Photo © Keith Williams

May 2020 News

New, Easier, Home Page

Here’s a heads-up that our home page has changed to better highlight the most frequently accessed content on our site, as well as be more accessible to people with visual impairments. The new simplified design should also more clearly guide newcomers through how to join NestWatch. We welcome your feedback on how it works for you. 

Farewell to Iriel

Congratulations to the graduating classes of 2020, and to our own Iriel Edwards as she fledges the nest! Iriel has been a Cornell student working with NestWatch and FeederWatch for four years. She held a valuable role on our team preparing data for NestWatch’s bulk uploads and helping FeederWatch curate flagged records. We’ll miss her cheerful demeanor and passion for birds, but we’re thrilled that she has already accepted a research position studying sustainable agriculture methods. Thank you for your hard work, Iriel!

#Trending in Birdhouses

Have Dark-eyed Juncos been creating a new trend by nesting in birdhouses? A few years ago, we were astonished to see juncos nesting in a birdhouse, but we have recently received a fourth report of this unusual behavior! This time, Carolyn Burkhart reports a nest in a third-floor balcony nest box in West Seattle, Washington. Carolyn reported that the clutch of four eggs hatched on May 24. As was the case with the previous three reports, this nest box is shallow and wide (10″ x 8″ x 6″). Thanks, Carolyn, for adding to our knowledge of this rarely-documented behavior in Dark-eyed Juncos.

Welcome New NestWatchers

Comparing the period Jan 1–May 25 of this year to last year, we have seen a 40% increase in the number of participants and a 30% increase in the number of nest records submitted to NestWatch (not counting bulk uploads). While our hope was to maintain similar levels of participation as in the past, you have surpassed our expectations and grown the database tremendously during this challenging time. 

We keep hearing that many people are turning to birdwatching as a respite, and we’re grateful that our project has continued to grow despite the many obstacles we all face. This also means that there are many new people in our community, so we wanted to take a moment and share some resources that will be helpful to newcomers:

As always, you can email us your questions, and we will do our best to respond in a timely manner. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for joining this community of nest monitors; we’re glad you’re here.

Live Q&A Thurs. June 18 at noon ET

Do you have questions about nests and baby birds? Register now to have them answered during our upcoming webinar, Nest Talk with NestWatch, Thursday June 18th, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. NestWatch’s Robyn Bailey and Holly Faulkner will talk about nesting birds and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch citizen science project in this live Q&A. We’ll be answering registered questions first, so be sure to sign up ASAP!

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology