|Photo Courtesy: LawrieM|
Nestwatch is one of the simplest projects around and a perfect way for parents and teachers to get their kids involved in science. Participants pick a popular nesting site for birds, observe when it is first inhabited for the season, and track the nest's activity as the season goes on. Over time you can watch feeding, breeding, and egg-laying activities all while helping scientists better understand the populations of these important birds.
Admittedly the project is only interesting in watching certain common target birds. But the best part is you don't even if these target birds aren't already nesting near you, just build one for them! The site comes complete with instructions for building a nest specific to each species and it's a great family or school project. And not only do the get to build the nest, but watch as birds flock to it and learn all about the life cycles of these amazing animals.
Getting Started is Easy:
- Visit the NestWatch web site and learn about the specific birds targeted by the project.
- Find an existing nest site favored by a local target species, or...
- Build or buy a new nest by following the easy instructions on the NestWatch: All About Nest Boxes web page. See the features of a good nest box or construction plans pages for more details.
- Register yourself and the nest box at NestWatch: Sign up
- Read the Nest Watching Manual and take the short follow-up quiz to get yourself certified and prove your expertise in bird monitoring!
- Complete the 1-page observation report on the nest location, egg status and any bird activity you witness.
Since this is a great one for scientists of all ages I'd love to hear your experiences. I expect this will be quite popular so let me know about your experience in the comments below and I'll happily add them to my future posts on this topic.