Thursday, January 7, 2010

Citizen Science from Cornell: Winter Bird Survival Challenge

I just received an email about this citizen science program from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and it sounds fun! Take a look:

How are feathered friends surviving the season?
Ithaca, NY—How do birds withstand wicked winter weather and other daily threats to survival, even in warmer climates? A new environmental challenge from the Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology invites participants to show how birds are surviving in their neighborhoods this winter. It can be a photo, artwork, video, even a story or a poem describing how birds are finding the food, water, and shelter they need. People of all ages can participate as well as groups such as schools, libraries, clubs, and businesses. Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

“It’s unbelievable how even tiny birds can survive being outdoors 24/7 in places where winter is cold and snowy,” says project leader Karen Purcell. “We want to see how they’re getting along. It might be a crow huddling near a chimney to get warm, visits to bird feeders, a berry bush that birds raid for food, a fountain birds use for water, or maybe even one of the lucky birds soaking up the sun in a warm, southern state.”

Prizes include a pair of Eagle Optics binoculars, bird feeders, a birdsong calendar, books, posters, cards and more. The first 50 entrants will receive a copy of the "Little Green Places" poster and selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website.

How to enter:
1. Email entries to If you submit a video, post it on YouTube and send us the link.
2. Write “Survival_yourfirstname yourlastname yourstate” in the subject line.
3. Include your mailing address in your email
4. Explain why you submitted your entry—describe your winter conditions and what you observe the birds doing during winter.
5. One entry per person, please.

Deadline for entries is February 15, 2010
Visit the Celebrate Urban Birds website for more information, to see entries for past challenges, and to read the terms of agreement for all entries.


Diane said...

This is fascinating,Kelly! It certainly is a question that many of us are asking. We can feed them, make sure they have water, but they pick their own shelter - mostly in those trees. Eager to see the results.

Roy said...

Interesting. It looks like citizen Science has a lot of different projects going. They have an interesting website.

Ginnymo said...

I'll be looking forward to your entry Kelly. I love their web site!! Thanks!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I don't have time to contribute---but I am interested, Kelly... I'd love to read the finished product --once it is done. Thanks!!!

I'm doing all that I can to help my little birds here --during this winter weather.