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citizen science

Beak Meets Seed

Birds like finches, chickadees and this Northern Cardinal love sunflower seeds, but each species uses a different strategy to extract the meat. When a finch plucks a sunflower seed from the feeder, it uses its tongue to maneuver the seed lengthwise into a groove on its beak. As it closes its beak... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdfeeding, citizen science, science

Alex Chadwick in Big Bend: Banding Hummingbirds

BirdNote contributor Alex Chadwick visited the outskirts of Big Bend National Park in Texas to meet with Kelly Bryan, a retired park manager and biologist who spends his days placing tiny bands on hummingbirds to better know their habits. Kelly has banded more than 14,000 birds!Funding for the... read more »

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Rusty Blackbirds - A Rusty Recovery

It’s basic black with an inelegant voice. It nests in places we rarely visit. And in relative obscurity, the Rusty Blackbird has suffered one of the most dramatic population declines ever recorded among our songbirds. The International Rusty Blackbird Working Group, a coalition of biologists and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

Counting Shorebirds for the Avian Knowledge Network

Shorebirds rely on tidelands and mudflats for food, especially in winter when conditions are tough. Join us on this blustery day to count birds such as these Dunlin at an estuary in western Washington State. The results will go into the Avian Knowledge Network to support the conservation and... read more »

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Recording Cerulean Warblers with Charlotte Goedsche

Since 1998, Charlotte Goedsche has been studying the Cerulean Warblers that breed in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. And she has learned some fascinating things! For example, Charlotte can identify individual Cerulean Warbler males like this one, by listening to their songs. She... read more »

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Cats and the Christmas Bird Count - With Roger Melendez

While many in the US are out counting birds for the annual Christmas Bird Count, our friends in Latin America are doing the same. At Costa Rica’s La Selva Research Station, they’re counting resident tropical birds and those that have migrated south for the winter, like this Baltimore Oriole.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

Christmas Bird Counts at the Extremes

This winter, volunteers will tally birds in more than 2,000 locations as part of the annual Christmas Bird Count. In the U.S., birders will venture forth at the very extremes of the country’s geographic reach. At Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, a few hardy souls will count birds in deep twilight, since the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

Learning to Band Birds - Puget Sound Bird Observatory

Picture yourself holding a tiny, Black-capped Chickadee like this one. Or a big, blue Steller’s Jay! Volunteer Mark Purcell did just that while learning to net and band birds with the Puget Sound Bird Observatory. “It’s thrilling to see a bird that close,” he says. “You have complete control over... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, ecology, science

Citizen Scientists Monitor Pigeon Guillemots

Govinda Rosling, co-coordinator of the Pigeon Guillemot Research Group, is one of 60 volunteer citizen scientists who dedicate their time during the summer months to survey birds at 25 breeding colonies. The guillemots are an indicator species -- their health really echoes the overall health of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, science

Studying Pigeon Guillemots as a Citizen Scientist

What’s it like to be a citizen scientist studying Pigeon Guillemots? It’s fun!It’s early on a calm, July morning. I’m with Govinda Rosling, co-coordinator of the Pigeon Guillemot Research Group on Washington’s Whidbey Island. We’re surveying Pigeon Guillemots in the colony at the feeder bluffs at... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

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