February 4, 2011

Participate in the Focus on Feeders Massachusetts this weekend February 5th and 6th

This weekend join the thousands of backyard bird watchers across Massachusetts in the Focus on Feeders bird count. To participate all you need to do is keep an eye on your feeders this weekend (Saturday February 5th and Sunday, February 6th) and note the highest number of each species at any given time. For example three American goldfinches on Saturday and five on Sunday would give you five American goldfinches as your total (the highest one time occurrence). You then enter your data into the official form and submit it to Mass Audubon for compilation.

Bird populations are always changing (for better or worse) and this type of “citizen science” helps track specie populations in Massachusetts. The program started in 1964 the year after the State’s first record of breeding Northern cardinals, a relative new comer. “Laura Johnson, reported the first nesting record of Northern Cardinal in Massachusetts in 1963. In 1964, the Allen Bird Club began asking people in western Massachusetts to report sightings of both Northern Cardinal and Tufted Titmouse. The following year, Mass Audubon assumed responsibility for the project, expanding it New England-wide in the late 1960's.” You can view historical results of the feeder count on Audubon’s website. And, for the new comer here is a helpful poster of the common feeder species in the Eastern U.S. and Western U.S.

Happy counting this weekend!

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is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact: alexanderjosephdunn@gmail.com

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