Project Feederwatch is coming..

Cornell Lab of Ornithology is about to begin it’s annual Project Feederwatch. Each November the lab asks fellow birders to help them accumulate information on continental bird populations. The Lab takes this information and studies trends that lie within the numbers. They study habitat change, migrations, populations, and from this they draw conclusions as to why things have changed. Maybe climatology. Maybe predation. Maybe just an odd year. Who knows? But, they study these things to learn more about bird populations. And, every year we get to help out and leverage our locations to provide a wide scope of information.

The feederwatch runs from November to April. Winter populations are studied because they are more stable. I also believe people stay indoors more and are able to count, but that isn’t noted as a reason….just my thought. It’s a little bit of a commitment because they ask that you buy your tally sheets (minimal cost of $15). But, I am not one to just toss money away. I wanted to make sure I would complete the project all the way through.

This year, my daughter made it easy for me. Since she has expressed an interest, too, we decided to participate together. She has become pretty good at identifying the more common visitors, and I figure she can tally some counts when I can’t.

The process is simple. Take some information about the day and weather in which you counted. Tally the highest number of birds you see at the same time in your “watch area.” And, submit online to the lab. The only requirement is that you count over a consecutive day period, Monday and Tuesday for example. And, after you count, you take 5 days off or more. So, if I counted on Mon and Tues, I wouldn’t count again until at least the next Monday. Couldn’t be more simple.

Here is a sample since I haven’t submitted a count over the last week….

November 7 and 8. Nov 7: 58-66 degrees. Cloudy and rain showers all day. Nov 8: 43-63 (but the high was at midnight as temps fell all day). Partly cloudy and very windy with gusts as high as 40mph.

Black-capped Chicakdee – 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow – 6
House Sparrow – 2
Tufted Titmouse – 4
House Finch – 3
American Goldfinch – 4
Mourning Dove – 15
Common Grackle – 11
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1
Dark-eyed Junco – 2
Downy Woodpecker – 4
Northern Cardinal – 3
Northern Flicker – 1
Carolina Wren – 1

Not bad; 14 species listed. I expect the number to grow a bit…and the numbers of individuals to grow as the season wears on.

I’ve also included a picture for you to see.

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