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/.