Owl Shack - scops owl Christmas

Did you know that your observations of birds or other wildlife could be useful to others? Are you a birdwatcher who’d like to birdwatch with a purpose – where your sightings might assist with conservation efforts? If so, consider collecting citizen science data. It’s super-easy to get involved. One way that’s always around the corner is to join in on a Christmas Bird Count in your area. Initiated in the year 1900 and growing to thousands of counts around the world today, this is the oldest citizen science project in the birdwatching community. Contact your local Audubon chapter for information on counts near you or visit

Another way to get involved is to submit your sightings from field trips or even your backyard to eBird and iNaturalist. Submitting your sightings to one or both will also strengthen your ability as a field observer because both have expert reviewers to assist if you’ve encountered something very unusual or, in the case of iNaturalist, with the identification of species. Citizen science data are often used in conservation efforts. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for instance, uses eBird data for rare species in need of conservation. Consider birdwatching with a purpose by submitting your sightings to citizen science projects that want data. Investigate Christmas Bird Counts, eBird, and iNaturalist, just to name a few. Do it for the owls.

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