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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Free Bird Feeders and Seed

How far are you willing to go to get some free bird feeders and bird seed? If you are an experienced backyard bird watcher, and willing to count the birds at your feeder for 45 minutes every other day, then Project Wildbird will send you a whole load of good bird feeding equipment to participate in their ground-breaking research on seed and feeder preferences in backyard birds. If you can't commit to that level of bird observing, there are other ways to participate--but you'll have to provide your own feeders and seed.

Project Wildbird has already greatly expanded our understanding of what seeds are preferred by different birds, and how those preferences vary across the country and over the course of the year. I got a sneak preview of some of the initial study results, and I'm anxiously waiting to hear more as the study progresses. If you haven't heard of this project, take a look at the website, and contact my friends over at Project Wildbird to sign up to help out with the study.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love watching the birds feed - I use to have trouble with the blue birds and blackbirds hogging all the feed but I got a smaller feeder and now the little one are content and able to feed. My cats love to watch the birds daily from their perch and even make chirping and coeing sounds. The birds don't seem to mind even though their feed is only about 8 - 10 feet from them. It's such a joy watching them. We've had as many as 20 - 30 birds at one time out back. That's it for tonight. Ladybug

Nuthatch said...

There should be some sort of disclaimer somewhere that the sponsor of this project, WBFI Research Foundation, is the Wild Bird Feeding Industry trade organization. I'm not saying they'll cook the results, but research coming out of universities and other third parties merely funded by trade or corporate entities can be controversial, much less research actually done by them.

birdchaser said...

While its true that the Wild Bird Feeding Industry is funding the project, the research itself is being conducted by David J. Horn, Assistant Professor of Biology at Millikin University. While the Wild Bird Feeding Industry is obviously interested in the results of this study--so that its retail members can have a better knowledge base from which to recommend products for their customers--I don't see any evidence that they are interested in cooking the results, or that the results of this study would be anything but scientifically sound. When the final results are in and peer-reviewed we'll all have a chance to take a closer look at the methodology and results. Until then, from what I can see, its a great research program and a way that serious backyard bird feeders can contribute to our knowledge of our backyard birds. As for a disclaimer, the WBFI isn't exactly shy about their sponsoring of the project, which should be obvious to anyone visiting the Project Wildbird website.

Veery said...

The best birding research can be obtained using citizen science projects such as this one. I think this is a wonderful idea and I am signing up to help.
The more birders there are, both in backyards and elsewhere, the more we can learn about them if we track what we see. Bird counts and backyard bird studies have already taught us a lot!

butterfly jen said...

Hi,
It looks like the study is no longer accepting participants. Please update or post other opportunities.
Thanks!

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