Saturday, August 18, 2012

NestWatch - Citizen Science

Wondering how you can get involved in bird conservation?  The Christmas Bird Count, the Great Backyard Bird Count, and Project FeederWatch not enough for you?  Well, you have some time before the next nesting season to become better acquainted with the birds in your local habitat in order to participate in NestWatch from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

After reading the Code of Conduct designed to protect both you and the birds and taking a brief quiz, you will be certified to record your nest sightings and observations. Observations include the location of the nest, the habitat around the nest, the birds species, the date of the first egg, the clutch size, the date of the first hatching, the date of the the fledgling, whether or not the nest was a success, what led to a failed nest, and any other data you may wish to add in the comments section.  The nests you observe in your area may seem "ornithologically" insignificant, but when compiled with all other sightings across North America, a clearer picture emerges for the bird breeding season.

Here at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest, we just entered the Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) nest in the cigarette disposal container as our first observation.  Even though the nest did not succeed, the data are useful for those studying birds throughout North America.
Carolina Wren nest - Mark Musselman

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