Photo © Keith Williams

June 2012 News

2012 NestWatch Pledge Drive

Thank you so much for participating in NestWatch this season. Without your data contributions, we would be unable to effectively monitor and study the breeding biology of birds. This has been a very exciting year of growth for us; we’ve launched our new website, started a new NestWatch Chapters program (so far our 24 Chapters have trained over 250 new NestWatchers), and we’re on pace to break the record for most number of nesting attempts submitted in a single year by more than 2,000! But with programmatic growth also comes an increased need for financial support. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit organization, and much of the operating costs of NestWatch are supported through the generosity of our participants. More than 3,000 people submitted nest observations last year. If each of you contributes our suggested participation fee of just $10, we would be able to support much of our operational expenses for several years. Please consider helping us grow. For donations of $25 or more, you will receive a NestWatch poster! Please consider making a small contribution today.We sincerely appreciate your kindness!

NestWatch Data in Action: Graduate students study impact of climate change on birds

Amber Lankford and Joe Holbrook, graduate students at the University of Idaho, are using NestWatch data to determine if and how changes in first egg-laying dates of Mountain Bluebirds are associated with changes in climate. Specifically, they are evaluating how lay date changes with precipitation and warmer spring temperatures, as well as with latitude and elevation. Amber and Joe hope to better understand how climate affects bluebird nesting and how this could change in the future. They selected Mountain Bluebirds as their species of interest because of the species’ social and cultural importance to the people of Idaho. Also, this species has one of the longest and most complete breeding datasets in the NestWatch database among those that occur in Idaho. The ultimate goal of the project is to expand beyond Mountain Bluebirds to examine how lay date changes in other species, such as Mountain Chickadee, Tree Swallow, and House Wren. This is a perfect example of why your participation in NestWatch matters. Simply put, your observations make research projects such as this one possible. Amber and Joe send you their sincerest thanks!

Help Break Records

You can now track how many nests have been monitored this year for some of our more popular species on the NestWatch home page. Follow along as we attempt to break our annual records. Submit your observations and push us over the top! We’ve already had more American Robin, Northern Cardinal, and Northern Mockingbird nests monitored in 2012 than in any other previous year.

Monthly Winner

At the beginning of each month, NestWatch randomly selects one participant to receive a copy of the NestWatch Common Nesting Birds of North America poster. This month’s lucky winner is Deborah Deuel. Congratulations, Deborah!

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology