By Kerrie Wilcox, Project FeederWatch Coordinator, Bird Studies Canada
Photo: Sandra Hawkins
If you have access to a birdfeeder and the internet, you can help Canada’s birds. As little as 15 minutes of your time between November and April will help scientists at Bird Studies Canada and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology learn more about the status of bird populations in North America through the Project FeederWatch Citizen Science program.
No experience is necessary to take part. Bird Studies Canada provides material to help with bird identification. “FeederWatchers” are asked to select periodic two-day intervals throughout the winter and count birds for at least 15 minutes on those days. They then submit their sightings online.
Last season, over 24,000 people participated in Project FeederWatch across Canada and the U.S. FeederWatchers in eastern Canada reported American Goldfinches at a higher-than-average number of feeders, while those in Ontario saw a record high for Dark-eyed Juncos. In BC, participants noted a continuing upward trend in both Anna’s Hummingbirds and Bushtits.
Anyone can join Project FeederWatch in Canada by making a donation of any amount to Bird Studies Canada. Visit birdscanada.org/feederwatch, call 1-888-448-2473, or email email@example.com. In the United States, call 1-866-989-2473. The 2018-19 Project FeederWatch season runs from 10 November 2018 to 5 April 2019.
FeederWatchers in Canada will receive a poster of common feeder birds, a calendar, last season’s results, and access to online data tools. Those making a minimum donation of $35 will receive a subscription to Bird Studies Canada’s magazine, BirdWatch Canada.
Want to know what scientists have uncovered using Project FeederWatch data? Check out the latest volume of Winter Bird Highlights and feederwatch.org. You can also see regional breakdowns of last season’s Canadian results in the fall issue of BirdWatch Canada. With your participation, Project FeederWatch can help us learn even more about birds.
Armstrong Bird Food and Wild Birds Unlimited are national sponsors of Project FeederWatch in Canada.