Citizen Science


Are you interested in helping protect Georgia’s birds? One of the easiest ways you can help is by reporting your sightings to bird researchers. Birds are everywhere. No one scientist can track them all, but with YOUR HELP, researchers can study population fluctuations, migration patterns, changes in range, and many other facets of birds. Pooling all of our collective knowledge will give us the POWER to make the smartest policies to protect our birds.


How do you choose a project that is right for you? Do you enjoy getting out in the field or just watching the feeder in your yard? Would you like to report your findings once a year or after every birding trip? What season of the year do you bird the most? Are you a beginner or expert? One of the following projects is sure to fit your bird watching style.



A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ebird is an online database that allows you to record the birds you see, keep track of your bird lists, explore dynamic maps and graphs, share your sightings with other birders, and contribute to science and conservation.


The Great Backyard Bird Count


Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.


We invite you to participate! For at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 17-20, 2017, simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!


If you’re new to the count, or have not participated since before the 2013 merger with eBird, you must create a free online account to enter your checklists. If you already have an account, just use the same login name and password. If you have already participated in another Cornell Lab citizen-science project, you can use your existing login information, too.


Click here for more info on how to get started



Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count was founded by the National Audubon Society in 1900, and is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world. Christmas bird counts take place in a pre-set area (“circle”) on one day between the dates of December 14th and January 5th.


2016-17 Atlanta Area Christmas Bird Counts:

- Roswell, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Contact: Nikki Belmonte

- Marietta, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. Contact: Angie Jenkins

- Peachtree City, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Contact: Brock Hudgins

- Floyd County, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Contact: Owen Kinney

- Atlanta, Monday., Jan. 2, 2017. Contact: Joy Carter

- Amicalola, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. Contact: Georgann Schmalz


For a complete listing of Christmas Bird Count dates, locations, and coordinators, please visit the Georgia Ornithologic Society website.



NestWatch is a monitoring program focused on understanding reproductive biology in birds. This Cornell Lab of Ornithology program teaches users how to find and safely document nesting attempts and compiles that information into a database available to novices and scientists alike. Atlanta Audubon is now an official chapter of NestWatch, providing workshops on this program as well as local expertise on nesting ecology. Learn more about the birds that call your neighborhood home and how they raise their families by attending a 1.5-hour workshop on March 26, 2016. The program will begin at 10:30 am and will be held at the Atlanta Audubon offices located at 4055 Roswell Rd.



Hummingbirds at Home

Hummingbirds at Home is run by the National Audubon Society. This program was developed to collect data on how hummingbirds interact with nectar sources so that we can begin to understand how hummingbirds may be impacted by changing flowering patterns and climate change. A simple mobile phone app makes your reporting a snap.



Project FeederWatch

Project Feeder Watch is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas and other locales in North America. Participants count the birds at their feeders two consecutive days every two weeks during one winter. There is a small fee to participate.



Nest Boxes for Nuthatches

The Brown-headed Nuthatch is steadily declining in Georgia. Help curb this trend by installing a nest box and monitoring nesting activity. Click here for more information.



Breeding Bird Surveys

Local Breeding Bird Surveys are conducted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The Breeding Bird Survey is an international monitoring program that tracks population trends of birds in southern Canada, the U. S., and Mexico. It had been run continuously since the late 1960s. Participants commit to a least one day per year to count birds by sight or sound on a car-driven route. Participants should be experienced birders.



Neighborhood Nestwatch

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History has teamed up with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center to study the impacts of urbanization on birds. Fernbank is recruiting the first group of study sites in Atlanta.for summer 2014. Learn more here.



Bird Banding with Georgia Important Bird Areas

The Important Bird Area Program is part of the North American program called Partners In Flight, and is administered by the National Audubon Society. The aim of the Georgia IBA Program is to identify and conserve key breeding and feeding sites for birds. As part of this program’s research, birds are harmlessly trapped in nets, measured, banded, and released. Volunteers are needed in all steps of this process. Banding sessions are usually half-days on weekends. This is real “boots on the ground” research that directly affects Georgia birds!