Keep track of your winter birds and contribute to science.
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No Feeder? No Problem! You Can Join FeederWatch

Keep track of your winter birds and contribute to science
For release: October 29, 2020
Ithaca, NY—The need to stick close to home because of COVID-19 has fueled a tremendous surge in birdwatching. Whether you're new to the hobby or have been watching birds for decades, Project FeederWatch will keep you going through the winter months. You don’t even need a feeder to participate in this long-running bird-counting program. FeederWatch collects your observations online, puts them to work for science, and gives you tools to learn more about the birds in your own neighborhood. FeederWatch reports are expanding the long-term database used to detect shifts in the numbers and distributions of birds in the United States and Canada.
The 2020-21 season of FeederWatch begins Saturday, November 14.
Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwings love berries! Photo by James Hendrickson, New Jersey.
"Typically participants do watch birds at feeders," says FeederWatch leader Emma Greig. "But it’s OK if you don’t have one. Just choose a defined area where you can easily monitor birds. There may be a pond, or maybe you’ve deliberately planted shrubs to attract birds. Whatever you have done to create a space for birds is appropriate for FeederWatching. Feeders or natural areas at schools and nature centers work, too!”
FeederWatch participants make periodic two-day counts from November through early April. You can spend as much or as little time as you like collecting data. Even counting birds once or twice all winter has value.
"It will be interesting to see if the boom in birdwatching that started last spring continues through the rest of 2020 and into spring 2021," says Greig. "We’re hearing from a lot of people that watching birds is a bright spot in their day and makes them feel more peaceful and relaxed.”

Project FeederWatch is a joint research and education project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada. To join tens of thousands of other FeederWatch participants, sign up online at In Canada, contact Bird Canada at (888) 448-2473, toll free or visit the Birds Canada website.

The participation fee is $18 in the U.S. ($15 for Cornell Lab members) or a donation of any amount in Canada. Those making a minimum donation of $50 in Canada will receive a subscription to the Birds Canada magazine, BirdWatch Canada.
EditorsDownload images here. The use of this material is protected by copyright. Use is permitted only within stories about the content of this release. Redistribution or any other use is prohibited without express written permission of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology or the copyright owner.

Contact: Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
U.S. FeederWatch project leader Emma Greig is available for interviews. If you would like to speak to a FeederWatch participant in a specific town or zip code, please let us know. 

Canada Contact:
Kerrie Wilcox, Bird Studies Canada,,
(519) 586-3531 ext. 134


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The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.

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