Calling All Backyard Bird Feeders!

Citizen Scientists Wanted to Participate in
Mass Audubon’s Focus on Feeders Weekend
February 5th & 6th, 2011

Stringing bird seed pine cones, orange slices and toast cut into shapes onto your trees for attracting birds is a fun hands-on activity to do with the family - and a great way to opportunity to participate in the annual Focus on Feeders Weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Families in western MA are invited to take part in the Mass Audubon’s free annual Focus on Feeders Weekend. During the first weekend of February, take note of the diversity of bird species visiting your bird feeders. Kids will have fun identifying cardinals and blue jays as their bright colors enliven your backyard, and bird enthusiasts can record the different species of winter birds in the region on a simple report form to to be submitted to Mass Audubon. All participants will be entered in a random drawing to win one of several prizes.

“The data collected each year during the Focus on Feeders Weekend adds to an impressive legacy of research on bird population trends and distributions in Massachusetts,” says Mass Audubon President Laura Johnson. “Receiving reports from across the state helps to prioritize conservation efforts. Plus it’s fun!”

For over 40 years families have been participating as citizen scientists by counting and recording the diversity of our fine feathered friends visiting backyard feeders for one winter weekend.  According to Mass Audubon, Focus on Feeders helps to raise conservation awareness and to further their efforts to protect wildlife and habitat in Massachusetts.

Suet cakes are great for attracting woodpeckers and nuthatches. And they are easy to make. Click on the photo to find out how you can make these with your kids. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Last year over 1,000 citizen scientists from 259 of the 351 towns and cities in the state of Massachusetts participated by submitted their observations. Get the complete rules here.

Report forms are available online or request a form at focusonfeeders@massaudubon.org. Then, submit your completed report online or mail it to Mass Audubon/Focus on Feeders, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773. Encourage your friends and neighbors to also join the fun as the value of the data collected increases with the number of participants.

Amateur photographers are invited to participate too by photographing visitors to your birdfeeders. Prizes will also be awarded in several categories for those who submit wildlife photos of any species along with their bird count results. Report observations and submit photos by February 28.

For more information visit www.massaudubon.org.

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