Keeping an eye on your feathered friends
Watching the birds at the feeder in your own backyard can help Birds Canada research what local birds are doing.
This participation in citizen science can be done by bird watchers of any age.
“You don’t have to be an expert birder to take part in Project FeederWatch, and you can spend a little or a lot of time making your observations,” said a press release from Birds Canada. “More people participating across Canada provides a clearer picture of both bird and environmental health. People of all ages and experience can count the birds that visit their feeders in winter to help Birds Canada and Cornell Lab of Ornithology understand how our wild birds are doing.”
There are three steps to follow to participate in Project FeederWatch: feed the birds, count the birds, and enter your data online.
Project FeederWatch had its roots in Ontario in the mid-1970s through Canada’s Long Point Bird Observatory. In 1987, Long Point Bird Observatory (now Birds Canada) and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology partnered on Project FeederWatch to mobilize thousands of citizen scientists across North America to count birds in their backyards over the winter.
“FeederWatch data show us how our resident winter bird populations are faring and the winter movements of birds across North America. When there are food shortages up north, species like Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins, and Red-breasted Nuthatches descend on feeders in the south,” Kerrie Wilcox, Canadian leader of Project FeederWatch, said in the release.
Anyone can join Project FeederWatch in Canada by making a donation of any amount to Birds Canada. Visit birdscanada.org/feederwatch, call 1-888-448-2473, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project FeederWatch has launched a FeederWatch mobile app in both the Apple Store and Google Play. Participants now have the option to use the app to keep track of counts, note snow depth and effort, and submit counts directly to our database.
The project is taking place from Nov. 14, 2020 to April 9, 2021.