Blog Archive: Citizen Science

Birdorable Spotted Towhee

Oregon 2020 Bird Population Survey

November 7th, 2018 in Citizen Science, Science 2 comments

Researchers in Oregon are working on a huge survey of birds in the state: Oregon 2020. Data from field observations is being compiled to determine the abundance and distribution of Oregon's bird species.

The study in part uses data collected by citizen scientists who bird the state and enter their findings into eBird.

In a presentation given at a bird symposium last year, Birdorable cartoon birds were used to help visualize concepts in field observation data collection, like "imperfect detection" and "detection probability".

The project aims to compile its data on the birds of Oregon by the year 2020. While data collection occurs year-round, County Birding Blitzes are used to collect data in hotspots over a short period of time by a lot of different observers (kind of like Christmas Bird Counts).

To learn more about the project and maybe even contribute data, check it out at Oregon 2020.

Thank you to Tyler Hallman for sharing his presentation with us.

Birdorable American Goldfinch

Citizen Science: YardMap

Contributing to citizen Science projects helps our collective knowledge, but it also helps us as individuals learn. We'd like to highlight some citizen science projects in which families can participate. If you know of a project that we could highlight on our blog, please YardMap is a citizen science mapping project that can help you learn more about the birds that visit your yard, and how to attract more. Participating in the project also helps scientists as they study how birds adapt to disturbed habitats.

Birdorable YardBird

YardMap is a project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Participants identify their yard and then map it out, indicating types of habitat found. Using colors and shapes, items like lawn, grass, trees, and more can be marked. Bird baths, brush piles, and other objects can also be placed, to give a very clear picture of the type of habitat found in the yard. Finally, participant bird sightings are linked in via eBird. The YardMap site is full of information on how different suburban habitats impact bird populations, and how participants can help birds by making changes or additions to their yards. YardMap is social, too, with a community forum for sharing pictures and stories.

YardMap

This is a fun and educational year-round family-friendly project that has the added benefit of helping scientists better understand bird habits in your neighborhood! Visit the YardMap site to learn more and get started!

Birdorable Sandhill Crane

Citizen Science: Midwest Crane Count

March 25th, 2013 in Citizen Science, Cranes 1 comment
Birdorable Sandhill Cranes

Contributing to citizen Science projects helps our collective knowledge, but it also helps us as individuals learn. We'd like to highlight some citizen science projects in which families can participate. If you know of a project that we could highlight on our blog, please let us know!

Each year the International Crane Foundation encourages citizen scientists to participate in the Annual Midwest Crane Count. In 2013, the count will take place on April 13.

The count covers over 100 counties in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. County Coordinators should be the first point of contact for anyone that would like to participate. Visit the Crane Count page to learn more about participating and see past count results.

Birdorable Common Redpoll

Citizen Science: Great Backyard Bird Count

February 6th, 2013 in Backyard Birds, Citizen Science 1 comment
Blog Bird Feeder

Contributing to citizen Science projects helps our collective knowledge, but it also helps us as individuals learn. We'd like to highlight some citizen science projects in which families can participate. If you know of a project that we could highlight on our blog, please let us know!

The 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count will take place from Friday, Feburary 15th through Monday, February 18th. Participation is free and anyone in the world can contribute! Here is a what is involved, taken from the official GBBC website:

"The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website."

The annual count helps scientists understand what is happening with bird populations during a specific period of time each winter. This "snapshot" of current bird activity is monitored over time to look for population trends. Results from previous counts can be seen by participants and scientists alike. This is a great citizen science project for birdwatchers of all ages! Data entry is easily accomplished via the GBBC site; younger birdwatchers may need help with keeping and entering count information.

Learn more about this project and how you can participate by visiting the Great Backyard Bird Count website.

Have you participated in the GBBC before? Will you participate this year?

Birdorable Mallard

Citizen Science: eBird

January 23rd, 2013 in Citizen Science No comments

Contributing to citizen Science projects helps our collective knowledge, but it also helps us as individuals learn. We'd like to highlight some citizen science projects in which families can participate. If you know of a project that we could highlight on our blog, please let us know!

The first citizen science project we'd like to highlight is a big one! eBird is an online bird checklist program that helps you keep track of the birds you see. A great thing about eBird is that data entered into the system by citizen scientists like you also helps scientists study birds!

eBird, a joint project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, is free and easy for anyone to use. Once registered, you can enter your bird sightings as often as you like, and include as much data as you want, including photos, information on the age and gender of the bird, and more. You can tell eBird what birds you saw in your back yard while having lunch, or enter a long list of the birds you saw when you spent the whole day at the local state park or national wildlife refuge. You'll be able to see your lists again any time you'd like. eBird data entry is global, so anyone in the world can use it to record their bird sightings.

It's a lot of fun to look through eBird maps and charts to see how sightings recorded by your fellow citizen scientists look over time and over a large area. For instance, using eBird, you can figure out what kinds of birds you might expect to see next time you visit a relative in another state.

Once you have a few checklists of your own, it's also a lot of fun to look through what you've seen in the past and how your sightings may change or be surprisingly similar year after year. If you saw your first hummingbird of the year on May 5th, 2012, you'll know to start keeping your eyes out for your little feathered friend in early May this year.

eBird is a fun and educational tool suitable for use by the whole family. eBird tools are used for other citizen scientist projects, too, so don't be surprised if we highlight a future project that uses eBird data. Visit the eBird.org site to learn more and get started!