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article imageFrom amateur ornithologist to citizen scientist Special

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By Betty Kowall     Apr 11, 2010 in Lifestyle
The 2009-10 Project FeederWatch season wrapped up on Friday, April 9. A birder, with a professional background in the arts, I spent the winter watching my feeders, recording my observations as an amateur ornithologist and a Citizen Scientist.
It was the rewards that won me over. Who could resist, 'when you enroll in Project FeederWatch, you'll get':
* A full-sized, color poster of common feeder birds,
* A six-month bird calendar,
* A comprehensive instruction book,
* useful handbook, and
* Bird Studies Canada's quarterly magazine BirdWatch Canada, covering the latest FeederWatch results, articles on bird behavior, answers to your bird questions and more.
All I had to do was watch birds at my feeding stations weekly from November through March, record the kinds and numbers of birds I observed and enter the data on line.
I had made the transition from amateur ornithologist to Citizen Scientist. My data was being compiled with that of thousands of other birders in a project overseen by managed by Bird Studies Canada and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Project FeederWatch covers the winter, but feeders continue to attract birds year round. Suet attracts woodpeckers and specialized feeders and plantings attract hummingbirds.
Upside down  a female Downy woodpecker works on a suet blog hanging in a feeding station.
Upside down, a female Downy woodpecker works on a suet blog hanging in a feeding station.
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