Bird related citizens science

Chantal Theijn
3 min readDec 2, 2020

There is some interesting research project who can benefit from the data generated by bird feeders in your back yard. All you have to do is count the number of various species of birds on specific dates and submit this data.

In an effort to create Bird Friendly Cities this type of citizens science is part of how we can measure the progress. It is also a great way to educate children or generate an interest in the natural world.

Great Backyard Bird Count

The upcoming year the Great Backyard Bird Count will take place on February 12–15th. You can participate alone or in groups. You can use apps like Merlin Bird ID to identify species and E-bird to document your findings.

You can watch the live maps as birds get added to the count during these days. in 2020 268,674 people participated and they counted 6,942 difference species of birds in 194 countries.

Project Feeder Watch

Project Feeder Watch is another project you can participate in from your home. A small monetary fee is required for this one. After selecting your count site (most often your own backyard) you chose two consecutive count days with at least a 5 day interval during which you count the birds and bird-species who frequent the site. The count season runs from November 14th 2020 to April 9th 2021.

You add your findings through the FeederWatch App.

Nest Boxes

There are great resources out there for creating nest boxes to assist birds. I find NestWatch a great resource with many easy to follow plans for the build and the how and where to place the various boxes.

At Hobbitstee we are focussed of Kestrel Boxes right now in an effort to support the fast declining Kestrel location with as many nesting locations as possible, but other boxes such as Blue Bird Boxes and Wood Duck Boxes are also very much needed.

Classroom Participation

The activity of counting, identifying species and submitting the data of these bird counts is an excellent educational activity. It helps children to take notice and gets them excited about the natural world.

A great activity would be for a classroom to create a naturalized area with native species of plants beneficial to birds on the school grounds visible from classrooms. In the winter this area can contain stocked bird feeders to attract birds.

The educational value of some or all of these activity is far reaching and we at Hobbitstee want to support teachers/schools in our catchment area to help introduce and maintain some of these activities in schools.

If you are a teachers in South Western Ontario and want help to implement a citizens science project in your classroom or would like help to establish a bird/wildlife friendly area/habitat at your school please contact us at:

Join Team Hobbitstee

In an effort to support as many people as possible, help with species identification, disseminate information about events, progress, projects and to facilitate open communication and idea sharing please join our Facebook Group: Bird Friendly Cities — Team Hobbitstee



Chantal Theijn

Authorized Wildlife Custodian and founder of Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge which specializes in wildlife rehabilitation, mitigation, education and research.