FeederWatch for Groups
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Each year educational groups participate in Project FeederWatch. Scout troops use the project to help meet the requirements for the Bird Study Merit Badge. For example, Project FeederWatch can help scouts learn to identify 20 species–the 5th requirement for the Bird Study badge. The project can also help Girl Scouts earn their Wildlife Badge as well as an All About Birds Interest Project Award.
Other groups participate as a way to learn more about birds and nature. One 4-H student won a science award based on her FeederWatch participation and represented her state at the National 4-H Congress. Read her story.
Project FeederWatch can help engage children in the excitement of nature study and the wonder of scientific investigation by
- encouraging careful observation and note-taking
- stimulating children to ask questions about the natural world
- encouraging independent study
- providing opportunities for meaningful Internet use and exploration
Options for group participation
A group can choose a single bird feeding location to observe together or to observe on a rotating schedule. For example, some groups work together to count birds at a local nature center. With this option, only one registration is required since only one set of data should be submitted from a single location. The group can register under one name, or, in the case of a nature center, the group can register under the name of the nature center if the center is not already registered. The group representative or the nature center will receive a Research Kit and the FeederWatch annual report, Winter Bird Highlights.
The group can provide bird identification and bird feeding information to its members, and each group member can participate in Project FeederWatch from their own homes or feeder sites. For example, a researcher used Project FeederWatch at a large boarding school in Maine, where students participated at each of their residences. An article about the program was published in BirdScope. Most groups are more informal, though, and any group in the U.S. with an educational component can qualify for a group rate when six or more participants are registered, according to the following fee schedule:
1-5 participants = $15 per participant
6-10 participants = $12 per participant
11+ participants = $10 per participant
With this option, each participant receives their own Research Kit and the FeederWatch annual report, Winter Bird Highlights.
In order to qualify for the discount, a group leader or sponsor must fill out a group rate order form (below) and send it to Project FeederWatch along with the names and addresses of the group members who wish to participate and a single payment for the entire group. All group members must submit their data through the FeederWatch web site.