Help science track birds with Project FeederWatch programs in the Kansas City area

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – People can help biologists track songbird distribution and abundance by participating in Project FeederWatch, a citizen science program. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites people interested in birds to join Project FeederWatch kickoff events. The first will be from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. Project FeederWatch will also be offered from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City.

Project FeederWatch is a cooperative program organized by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada. Burr Oak Woods and the Discovery Center are participating observation stations.  During winter, counts for the project are done two days a week. Visitors can assist with counts at Burr Oak Woods and the Discovery Center. The kickoff event will teach participants how to identify birds and record observations.

Visitors will also learn how to do Project FeederWatch counts at their own homes. Observations across the nation and in Canada go into databases. Scientists use the data to track long-term trends for the distribution and abundance of bird species. Habitat challenges for wild birds and climate change make long-term tracking important for bird conservation. Attendees at Project FeederWatch can bring digital devices such as cell phones, iPads, or laptops to learn about entering data and using online resources to identify birds.

Many bird species make long migrations from north to south in winter and back north in late winter or spring. They often visit backyard bird feeders as they travel. Birds who remain in local areas during winter also indicate trends. Bird counts can indicate habitat trends such as winter food abundance, nesting cover in spring and summer, natural food availability in summer, and weather events.

Birders of all ages and skill level are welcome to attend the Project FeederWatch kickoffs. COVID-19 safety precautions will be observed.  Registration is required.

To register for the Burr Oak Woods event, visit  Registration is not required for the 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. sessions session at the Discovery Center.

To learn more about backyard birds in Missouri, visit Information about Project FeederWatch is available at