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 broadscale movements of winter bird
populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
Project FeederWatch is
operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.
with an interest in birds! FeederWatch is conducted by people of all skill levels and
backgrounds, including children, families, individuals, classrooms, retired persons, youth
groups, nature centers, and bird clubs.
What will I do?
birds that appear in your count site because of something that you have provided (plantings, food, or water). For each species, you will report only the highest number of individuals
that you see in view at one time. By following this procedure, you are certain to
avoid counting the same bird more than once. You will report your bird counts to scientists
at the Lab of Ornithology either over our web site or on paper data forms. Learn more about how to count birds for FeederWatch in the instructions section of this website.
Does it cost money?
is a $15 annual participation fee ($12 for Lab members,
CAN$35 for Canadian participants), which covers materials, staff support, web design,
data analysis, and a year-end report (Winter Bird Highlights) . Project FeederWatch is supported almost
entirely by participation fees. Without the support of our
participants, this project wouldn't be possible.
What will I
Participants receive a Research Kit, which contains instructions, a bird identification poster, a wall calendar, a resource
guide to bird feeding, and a tally sheeteverything you need to start counting your
birds. U.S. participants receive a subscription to the Lab of Ornithology's newsletter, BirdScope. Canadian participants, receive Bird
Studies Canada's quarterly publication, BirdWatch Canada. Kits are shipped in the fall (or about 2 weeks after you signup when you signup during the FeederWatch
season). You provide the feeder(s) and seed.
Where do I
count the birds?
You designate an area that you can
consistently observe throughout your count days. Participants are advised to choose obvious boundaries, such as the
border of a yard or the area within a courtyard. Learn more about setting up a count site in the instructions section of this website.
the season start?
Our survey is conducted
each winter starting on the second Saturday of November and runs for 21 weeks, through the first Friday of April. You may join at any time of year. The last day to sign up for any given
season is Feb. 28 or 29. On Mar. 1 we begin taking sign-ups for the following season. Kits are
shipped in the fall or, if you sign up during the season, about 2 weeks after you sign up.
How much time does it take?
It's up to you! Select
your own bird-count days--two consecutive days once every two weeks (or every week if you
enter data online and you choose to count that often). Count during all or part of those
days. Learn more about selecting count days in the instructions section of this website.
Why should I
FeederWatch results are
regularly published in scientific journals and
are shared with ornithologists and bird lovers nationwide. The counts you submit will make sure that your birds (or lack of birds) are represented in our papers and in the results found in the Explore Data section of this website.
As a FeederWatcher, you
will learn more about winter birds and how their populations are faring. Read what our participants say.You will also
contribute to the science and conservation of North American feeder birds.