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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.

Everything changes so drastically in Western Mass in the winter. Talk about an abrupt nature shake-up we must endure! But there is opportunity here for families to embark on winter tracking expeditions. It’s a captivating pursuit and all of a sudden you’ll wonder “where did winter go?”…Read on to get yourself on the right track! — Remember to mark your calendars and get ready to support Hilltown Families on Valley Gives Day: December 10th!

Mass Audubon invites public to “Focus on Feeders.” This annual midwinter backyard bird survey is a fun way for families to participate as citizen scientists!

Focus on Feeders Mass Audubon Winter Bird Count February 2nd & 3rd, 2013 Does your family enjoy watching birds at your feeder during the winter?  Backyard feeders provide a consistent, easily accessible source of food for a wide variety of bird species during the winter, and feeder-watching is a great way for families to learn about the many different species who live in their neighborhood. This weekend, Mass Audubon is offering a… Read More

Berkshire Museum presents Bats: Creatures of the Night Learn the true story of the only flying mammal from January 19 to May 12, 2013 Forget the myths and learn the truth about bats: they are gentle, beneficial animals that play an important role in our planet’s ecology. With larger-than-life models and interactive stations, visitors to Bats: Creatures of the Night at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield can experience the sensitivity of bat… Read More

Tracking Owls in Massachusetts Families Can Help Mass Audubon There are eleven different species of owls found in Massachusetts, and chances are good that there are a few in your neighborhood.  Families can become owl spotters and useful citizen scientists by taking part in Mass Audubon’s efforts in tracking owl populations – there are lots of ways to participate, and any and all information collected in useful! There are a variety of… Read More

Work for Wildlife Mass Audubon 6th Annual Statewide Volunteer Day Saturday, April 28th, 2012 Spend a day volunteering with Mass Audubon! The organization’s annual Statewide Volunteer Day will take place on Saturday, April 28th from 9am-12noon in locations across the state. In Western MA, families can volunteer at one of three sanctuaries: Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield; Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton; or Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Hampden. Volunteers can help to… Read More

Nature Bingo & Scavenger Hunts Last winter we ask our readers what their favorite snowy day activities were.  One recommendation was to play outdoor bingo with Mass Audubon’s Winter Walk Bingo Cards!  In addition to winter bingo, they also have bingo cards for spring! This spring take your kids out into nature and go on a hunt for moss on a log, a tail marker, signs of a woodpecker, fiddleheads, spider webs,… Read More

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

National Audubon’s 112th Annual Christmas Bird Count National Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) takes place from December 14th through January 5th.  Add some outdoor adventure and wildlife observations to your family’s holiday traditions this year by participating in your local CBC Circle by counting and collecting data about the birds in your neighborhood to gauge the wellness of the nation’s bird populations. The CBC offers families an annual opportunity to participate… Read More

Searching for Spring Spring has taken its sweet time coming our way. I grew up in a city, and now I live in a smaller one with my family. As a child my mother would take us out of New York around the change of seasons. She said she missed the small seasonal transitions you can only notice in the country and the woods: leaf buds unfurling in springtime, and the first… Read More

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

Mass Audubon’s Annual Bird-a-thon Blends Birding Fun and Funds: May 14th-15th, 2010 On May 14th and 15th go where the wild things are with Mass Audubon’s Bird-a-thon. This fun annual event, for people of all abilities and ages, offers birders and nature enthusiasts the opportunity to participate in friendly competition while raising funds for Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuaries and programs. In fact, the Bird-a-thon pledges that you earn through your birding, or… Read More

And after the orioles have gone to bed… you can start listening for Whip-poor-wills, once-common night birds that are in serious decline. As part of our Birds to Watch program, we have started a new project to map the remaining populations of these unusual birds. You can hear the haunting call of these birds, then take a ride after dark on a fine summer night and see if there are any calling in your town.

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