The fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students at The Knox School of Santa Barbara are participating in this season’s Classroom Feeder Watcher Program, sponsored by Cornell University and the Audubon Society.
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas and other locales in North America.
FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
With each season, FeederWatch increases in importance as a unique monitoring tool for more than 100 bird species that winter in North America. Importantly, FeederWatch data tell us where birds are, as well as where they are not. This crucial information enables scientists to piece together the most accurate population maps.
FeederWatch data are extremely powerful for detecting and explaining gradual changes in the wintering ranges of many species, and are important because they provide information about bird population biology that cannot be detected by any other available method.
Students involved in this program learn about ornithology as well as scientific research principles and practices in a hands-on way.
— Nicole Izzo is office manager for The Knox School of Santa Barbara.