Acorn woodpecker Courtesy of eBird

If you’re looking for a way to pass time during social distancing, UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences students and scientists need your help watching birds.

Researchers at the University of Washington Quantitative Ecology Lab have launched a community science program through eBird to monitor birds in urban and suburban neighborhoods across the Pacific Northwest while social distancing measures are in place:

  • LOCATIONWe are recruiting volunteers to monitor birds in their own backyard or their favorite local green space — a place they can walk to without violating current shelter-in-place orders.
  • PROTOCOL: Volunteers will observe birds at that location for ten minutes and record all the birds they see or hear. Ideally, they will return to their site to repeat this survey at the same time of day at least one day a week. Volunteers should submit a checklist for each stationary point count and include the phrase “social distancing survey” in the comment field.
  • STUDY PERIOD: Data collection started April 1, 2020 and continue through June 30, 2020; volunteers may join the project at any time. We also ask that volunteers agree to repeat this data collection in Spring 2021 so we can compare their observations to bird sightings during a season not affected by social distancing.

For more information on the study and how you can help, view the summary on eBird.