While some of us are locked in snow, others will be seeing the first signs of nesting any week now. It’s never too early to think about goals, and we’re starting off 2018 with a challenge: find a new species’ nest to monitor this year. For some of you just starting out, this will be easy, as nearly all nests will be new. But for those of you who’ve been doing this for a few years, challenge yourself to find that nest type you know is around but haven’t found before.
Those warblers, hummingbirds, vireos, and juncos that taunt you all summer, then turn up at the feeders with their young—can you find them? Make this the year to spend a little bit more time searching for clues. Maybe the Red-winged Blackbird that sings from the cattails, or the Song Sparrow that “barks” at you from the weedy creekside, or perhaps the neighborhood hawk that has eluded you for years will reward you this year with some time well spent outdoors, learning more about less-familiar birds.
And because challenges are fun, we’re going to join you. We’ll be sure to rise to our own challenge and find something new (to us) to share with you. When you find your new species, be sure to tell us about it by uploading a photo.
We’ve just released a new app update that fixes some critical bugs. The new update is required, so you will not be able to continue until you’ve installed it. Once you’re updated, please go ahead and sync your device so that any data that hasn’t yet been sent to our server will reach our database and be available for research (e.g., if you’ve been working in offline mode but never synced, we won’t have your data yet).
This is also a good time to log into NestWatch and check that your attempts are all summarized and closed, so that we can start compiling results into our annual year-in-review report coming early spring 2018. Those with “active” or ongoing attempts should close their attempts from 2017.
We are pleased to announce that Holly Faulkner has been hired as a project assistant for NestWatch and FeederWatch. Holly comes to us from another Cornell Lab program where she administered surveys assessing the impact of participation in citizen science projects, including NestWatch (so she knows all about why citizen science matters).
Holly holds a B.S. in conservation biology, is very knowledgeable about birds, and is also a talented artist! We’re excited to have her on board, and we ask your patience as she gets oriented to our programs. Welcome, Holly, to Team NestWatch!
Do you enjoy building birdhouses, but want to be sure that you’re doing everything you can to make them successful? Or do you need help narrowing down who made that nest you found? If so, we’ve got helpful resources for you!
Check out our Right Bird, Right House guide, and the Nests and Eggs guide from NestWatch, both part of a popular series of All About Birds Pocket Guides, available from Waterford Press and the Cornell Lab Publishing Group for $9.95 each. These lightweight, portable guides are ideal for bird lovers, classrooms, and nature centers looking to enhance the spring nesting season experience.
Get your guides today, and if you spend $25 or more, you will receive a free regional 2018 Bird-a-Day Calendar! Use coupon code “2018FreeCal” and be sure to add the calendar to your order before you check out (offer expires March 31). Other available titles include Birding 101, Gardening for Birds, and Bird Feeders and Food.