The Project FeederWatch Team Answers Your Questions About Bird Feeding

November 9, 2017
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Many people feed birds all year round, but feeding season really ramps up in the winter. That’s when the staff at Project FeederWatch start to get deluged with question. So this year, project leader Dr. Emma Greig and project assistant Chelsea Benson decided to take to the airwaves to answer questions via our live-streamed FeederWatch cam.

In their Q&A, they join Bird Cams project leader Charles Eldermire to offer tips and answer questions about backyard bird feeding. They also share how you can have fun and contribute to science via Project FeederWatch.

Which questions does the video cover?

If you want to skip straight to a specific question, here’s a chronological list of what Emma and Chelsea cover:

Time – Question

04:28 – What has Project Feederwatch accomplished in its 30-year history?
05:38 – Have any new scientific questions arisen as a result of Project FeederWatch?
07:48 – How to people send their observational data to Project FeederWatch?
09:40 – Are there perks to joining Project FeederWatch?
10:40 – What types of people participate in Project FeederWatch?
12:20 – How does the counting protocol actually work?
13:33 – What is an example of a “wallflower” bird species found around feeders?
14:24 – Is it worth it to count excessively abundant birds such as House Sparrows?
16:10 – What’s the best way to count with multiple feeders on an individual property?
17:15 – Can you use technology to count feeder birds?
18:48 – What’s the current state of eye disease in American Goldfinches?
20:27 – Can you still count birds through FeederWatch without owning a bird feeder?
21:34 – How should I deal with nuisance animals at feeders?
27:35 – How can I deter destructive birds such as House Sparrows, European Starlings, and Common Grackles at feeders?
30:54 – Do robins tend to visit feeders that offer mealworms?
31:50 – Is it safe to offer peanut butter at feeders?
32:32 – Are preserved fruits safe to offer at feeders?
33:30 – What is the science behind “bully birds”?
35:50 – How can I minimize window strikes near feeders?
37:53 – How dependent are birds on feeders as food sources?
39:40 – Why haven’t birds been visiting feeders quite as often this fall?
43:40 – When does the Project FeederWatch counting season start this year?
44:43 – What is the appropriate method to clean your feeders?
46:10 – What’s the deal with the Bird Academy Feeder Birds course?

Don’t see your question? Try our FAQ pages.

This Q&A took place on November 8, 2017. See our index of archived seminars to enjoy more talks from the Cornell Lab.

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