way to contribute to scientific research and learn about science at the same time. I wrote earlier in the week about participating in the Great World Wide Star Count. Perhaps stargazing isn’t your thing, but you’d still like to take part in a project. Well, here’s another opportunity… Project FeederWatch, operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Considering how much time we spend watching the antics of the birds in our backyard, this project is perfect for us. So, what exactly is Project FeederWatch, and how can you contribute? The purpose of the study is to track the movement of bird populations throughout the winter months, helping scientists understand long-term trends in bird patterns and abundance. We citizens can help out by counting the birds we see utilizing the feeders in our backyards between the months of November and April. What a great project for anyone with an interest in birds, and it’s great for all ages.
Interested in doing this with your child? Simply conducting scientific research is in itself a great thing for children to experience, but to increase the educational value even more, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology provides additional information for educators and homeschoolers. Check out the link here, where you’ll find activities and supplemental learning resources…. www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/Members/EduHomeSchoolResources.htm.
The study doesn’t begin until November, but if you’d like to participate, you should sign up today in order to receive your kit before the start date. Yes, this project does cost money, but only $15.00. The Lab is a non-profit, and they need our support. Plus, they provide a research kit, which includes a poster of common feeder birds and a bird watching days calendar.
Want to sign up? Join here… store.birds.cornell.edu/Project_FeederWatch_s/42.htm
We’ll provide updates throughout the study period. Have fun!