February 17, 2017
To celebrate Project FeederWatch’s 30th anniversary, the Cornell Lab and our sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited are rewarding registered FeederWatchers with BirdSpotter prizes. After entering bird counts (a.k.a. data) into the FeederWatch website, participants had the opportunity to share a story, memory, or tip. We received over 265 submissions to the final round of the Data Entry contest, which asked participants to share what inspired them to start feeding birds and join FeederWatch. The prompt read:
Feeding birds can be a practice passed down from generation to generation, and for others it is a newly discovered interest. Share your FeederWatch “origin” story.
Congratulations to Maria D’Agostino of Anchorage, Alaska! Maria recently discovered FeederWatch in a serendipitous manner, while on a cross-country road trip.
I joined FeederWatch because of a chance visit to Travelers Restaurant in Union, Connecticut. My boyfriend and I were on a multi-state contra dance road trip. We were hungry and randomly pulled off the road and found the Travelers Restaurant, a diner that features food and books! We are both BIG bibliophiles and wandered around the store looking for the perfect (FREE!) books to take home.
When we finally settled down at our table, Project FeederWatch’s Common Feeder Birds poster was on display under the table’s glass. The tables were set up along picture windows with views of bird feeders, which were installed and maintained by The Bird Store and More in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. I was so delighted to recognize juncos and chickadees from my home state of Alaska, and even more excited to learn that I could sign up and get my own poster and start chronicling my observations! I just made my first entries today, and can’t wait for my next count!
Thanks to all those who shared their stories and tips over the course of the Data Entry Contest. We received 1,425 stories and were delighted to learn how you deter squirrels, create bird-friendly habitat, discover how you got started feeding birds, and share in your “eye-witness: did-that-really-just-happen?” FeederWatch moments. Thanks for joining the celebration of FeederWatch’s 30th anniversary. A big thanks to our sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited, for providing prizes. As always, good birding!