Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Scientist Opportunity for Families in the Pioneer Valley

Citizen Scientists Wanted to Monitor Backyard Birds:
Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Scientist Opportunity for Families in the Pioneer Valley

Ever wonder if the robins nesting in your backyard are the same birds that nested there last year? If they were color banded then you would know. Amazingly, many birds nest in the same place year after year. By joining the Smithsonian’s Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Science project, you can help scientists answer important questions about the birds in your own backyard.

The Smithsonian Institution partnered with the US Forest Service in 2012 to expand their Washington DC based Neighborhood Nestwatch project to the Springfield, MA area.

Susannah Lerman from the Dept. of Environmental Conservation at UMass writes, “We are recruiting participants for the 2013 season. Participation includes a mentored experience in which scientists visit your backyard once every summer to band birds and help you find nests. We will teach you how to keep track of “your” banded birds, collect nesting data and monitor year-to-year survival for scientific study.

“Urban and suburban sprawl has had devastating impacts for wildlife habitat, adversely impacting song birds and increasing public isolation from nature. The data we collect from your yard will help us understand how rapid land conversion impacts backyard bird populations. By monitoring eight common backyard birds (Gray Catbird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Song Sparrow, Carolina Wren, House Wren and Northern Cardinal) Neighborhood Nestwatch will provide scientific data and raise public awareness to aid in the associated goals of conservation and responsible growth.”

If you live in the Pioneer Valley area (e.g., Amherst/Chicopee/Holyoke/Northampton/Springfield and surrounding towns) and are interested in participating in this rewarding citizen science project, then please email Susannah at or call: 413-545-5447.

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