OK, here’s a random question. What is the most common bird found at bird feeders across the continent every winter?
Downy Woodpecker? Black-capped Chickadee? House Finch?
No, it’s the Dark-eyed Junco!
And I know that fact because for 25 years people just like you have been participating as a citizen scientist as part of the Project FeedWatch program administered by the Cornel Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. “FeederWatchers” periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broad scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
Since the program began in 1987, FeederWatchers have submitted more than 1.6 million checklists from 45,000 locations across North America. Their data have helped track the spread of diseases such as West Nile virus and House Finch eye disease, document the rapid colonization of Eurasian Collared-Doves in North America and charted an alarming, continent wide decline in Evening Grosbeaks
The 25th year of data collection starts on November 12, so go to Project FeederWatch on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site for more information on how to participate.
Fun Fact Here
If you are a past FeederWatcher, please share your experiences with our readers by leaving a comment.