Ever wonder if the Robins nesting in your backyard were the same birds nesting there last year? If they were color banded, then you would know. Amazingly, many birds breed in the same place year after year. Would you like to help scientists answer important questions about birds in your own backyard?
The US Forest Service Northern Research Station based at the University of Massachusetts is joining forces with the Smithsonian Institution to bring their signature Neighborhood Nestwatch citizen science program to Springfield, MA. Urban sprawl is destroying wildlife habitat at an unprecedented rate, adversely impacting birds and increasing public isolation from nature. Neighborhood Nestwatch seeks to mitigate these efforts as citizens and scientists gather the data necessary to understand how rapid land conversion impacts backyard bird populations. The project offers the opportunity to learn about bird biology in your own backyard. If you live in the Springfield, MA area, then you are eligible to participate in a mentored experience in which Northern Research Station scientists visit your backyard once every summer to band birds and help you find nests. They’ll also teach you how to keep track of the banded birds, collect nesting data and monitor year-to-year survival for scientific study. Ultimately, Neighborhood Nestwatch will provide scientific data and public awareness to aid in the associated goals of conservation and responsible growth. Time commitment is approximately five hours per month for three months (May – July).
If you are interested in participating in this citizen-science project, email Susannah Lerman at email@example.com