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New feeder watch program begins Saturday

POSTED: November 10, 2008 5:00 a.m.

FORSYTH — Thousands of bird watchers in Georgia and across the nation will be keeping a close eye on their feeders this winter as part of Project FeederWatch. The 22nd season for this popular citizen-science project runs from Saturday through April 3.

FeederWatch participants help scientists monitor changes in bird populations by tracking birds at their feeders during the 21 weeks. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources encourages Georgians to join in, contributing to the science, conservation and enjoyment of North American feeder birds. Todd Schneider, a wildlife biologist with the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division, said a major benefit is that the effort spurs people’s interest in wildlife. "It also tends to get them more interested in watching birds."

Participants in the joint Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada project submitted more than 115,000 checklists during last season, documenting unusual bird sightings, winter movements and shifting ranges, according to FeederWatch. Project leader David Bonter said in a statement that "being a FeederWatcher is easy and fun, and at the same time helps generate the world’s largest database on feeder-bird populations."



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