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PROCEDURES FOR DATA GATHERING :

Print a copy of the bird list on the data form in the Data Entry Area to make a record of the birds you see. Observe your feeder two consecutive days during January 9-12, 2003.

In the space provided by each species of bird on the printout, list the highest number of each species that you see together at any one time. For example, if you see 10 Juncos at 9:00 a.m., and 11 Juncos at 12:00, and 7 Juncos at 4:00p.m., the number you should record is 11.

When males and females can be distinguished (cardinals, downy woodpecker, etc.) recorded the combined total. This means if you see 3 male cardinals at 11:00 a.m. then 1 male and 2 females, at 2:00 p.m., record 5 cardinals - - the highest count for the males and highest count for the females combined.

Count only during the two consecutive days and record only the birds that you see at your feeders, under your feeder, or in the trees immediately around your feeders.

Do not count birds which fly past your house and which don't use your feeding area. We want information only about birds influenced by your feeders. If you cannot get an exact count, record your best estimate. An honest estimate is more useful than "too many to count".

You should use each form to represent one day. Use each daily form to enter the data form each day separately online in the Data Entry Area.


Tips for Counting at School :

It is not necessary to have students watch the feeder every moment. Record what you see. Many schools have teams of two to three students rotate shifts during the school day and recording the birds at the school feeder.
Identification can be a problem for students just beginning to watch birds. This is an opportunity to have community members, parents, retirees or other experts come in and work with the student teams on identifying birds at the feeder. Many communities have local chapters of the Audubon Society . Local chapter members may be willing to take shifts with student teams during the two day counts. Follow this link for information on Local Audubon Chapters.

The Winter Bird Feeder survey is a cooperative effort to census winter birds at feeders throughout the United States. Originally begun in Kansas, the data is gathered by hundreds of volunteers at homes, schools and from Outdoor Learning sites across North America. If you teaching in a school and are interested in participating in a more extensive project like this, you may consider participating in the Project Feeder Watch sponsored by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. These links will take you to the Cornell site.

For assistance in Bird Identification, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center has an extensive website that includes pictures, videos, songs, and identification tips for U.S. and Canadian Birds.

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