Idaho Museum of Natural History joins Project Feederwatch citizen science program

POCATELLO – The Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University has joined the Project Feederwatch citizen science project and invites the Pocatello community to participate.

Project Feederwatch, managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, aims to help scientists track population and abundance trends in birds during winter. Every year from November to April, bird watchers of all skill levels are invited to sign up and monitor their bird feeders as part of the program. These citizen scientists record information about the kinds of birds visit their feeders and submit it to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Museum staff members will monitor their bird feeders this year and submit their data as part of Project Feederwatch. In conjunction with this project, the Museum will open its doors on select dates so interested community members can help count birds, brush up on their bird identification skills, and learn more about Project Feederwatch.

“Lots of people around town feed birds in their backyards,” said Becky Hansis-O’Neill, Museum Education Specialist. “By opening up the Museum we are hoping to recruit more backyard birders to join Project Feederwatch. We want to provide support to people who are interested, but want to see how Project Feederwatch works before they commit to monitoring a feeder.”

Anyone can sign up for Project Feederwatch, which ends of April 8. New citizen scientists pay $18 for a research kit that comes in the mail. Fees support Feederwatch staff, data analysis and publication of their annual end-of-year report.

Those interested in participating can sign up on the FeederWatch website www.feederwatch.org

Feederwatch dates and times for the Idaho Museum of Natural History, meeting in Classroom 204, are:

• From 9 to 10 a.m. on Jan. 14 and 28; Feb.11 and 25; March 10 and 31; and

• From 3 to 4 p.m. Jan. 15 and 29; Feb. 12 and 26; March 11; and April 1.

People wanting to contribute can drop off unopened bags of birdseed at the Museum’s front desk.

For more information, contact Hansis-O’Neill at (208) 282-2195 or visit http://imnh.isu.edu/home/education/project-feederwatch.