In this issue: Hummingbird science in your backyard, GBBC photos from the 2014 count, Project SNOWstorm, and more.

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Audubon logo | American Birds
citizen science

May 2014


Current Project

Hummingbirds at Home: Participate Now

Get Involved

Helping Hummingbirds: Data that makes a difference

Costa's Hummingbird | Nathan Rupert, Flickr Creative Commons

Costa’s Hummingbird (Nathan Rupert, Flickr Creative Commons)

Hummingbirds at Home, Audubon’s newest citizen science program, was created to study the impact of climate change on hummingbirds and, more specifically, on their feeding behavior and nectar sources.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted data on the app or website, we are collecting important information that will help us make recommendations for the best way to protect hummingbirds in your yard. To maximize the impact of your data be sure to conduct patch surveys and nectar watches in addition to submitting incidental sightings. These structured surveys are planned in advance and offer repeated, consistent data about what hummingbirds are eating (or not eating) in your patch. Read more about how patch surveys and nectar sightings help hummingbirds→

Northern Cardinals | Perfedia Lyons, GBBC 2014

Northern Cardinals (Perfedia Lyons, GBBC 2014)

Results from Another Record-breaking GBBC

This Great Backyard Bird Count was one for the birds. 142,000 of you recorded 4,296 species in this year’s count. Checklists poured in from all over the world with the US, Canada, and India leading for the greatest number of checklists per country. The species that appeared on the most checklists? That would be the Northern Cardinal. However, the Red-winged Blackbird was the most numerous with more than 1.6 million birds reported over Presidents' Day Weekend. Explore all the results and find out how your location stacked up. Read more→

Red-breasted Merganser | Jessica Botzan, GBBC 2014

Red-breasted Merganser (Jessica Botzan, GBBC 2014)

Spectacular Photos From This Year's Count

The 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count has come to a close, but you can still see the birds that were counted by exploring the 2014 GBBC photo gallery. Spectacular images of common birds, not so common visitors (I’m looking at you Snowy Owl), and other species from around the word, all submitted by counters like you. Browse by species, location, or even the most liked photos View image gallery→

Snowy Owl | Lesley Mattuchio, Rye Harbor State Park, NH, GBBC 2014

Snowy Owl (Lesley Mattuchio, Rye Harbor State Park, NH, GBBC 2014)

A Data Frenzy—Project SNOWstorm Uncovers Secrets of the Snowy Owl

It’s been another banner year for Snowy Owls, from 206 birds counted in a single day in Cape Race, Newfoundland to the third spotting ever in Florida. This year’s unprecedented irruption offered scientists a unique opportunity to study these still mysterious birds. Scott Weidensaul and other bird scientists formed Project SNOWstorm—an effort to gather new information about these remarkable raptors. Project SNOWstorm participants have tagged owls, tested blood samples, and analyzed feathers and tissue samples to learn more about these birds’ genetics, migratory habits, and threats. Read Scott’s firsthand account of the project→

Anna's Hummingbird feeding in Arcadia, CA | Chris Orr, GBBC 2014

Anna's Hummingbird feeding in Arcadia, CA (Chris Orr, GBBC 2014)

Hummingbird-friendly Yards: How to Make These Birds Frequent Visitors

It’s always exciting when a hummingbird appears in your yard. These tiny birds are not only beautiful, but truly awe-inspiring in their size, brilliance, and energy. To keep their supercharged metabolisms revved, hummingbirds must eat once every 10 to 15 minutes. You can ensure these magical visitors have everything they need to feel at home in your yard with a few easy steps. Native nectar-producing flowers, clean feeders, perches, and water will ensure hummingbirds return to your yard all season long. Read more about how to attract hummingbirds→

Getting Started

Get Into Birds with Audubon

Birding during the GBBC | Clare Farrelly, Australia, GBBC 2014

Birding during the GBBC (Clare Farrelly, Australia, GBBC 2014)

Spring is the perfect time to get into birds. Audubon has resources for choosing binoculars and field guides, bird-feeding basics, tips for photographing birds, and more. We're a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to learn more about birds or take their interest to the next level. Read more→

Additional Resources

Just in time for spring, remember these bird-feeding basics.

Plants for common birds: Make your backyard a bird-friendly habitat.

Get ready for spring migration with these tips from Kenn Kaufman.

Travel to Maine for Arts and Birding with Scott Weidensaul

Sharpen your birding skills and learn new ways to enjoy birds with some of the country's best photographers, artists, and writers at Hog Island, Maine June 22-27. Learn more→

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