© Craig Hurst
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Watch an instructional video that gives a quick review of how to participate in Project FeederWatch.
Please refer to our Handbook & Instructions, mailed to all new participants, before submitting any data. Detailed instructions can also be found here.
But do not count
FeederWatch participants often stop counting their birds because they believe that their counts are not important. Typically they are seeing the same birds every week, or they are seeing very few or no birds. While some FeederWatchers see amazing birds, a wide variety of species, or large numbers of birds, most FeederWatchers see low numbers of what might be characterized as “predictable” birds. These counts are the heart of FeederWatch. Focusing on the extreme cases would provide a biased view of bird populations, and ignoring the common birds could be a major mistake. While we are all thrilled by unusual sightings and high counts, it’s the everyday observations of common birds that are so important for monitoring bird populations. Learn more about why every count matters.
The 2015-2016 FeederWatch season runs from Saturday, November 14 to Friday, April 8. Online data entry will open on November 1. The last day to start a two-day count is Thursday, April 7.
The project always starts on the second Saturday of November and runs for 21 weeks.
All new Project FeederWatch participants receive a research kit in the mail. Renewing participants can choose not to receive a kit.
Choose this option when you renew if you would rather not receive a kit or a print copy of Winter Bird Highlights (this option is only available to renewing participants). Please note that you will receive no project updates or reminders unless you subscribe to our electronic newsletter. Be sure to keep track of your ID number, which can be found near your mailing address on any mailing from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada are non-profit organizations supported primarily by participant and membership fees. Project FeederWatch would not be possible without the support of our participants—scientifically and financially. FeederWatch’s participant fees pay for website and database maintenance, data analysis, participant support, printing and shipping project materials, and dissemination of information learned from FeederWatch data. The fees also help cover the cost of publishing a year-end report, Winter Bird Highlights. While FeederWatch staff constantly seek other sources of funding, the reality is that without participant fees, the project would have to shut down.