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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Participate

How to Choose a Citizen-Science Project

Tree Swallows are a great species for NestWatch
 
 

Anyone who likes to watch birds can participate in a citizen-science project. To get started, take a look at the list below. Projects vary in the amount of skill required, from beginning to advanced. Some require as little as 10 minutes; others will benefit from as much time as you care to contribute.

Choose a project that meets your interests and matches the settings where you like to watch birds, whether in your own yard, urban neighborhoods, or North America’s great outdoors.

Great Backyard Bird Count

Count for fun – count for the future! Tally birds at any location, fill out your checklist online, and watch the counts pour in from around the world. Great for bird watchers of all ages.

  • When: Four days in mid-February
  • Where: Anywhere in the world with an Internet connection
  • Time commitment: Minimal
  • Skill level: Beginning to advanced
  • Organization: Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society

Celebrate Urban Birds!

Learn more about birds in cities through gardening, art activities, and observing birds. Sign up for a free kit with posters, data forms, sticker, and seed packet.

  • When: Year-round
  • Where: Urban and suburban areas
  • Time commitment: Minimal to moderate
  • Skill level: Beginning to intermediate
  • Organization: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

NestWatch

Help scientists by monitoring bird nests. NestWatch is a nationwide monitoring program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds, including when nesting occurs, number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive. By sharing your nesting observations, you can help scientists understand the challenges breeding birds face and how nesting behaviors may be changing over time.

  • When: Spring and summer
  • Where: United States and Canada
  • Time commitment: Moderate
  • Skill level: Beginning to advanced
  • Organization: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Project FeederWatch

This project will change the way you see birds at your feeders. Count feeder birds to help scientists monitor long-term trends in the distribution and abundance of birds in winter.

  • When: November through April
  • Where: Bird feeders in the United States and Canada
  • Time commitment: Moderate
  • Skill level: Beginning to advanced
  • Organization: Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada

eBird

Keep track of your bird sightings and share what you’ve seen online with scientists, educators, and other bird watchers. This real-time, online checklist program has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds.

  • When: Year-round
  • Where: North America, Latin America, Caribbean, and more
  • Time commitment: Flexible: minimal to moderate
  • Skill level: Beginning to advanced
  • Organization: Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society

YardMap

YardMap helps us learn about one of the most familiar and extensive habitats on the continent - the yard. By pairing habitat information with bird sightings we can learn about the effects of different gardening practices at a scientific scale. To do this we need help from the experts - you. YardMap gives you the tools you need to create a bird-friendly yard and share your successes with a growing community of people, from scientists to neighbors, interested in bird-friendly gardening.

  • When: Year round
  • Where: International
  • Time commitment: Personalized
  • Skill level: Suitable for beginning birders and gardeners to experts
  • Organization: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Christmas Bird Count

Join a century-long tradition of counting birds with others in your area. Help tally birds within a “Count Circle” near you, in efforts coordinated by Count Compilers.

  • When: One day in December or January
  • Where: Locations throughout the Western Hemisphere
  • Time commitment: Moderate
  • Skill level: Beginning to advanced
  • Organization: National Audubon Society

Priority Migrant eBird

Report sightings of five long-distance migrants that are undergoing recent precipitous population declines: Cerulean Warblers, Golden-winged Warblers, Blue-winged Warblers, Canada Warblers, and Olive-sided Flycatchers. Help track the abundance and distribution of these birds during the nonbreeding season.

  • When: Nonbreeding season
  • Where: North America, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Time commitment: Minimal to high
  • Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Organization: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Breeding Bird Atlases

Help with intensive monitoring of breeding birds in an assigned grid. Results are published in atlases, which provide valuable information for conservation efforts.

  • When: Spring and summer
  • Where: United States and Canada
  • Time commitment: Moderate to high
  • Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Organization: Varies regionally

Breeding Bird Survey

Survey birds along established roadside routes using a rigorous protocol. Scientists use the data in continentwide analyses of bird population trends.

  • When: Spring and summer
  • Where: United States and Canada
  • Time commitment: Moderate
  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Organization: U.S. Geological Survey and Canadian Wildlife Service

Drink Birds & Beans coffee. Save our birds.
Be a Better Birder Tutorial 3

MORE CITIZEN SCIENCE

Find more citizen-science offerings:

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