Friday, April 20, 2012

North American Bird Phenology


If you are a citizen scientist like me you might be interested in the North American Bird Phenology Program ran by the USGS and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Phenology is “the scientific study of the relationship between natural phenomena (flowering, breeding, migration) and climatic or seasonal changes”.


This program houses millions of handwritten Migration Observer Cards, that clarify the population status and migration patterns of North American birds dating way back to the latter part of the 19th century through World War II, and volunteers are asked to help with entering the information from these scanned cards into the program’s modern database to be analyzed.


This information can be compared to recently collected migration arrival times in order to understand how climate change has affected bird migration.  They also provide an email newsletter so you can keep up with anything new happening with this worthwhile program. Check it out.

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