Calling all Arizona bird watchers
December 3, 2008
More eyes needed
ITHACA, NY – Bird watchers in Arizona are seeing big changes, and they don’t even need to leave home to notice new species. The Eurasian Collared-Dove, a large tan bird with a black ring or “collar” on the neck, is rapidly colonizing North America, and Arizona is on the front lines of this invasion. Scientists are asking Arizona bird watchers to help track these and other changes at their feeders by participating in Project FeederWatch.
“FeederWatch is fun and easy,” says project leader David Bonter from Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “While you’re enjoying the birds, take a few minutes to count and record them.”
Last winter, 30 percent of FeederWatch participants in Arizona recorded the invasive Eurasian Collared-Dove at their feeders. The species was rarely detected as recently as five years ago. “We need to hear from more bird watchers in Arizona to get an accurate picture of what’s happening with bird populations from year to year,” says Bonter.
The 2008-09 season of Project FeederWatch runs through April 3. Participants can sign up at any time. FeederWatchers track the numbers and kinds of birds seen at feeders each week and then send the information to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The information helps generate the world’s largest database on feeder-bird populations.
To learn more and to sign up, visit www.feederwatch.org or call (800) 843-2473. In return for the $15 fee ($12 for Lab members) participants receive the FeederWatcher’s Handbook, a bird-identification poster, a calendar, instructions, and the FeederWatch annual report, Winter Bird Highlights, a summary of the season’s findings.