U. S. Forest Service Bird Research
Treesearch is an online system for locating and delivering publications by Research and Development scientists in the US Forest Service. Publications in the collection include research monographs published by the agency as well as papers written by our scientists but published by other organizations in their journals, conference proceedings, or books. Research results behind these publications have been peer reviewed to ensure the best quality science.
Christmas Bird Count
For over a century, volunteers have been collecting information on the birds in their communities, The CBC database now contains more than a century of data on early-winter bird populations across the Americas. This one-day annual event is an opportunity to meet other local volunteers, hone your birding skills, and take part in a seasonal tradition.
Great Backyard Bird Count This annual Presidents' Day Weekend event is an opportunity for you to count the birds in your backyard and beyond. You can report your findings to the GBBC website, and view your results with those of others. (Operated in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.)
Cornell Lab offers innovative online tools for birders to keep track of their own lists and contribute their bird sightings for use in science and conservation. Birders, scientists, and conservationists can collect, manage, and store their observations in eBird’s globally accessible database—or use graphing, mapping, and analysis tools to better understand patterns of bird occurrence and the environmental and human factors that influence them. This real-time data resource produces millions of observations per year from across the hemisphere. eBird is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.
Each year, 15,000 people count birds at their feeders for Project FeederWatch. With more than 1.5 million checklists submitted since 1987, FeederWatchers have contributed valuable data enabling scientists to monitor changes in the distribution and abundance of birds. Using FeederWatch data, scientists have studied the influence of nonnative species on native bird communities, examined the association between birds and habitats, and tracked unpredictable movements in winter bird populations. Participants gain from the rewarding experience of watching birds at their feeders and contributing their own observations to reveal larger patterns in bird populations across the continent.
By finding and monitoring bird nests, NestWatch participants help scientists track the breeding success of birds across North America. Participants witness fascinating behaviors of birds at the nest and collect information on the location, habitat, bird species, number of eggs, and number of young. Scientists use these data to track the reproductive success of North American breeding birds across the continent. Launched in 2007 with funding from the National Science Foundation, NestWatch has collected more than 100,000 nesting records. Combined with historic data, this information will help scientists address how birds are affected by large-scale changes such as global climate change, urbanization, and land use.
By watching NestCams online, visitors from round the world enjoy live images and streaming videos of birds at their nests. During the last decade, the NestCams have displayed compelling footage and commentary on more than 120 nesting attempts by Eastern Bluebirds, Barn Owls, Peregrine Falcons, Wood Ducks, Chimney Swifts, American Kestrels, and other birds. NestCams are a unique learning experience for the study and appreciation of animal behavior, viewed by hundreds of thousands of people in more than 130 countries. NestCams are funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts put their observation skills to the test by participating in CamClickr, an innovative online project that engages volunteers in tagging and classifying more than 8 million images of nesting birds. CamClickr uses a gaming approach to provide a friendly spirit of competition through points and awards while users tag images that have been archived from NestCams since 1999. Their efforts help scientists improve the understanding of the basic strategies that birds use to survive and raise their families. CamClickr is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Celebrate Urban Birds
Celebrate Urban Birds engages urban and rural residents in science, cultural, and community activities related to birds. Participants receive or download a free kit with posters, flower seeds, and data forms, then observe a small, defined bird-watching area for 10 minutes and report on the presence or absence of 16 species of birds. The project assesses the value of green spaces for birds, ranging in size from a potted plant to half a basketball court. Launched in 2007, Celebrate Urban Birds has partnered with nearly 5,000 community organizations and distributed more than 100,000 kits in English and Spanish. The National Forum on Children and Nature selected Celebrate Urban Birds as one of 30 nationally significant projects to connect children with the outdoors.
Participants in PigeonWatch observe flocks of pigeons in their neighborhoods to help scientists understand the remarkable variation in colors of pigeons. For hundreds of years, humans have bred pigeons for their colors, homing instincts, or racing abilities. Some of these pigeons escaped to the wild, and today’s flocks include birds that may be blue, red, black, white, brown, or mixtures of colors in between. To help scientists understand why pigeons continue to exist in so many different colors, participants count the number of pigeons of each color morph they see, and the colors of courting birds. The project appeals to anyone who enjoys watching pigeons, including urban residents, school groups, and youth groups.
The YardMap Network
Cornell Lab Now in development, the YardMap Network is an NSF-funded project that builds online communities to investigate the impacts of bird-friendly and carbon-neutral practices in backyards, community gardens, and parks. Participants will locate their yards or parks on a Google maps interface, then document their sustainable practices, such as adding native plants, putting up bird feeders, installing a solar panel, or biking to work. YardMap will serve as a detailed site description for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s citizen-science bird observations. By providing access to rich media resources for learning about sustainable practices and enabling people share their maps and practices with each other, YardMap strives to create online conservation communities engaged in real life sustainable practices. The YardMap Network will be tested and launched in 2011, in partnership with the National Audubon Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Empire State College’s online alumni program, and the American Community Gardening Association.