History of FeederWatch How did FeederWatch begin? Project FeederWatch had its roots in Ontario in the mid-1970s. Through Canada’s Long Point Bird Observatory, Erica Dunn established the Ontario Bird Feeder Survey in 1976. After a successful 10-year run with more than 500 participants, its organizers realized that only a continental survey could accurately monitor the large-scale movements of birds. Therefore, Long Point Bird Observatory decided to expand the survey to cover all of North America. Realizing they would need a strong partner in this venture, Long Point approached the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and a perfect match was soon made. The Cornell Lab’s connection to thousands of bird enthusiasts across the United States, its sophisticated computer systems, and Long Point’s experience at managing feeder surveys made Project FeederWatch a hit from the start. In the winter of 1987-88, more than 4,000 people enrolled. FeederWatchers represented every state in the U.S. except Hawaii and most provinces in Canada, especially Ontario. The dream to systematically survey winter feeder birds over a wide geographic range was in place. Since then the number of project participants has grown to more than 20,000. Project FeederWatch continues to be a cooperative research project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada (formerly the Long Point Bird Observatory and later Bird Studies Canada). Today, FeederWatch is a proven tool for monitoring the distribution and abundance of winter bird populations.