MDC wants your help with Project Feeder Watch event Feb. 8-9 in Joplin

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JOPLIN, Mo. – If you enjoy watching birds and, though you may not be a birding expert, you’d like to gather information that may help birds in Missouri and elsewhere in North America, Project Feeder Watch wants you.

People can learn more about this national birding effort that’s fueled by citizen scientists across North America at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) “Project Feeder Watch” event on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9 at MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center. There’s no registration for this two-day event, which will be conducted at the Shoal Creek facility during regular business hours from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 8-9

At this event, MDC staff and program participants will record bird sightings at feeders at the Shoal Creek facility on both days and, equally important, people will get information on how they can watch for and record birds they see around their homes and in their neighborhoods. These citizen sightings are the foundation of Project Feeder Watch.

Project Feeder Watch is joint effort of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada. The project’s name describes the primary way data is collected from across the U.S. and from much of Canada – it’s from people who watch birds that come to their feeders and record the various species they see. This data is sent to ornithologists and biologists across the continent.

Although this method of data collection may sound overly simplistic, when thousands of “Feeder Watchers” living in communities across North America send their feeder counts to the project’s database, it can reveal valuable information about species abundance, migratory patterns, changes in winter ranges, and other data needed by bird experts that need species information from far more places than they can travel to in a single winter.

Participants to the Feb. 8-9 program can bring binoculars to help with bird identification. To find out more about this event, people can call 417-629-3434. MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center is located at 201 Riviera Drive in Joplin. Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual and in-person programs. A listing of these programs can be found at