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The conclusions of science depend on experiments. Experiments are constant attempts to establish the correctness or fallacy of thoughts and ideas. Thus, experimentation is the way science attempts to settle controversy. When well-designed experiments are performed and analyzed, the controversy may be settled. But the new knowledge derived from well-run experiments also engenders new controversy, and this becomes a part of the creative growth of science. Citizens can make important contributions to these understandings of the natural world.

Would you like to do some additional work? Or maybe you'd just like to know more about birds, like why winter finches are abundant some years but not others, or how different bird populations are changing across North America. If so, then you should join the more than 13,000 citizen scientists who are participating in the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Citizen Science programs.

"The history of ornithology is replete with the contributions of amateurs. From backyard birders to school children, amateur ornithologists become proficient in bird identification, acquire the skills ofpatient observation, imbibe the process of scientific investigation, and gain the satisfaction of furthering scientific knowledge." (Rick Bonney)

For more information on the Citizen Science projects at the Lab, including;

Project FeederWatch (PFW), an annual survey of North American birds that visit feeders in the winter,

Classroom Feeder Watch fosters an interest in science, gives students a background in bird biology, bird behavior, and data analysis, and nurtures scientific thinking,

The House Finch Disease Survey (HOFI) monitors the occurrence and spread of conjunctivitis in eastern House Finches and other bird species,

Project PigeonWatch (PPW), an international survey of pigeon flock coloration and behavior, the goal of which is to learn why pigeons exist in so many different colors,

Birds in Forested Landscapes (BFL) links volunteer birders and professional biologists in a study of the habitat requirements of North American forest birds,

Cornell Nest Box Network (CNBN) participants observe the lives of their "nest-box neighbors" up close while collecting valuable data that help scientists learn more about cavity-nesting birds,

The Cerulean Warbler Atlas Project (CEWAP) needs the help of experienced birders and biologists to study the habitat requirements, breeding biology, and population status of Cerulean Warblers,

or any of the other research areas of the lab, follow the link to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

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