There is something to be said about being able to go birding while in the comfort of your own home. Viewing birds while working around the house, doing dishes, or reading a book is brought to us by one exciting pastime: bird feeding. Bird feeding provides us with the opportunity to view wild birds up close at times where you may not be able to go on an outdoor adventure somewhere else. Viewing birds at the feeders is a great way to observe bird behavior socially, learn identification skills, and is accessible for people with different mobilities. It is a hobby that can be simple, cheap, and easy, or you can provide a vast array of feeders and foods for your birds. Regardless of how you feed the birds, you may contribute your observations to community science through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch.
Project FeederWatch is an annual community science project that runs from November 1st to April 29th, but it is not too late to register. It is essentially a mass survey of birds that visit backyards, community centers, nature preserves, or wherever people set up count locations. You do not even need to have a bird feeder at your location! You just need an area with plantings, water, food, or some sort of habitat attracting birds to your yard. The scheduling of counts is flexible and allows you to upload your backyard bird sightings to their database at your convenience. You can also provide data based on behavioral interactions, signs of sickness in birds, predation, and visiting mammals. This data is a critical source of information regarding bird populations and ranges, allowing for the development of accurate population maps. It also allows for the identification of population or range trends, to deduce whether a species is growing or decreasing in population. In short, it gives a clue into aspects of bird biology that are unable to be recorded otherwise. To find out more about Project FeederWatch, clink the link below!
Even better than viewing birds at home, is getting out into the field and finding them at their turf! Fall and winter provide ample birding opportunities in Western New York and should definitely be taken advantage of. Check out our event calendar to see the public outdoor programs Earth Spirit has to offer, including bird themed programs!
Recent Wildlife Sightings:
- – Spotted a Wild Turkey feeding leisurely along the 290 in Amherst.
- – Observed 9 Bald Eagles at the Waste Management Chaffee Preserve during a public program! Also encountered signs of Ravens, Mink, Turkey and Deer.
- – Interacted with Red Squirrels and Black-capped Chickadees up-close at the Cabin feeders in Colden in order to observe competitive behaviors.
- – Found a Barred Owl at Knox Farm State Park.
- – Encountered an Eastern Screech Owl at Reinstein Woods during an owl prowl.