Hilltown Families


Springtime brings many migratory bird species back to western Massachusetts and, as these feathered friends return, opportunities for citizen science centered around species preservation arise! Help Mass Audubon to monitor some species whose populations are in decline, and learn about three fascinating bird species in the process.

During the winter, young wildlife enthusiasts can focus their attention on feathered friends, one of the few creatures who are still very visible throughout the coldest months of the year. Whether your family are avid birders or simply enjoy watching feeder visitors, there are lots of ways to learn about the local environment and to participate in citizen science by watching birds this winter! From owls to chickadees, there are many ways to engage with the local landscape and to help contribute information to important studies.

Bird Count at Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield There have been lots of opportunities lately to become a Citizen Scientist and assist with bird population counts!  Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count and Bald Eagle Count both took place recently, but there’s another bird count that you can do any time of year!  Mass Audubon offers a checklist of birds that visitors to Canoe Meadows (located in Pittsfield) can print and take along on their… Read More

The Allen Bird Club of Springfield – 100 Years Young By Hilltown Families Guest Writer, George C. Kingston On the afternoon of Monday, January 8, 1912, Mrs. Grace Johnson, the director of the Springfield Museum of Natural History and Miss Fannie Stebbins, the supervisor of natural science for the Springfield School Department, assembled a group of amateur bird watchers and organized the Springfield Bird Club. The purpose of the club was “to… Read More

Citizen Science: Audubon Christmas Bird Count From December 14th, 2010 through January 5th, 2011,  family volunteers throughout New England will bundle up and head out into the cold to participate as citizen scientists as part of the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). 111 years ago, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count began when Frank Chapman, founder of the Audubon magazine, suggested an alternative to hunting birds and proposed that people “hunt” them… Read More

Birding Beyond Your Backyard Anyone who wants to learn how to identify local birds by sight and sound will be interested in this new free program, “Birding Beyond Your Backyard,” organized by the Hoffmann Bird Club. After watching the antics of a pair of cardinals, a posse of bluejays or a twittering troop of finches, many people become backyard birders. First, there is the rush to the supermarket to buy a simple… Read More

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