FeederWatch starting November 1 next season, instructional reminders, and more

Lesser Goldfinch by FeederWatcher Jennifer Sweatt in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Project FeederWatch eNews

March 2, 2022

FeederWatch Starting Earlier

Next season Project FeederWatch will begin on November 1. For the project's 35-year history, the counting season started on the second Saturday of November and ran for 21 weeks, ending in the first or second week of April. Two years ago, we extended the end of the season though the end of April, and last year we made that extension permanent. Now we are changing the start date as well so that the season always starts on November 1, making the FeederWatch season start and end dates easy to remember, and making the counting season a full six months long.

Second Graders FeederWatching in Colorado

Second graders at Columbine Elementary School in Woodland Park, Colorado, count birds for FeederWatch at a nature center adjacent to their playground as part of their Junior Wildlife Ambassadors Master class, taught by Claudia Miller. The students have observed Steller's Jays, White-breasted Nuthatches, Mountain Chickadees and Mourning Doves on their FeederWatch counts. Read more in the Pikes Peak Courier.
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FeederWatching Reminders


Count Birds, Not Visits

Only count the most of each species you see at one time. No matter how many times a chickadee visits your feeders, if you only see one at a time, you report a count of one. Tallying counts this way assures that you never report the same bird multiple times.

Counting Flocks of Birds

Project FeederWatch recommends using a "blocking" method to count large flocks of birds: count the birds in a small portion or block of the flock and then count how many blocks it would take to cover the entire flock. Find more tips for counting flocks, as well as other confusing scenarios, in the Tricky Counts and Special Cases section of our online instructions.

Describe Your Count Site

One of the most valuable things you can do to enhance your FeederWatch data is to describe your count site and to confirm that your description is still accurate each year, if you described your site in a past season. In the Your Data section of our website, if you see a pink bar that says “Site Description for your location is incomplete,” please click the link to complete the description.

Error Check Your Data

There is no one more familiar with your data than you are, so we encourage you to check your data for mistakes periodically. Do you have duplicate count sites? Are there any species that you misidentified and later correctly identified that you would like to change? Did you enter a count under the wrong date? If you discover that any data you submitted are incorrect, you can correct them in the Your Data section of our website. Just go to the “View/Edit a Previous Count” page to correct counts or the “Manage/Edit My Count Sites” page to check your count sites. You can find instructions for editing counts in our Data Entry FAQs. Thank you for keeping your data tidy.

Describe Unusual Behavioral Interactions

FeederWatchers are invited to report two types of behavioral interactions observed during their counts: displacement and predation. If you report an unusual interaction (for example, if you report that a smaller bird displaced a larger bird or if you report a predation by a bird other than a raptor), please describe the interaction you observed in the comments box on the behavioral interactions page.
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Project FeederWatch is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada. Project FeederWatch is sponsored in the U.S. and Canada by Wild Birds Unlimited and in Canada by Armstrong Bird Food.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit organization supported by friends and members. Our mission is to interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.

Birds Canada advances the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. We are Canada's national body for bird research, conservation, citizen science, and education, and we are a non-governmental charitable organization.


Project FeederWatch Contact Information

For U.S. participants:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Project FeederWatch
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 254-2427

For Canadian participants:
Birds Canada/Oiseaux Canada
P.O. Box 160
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0
(519) 586-3531
Toll Free: 1-888-448-BIRD (2473)

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Cornell Lab of Ornithology · 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd · Ithaca, NY 14850 · USA