Surveys! Surveys! Surveys!

Had enough yet?  Well, in case the Christmas Bird Count, the Breeding Bird Survey, or the Nightjar Survey Network haven’t sated your appetite, there are other surveys to join.


Bald Eagles on the Missouri River

Don’t particularly like bird identification?  Join the Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey!

Don’t like leaving your house when its cold?  Join Cornell’s Feeder Watch!

Or join Cornell’s many other efforts, like eBird, NestWatch, Great Backyard Bird Count, Habitat Network, or Celebrate Urban Birds.


Nighttime Surveys


Now that I have you hooked on Christmas Bird Counts in the winter and Breeding Bird Surveys in the summer, how about helping out with the surveys of nocturnal and crepuscular birds? Birds like the Common Nighthawk, other nightjars, and owls often don’t receive the same attention by biologists because of the lack of information on population trends.  Even tracking where nocturnal birds are to start a study discourages researchers.  Luckily I had an advisor with some Eastern Whip-poorwill experience.  Otherwise I might not have been able to study nighthawks.

The bottom line?  More information is needed.  That’s where the Nightjar Survey Network in the U.S. and Wild Research in Canada come in.  Join one of these two surveys to round out your bird survey experience.

Breeding Bird Survey


Since we’re on the subject of Christmas Bird Counts, it seems like a good time to plug the summer counterpart, the Breeding Bird Survey.  Like other citizen science projects, biologists and conservationists find the data collected very useful. A quick Google Scholar search yielded 281,000 papers that cite the BBS.  So, if you dig the Christmas Bird Count, mark you calendar for the summer and join the Breeding Bird Survey.

Christmas Bird Counts


Just a quick plug for Christmas Bird Counts.  Since 1900, the Audubon Society has been organizing a census of birds in the last few weeks of December.  If you are new to birding or a pro, have no fear, a Christmas Bird Count near you will pair you with a birder that fits your skill level.

Biologists and conservationists have relied on this and other citizen science projects for important demographic information. And it’s pretty fun. You would be surprised to see what thrives in the winter in your area.