As the holiday season approaches, we’re asking NestWatchers to enter all their data before the busyness of the season sets in. If you’re still holding on to data sheets, be sure to enter them by December 31 if you’d like your information to be included in our annual report.
As a special incentive to get your data in early, we’re giving away prizes to participants. Anyone who enters data by December 9, 2016 will be automatically entered to win a set of bird note cards, and the more nests you report, the more chances you have to win. We are giving away 100 prizes this year, to spread the cheer! Thank you very much to all the NestWatchers who have submitted data so far this year.
We here at NestWatch know that the future belongs to young people, but we reject the maligning of millennials as “Generation Me.” We celebrate the many young people who are doing so much good work, and this month we are shining a light on a group of outstanding high school students.
The arid Caja del Rio area near Santa Fe, New Mexico, is perhaps better known to bird watchers for the charismatic Burrowing Owls that call it home. But Kevin Holladay of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is teaching these students about other cavity-dwelling birds in the landscape. So far, the students have installed boxes for Western and Mountain bluebirds, Bewick’s Wren, Northern Flicker, and American Kestrel, with plans to set up Western Screech-Owl boxes soon. They have also installed a few winter roost boxes.
All of New Mexico is historically under-represented in the NestWatch database, and more data from the arid west are needed! This nest box program is just getting started, and while they have no nesting results yet, we’re optimistic that by this time next year the Piñon-Juniper forest will be home to plenty of bold new fledglings exploring the sage.
Do you have stories of positive youth development to share? Tell us, so we can spread the word.
Our friends at Project FeederWatch are hosting their annual BirdSpotter photo contest now through March 2. New photo challenges are posted biweekly.
If you participated in our Home Tweet Home photo contest, this might be your second chance at glory and great prizes from the Cornell Lab and the contest sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited. The contest is free and open to anyone; you do not have to be a FeederWatcher to submit a photo or vote.
Don’t you wish you could just snap a photo of a bird and have it automatically identified? Don’t worry, we all do. The good news is that you can help make this a reality, with the power of MerlinVision. All you do is click through bird photos and draw boxes around birds—no bird ID skills necessary! Sign in using your NestWatch account, and MerlinVision will also track your progress (it’s strangely addicting).
With MerlinVision, even beginner bird watchers can teach computers to identify birds. Try MerlinVision today!