Find out what Project FeederWatch is, its history, and more
Find out how you FeederWatch, when you can FeederWatch, and what you'll need to do to get started
Review these instructions carefully before you count and enter data
Find out about types of feeders and types of foods, and where to place your feeder
Feeding Birds FAQs
Explore the winter distribution, food, and feeder preferences of common feeder birds.
Find out about color and plumage variations, bald heads, and deformed bills
Unusual Birds Gallery
Find out about bird disease and identifying the signs of bird disease
Sick Birds Gallery
Find out how to identify birds and download identification tools
Find educational resources and examples and home school curriculum here
Find an article archive packed with lots of great bird study information
Learn about house finch eye disease
Enter our weekly challenges for chances at great prizes!
Keep up to date with the latest FeederWatch happenings
Send us your photos! Show us your count site, your birds, or you watching your site with loved ones!
Live streaming feedercam in Manitoba
These are exemplary FeederWatchers!
See what birds occur the most by region
Explore species by state/province
See where FeederWatchers are
Graphs of regional population trends and distributions
Explore papers that have used FeederWatch data
Lab scientists analyze the data submitted by FeederWatch participants.
See birds well outside their winter range submitted to Project FeederWatch.
Start here for data entry and personal data review and exploration
© Craig Hurst
Signup to receive your kit! Join Now!
Please refer to our detailed instructions before submitting any data. Thank you!
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 project always starts on the second Saturday of November and runs for 21 weeks. The 2020–21 FeederWatch season runs from Saturday, November 14, to Friday, April 9. New participants will be able to log into online data entry and set up their count site after November 1. The last day to start a two-day count is Thursday, April 8.
The FeederWatch app is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices. You can use the FeederWatch app to keep track of your counts and submit your counts directly to our database. The app is connected to the Cornell Lab’s All About Birds online guide with detailed species information, including photos, identification tips, natural history, and a range map. You can also access FeederWatch’s common feeder birds interactive tool to see which birds prefer which foods in any region of the U.S. or Canada.
All Project FeederWatch participants have the option to receive materials in the mail as outlined below.
Choose the “Save resources” option when you sign up if you would rather not receive any print materials. With this option, you will receive a digital version of Winter Bird Highlights. Please note that you must subscribe to our electronic newsletter to receive project updates and reminders.
The FeederWatch Handbook and Instructions contains a wealth of information about providing a safe space for birds in your yard and about counting birds for FeederWatch. You can download the Handbook below.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds 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.