Baltimore Oriole from the Cornell Web site
Are you familiar with the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology?
…located in Ithaca, New York?
Northern Cardinal from the Cornell Web site
…the world renown Lab of Ornithology
at Cornell University?
…located on, get this,
Sapsucker Woods Road?
Well, neither was I. I was in the dark about higher level bird study, alone and afraid until my good friend, Wayne Wright, Associate Director of the New York State Historical Association Research Library, told me many years ago about signing up for the Cornell Bird Watch.
Wayne explained that every year, birders all over the United States took time to go out and count birds, listing the number and species of all birds they saw on certain designated days. I signed up and enjoyed participating for many years, feeling like I was contributing in some small way to science, somehow insuring the survival of my bird friends.
Mourning Dove from the Cornell web site
Now, fast forward please, to 2011, where the annual bird watch has expanded, right along with computer access. Now, the watch, rather than occurring on one day, occurs throughout the winter season and is known as Project Feeder Watch. This season began on Saturday, November 12, and will continue until Friday, April 6, 2012. Project Feeder Watch participants, called “Citizen Scientists,” can count birds on two consecutive days each week. They don’t have to be plastered at their windows, watching back yards feeding stations all day long, but rather can keep a casual eye out and record the largest number of a species seen at any one time.
Click here to go to the Cornell Feeder Watch
web site and engage a delightful video about
Project Feeder Watch
If you have a feeder where you can comfortably watch, while you do other things, then you can participate. Just go to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site, found here, to sign up and begin the adventure. You can join at any time!
If you need an identification guide, this is a good one.
Hover your mouse over this link to preview: