Home | Field Notes and Observations on Birds | How Birders Can Contribute to Conservation, Part II: The Great Backyard Bird Count and Project Feederwatch

How Birders Can Contribute to Conservation, Part II: The Great Backyard Bird Count and Project Feederwatch


Last time I highlighted the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, the nation’s oldest wildlife survey.  Although it is easy for one to become involved, the count is run only at a specific time.  If you are a casual birder, or even someone who only occasionally takes notice of our avian neighbors, you can still participate in conservation efforts.  Even the “Hey, I haven’t seen northern orioles here before” – and similar sporadic observations – are welcome!

The Great Backyard Bird Count, managed by the National Audubon Society and Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology, offers casual birders a wonderful opportunity to be heard.  The information generated by over 100,000 volunteers has been especially valuable in documenting the appearance of birds (i.e. snowy owls) outside of their usual ranges.  You can learn more at http://birds.cornell.edu/pfw/.

In association with several Canadian groups, the aforementioned organizations also sponsor Project Feederwatch, a winter-long assessment of birds visiting feeders throughout the USA and Canada.  Assisted by nearly 20,000 volunteers, the project has generated information that has made its way into scientific journal articles dealing with avian feeding ecology, population trends and disease.  Participant information is posted at http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/.



About Frank Indiviglio

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I believe that I was born with an intense interest in animals, as neither I nor any of my family can recall a time when I was not fascinated by creatures large and small. One might imagine this to be an unfortunate set of circumstances for a person born and raised in the Bronx, but, in actuality, quite the opposite was true. Most importantly, my family encouraged both my interest and the extensive menagerie that sprung from it. My mother and grandmother somehow found ways to cope with the skunks, flying squirrels, octopus, caimans and countless other odd creatures that routinely arrived un-announced at our front door. Assisting in hand-feeding hatchling praying mantises and in eradicating hoards of mosquitoes (I once thought I had discovered “fresh-water brine shrimp” and stocked my tanks with thousands of mosquito larvae!) became second nature to them. My mother went on to become a serious naturalist, and has helped thousands learn about wildlife in her 16 years as a volunteer at the Bronx Zoo. My grandfather actively conspired in my zoo-buildings efforts, regularly appearing with chipmunks, boa constrictors, turtles rescued from the Fulton Fish Market and, especially, unusual marine creatures. It was his passion for seahorses that led me to write a book about them years later. Thank you very much, for a complete biography of my experience click here.
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