Time to start counting birds y'all! This weekend begins the 25th edition of Project FeederWatch, running from November 12 to April 6. It's cold, it's windy, the flowers have faded and the insects have all gone to sleep. How would you like an excuse to curl up in a comfy chair with a cup or two of your favorite warm beverage and just chill?
"No dear, I can't (fill in honey-do list item here). I'm doing research. Real scientific data collection, don't disturb me."
All you need is a few bird feeders located within viewing distance of a window. Since you're reading this I'm guessing you're into the nature thing already and I bet you already have that. All you need to do is count the total number of each species you see at one time, for anywhere between 30 minutes to 4 hours a day, for two consecutive days, once per week, then enter your data online. You can miss a week if you have to. I like to do my count roughly between 3:00 and 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday which is usually when I know I have the time. Also, the birds feed quite heavily around that time to fill their bellies for the night.
If this sounds like a fun way to feel involved in Habitat and Wildlife Gardening even in the dead of winter, click on the Project FeederWatch icon over to the right in my sidebar, or visit their website to learn more.
I got addicted to Habitat/Wildlife Gardening because of Project FeederWatch. It was the first Citizen Science project I started participating in, and in the process of trying to provide more and better habitat for the birds I was watching and counting, I discovered that I could do the same thing for other creatures as well. And so began the transformation of us and our yard. Give it a try, you never know where it might take you.