Spring is here, and so are the signs of spring. If you go out in the mornings, it might be a bit noisier with increased bird calls and drumming from woodpeckers. More robins are apparent on lawns and …
Spring is here, and so are the signs of spring. If you go out in the mornings, it might be a bit noisier with increased bird calls and drumming from woodpeckers. More robins are apparent on lawns and perched in trees.
Lakes have some more waterfowl present, given the absence of ice cover. On the lake near my home in Shohola, PA, there are Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks and a great number of common mergansers.
The New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC) has a couple of citizen-science birding projects on tap this year for beginning birders and experienced birders alike.
The first project I’ll mention is the I Bird NY Challenge. Observe and complete the log sheet found on the NYSDEC page linked below, and you could be awarded a nice-looking patch and a chance to win a birding prize.
I would venture to say that it is possible to find 10 species of birds around the River Reporter office in Narrowsburg, NY. There is a nice pond behind the building that is likely to attract a wide diversity of birds.
The other project I’ll mention is the Breeding Bird Atlas. This is conducted every 20 years in New York, and the project has been going since 2020.
The Breeding Bird Atlas is a little more involved than the I Bird NY project, because the former utilizes topo quad blocks and record-keeping of bird behavior, such as breeding. When completed, this atlas will be compared with past atlas data to determine changes in species range and breeding behavior.
Conservation protection efforts, habitat loss and climate change are among many causes of the gain or loss of a particular species in a given area.
Work on the atlas is due to finish in 2024, so there is plenty of time to participate.
Both projects can be found on the NYSDEC website. Required forms, as well as instructions, can be found there too. For the atlas project, there are tools that work with Google Earth and Google Maps.
For more info, visit www.dec.ny.gov/animals/109900.html#2023.
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