New App Lets Birdwatchers Report Bird Nests to NestWatch

Black-chinned Hummingbird nestlings in a lemon tree
Black-chinned Hummingbird nestlings in a lemon tree

Spring is finally in the air, and that means its time for our feathered-friends are pairing up, building nests, and starting a family. And all of us birdwatchers are now citizen scientists observing bird nests.

So if you find a nest of any species, share your observations with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its NestWatch citizen-science project.

And now reporting nest observation is easier than ever with the project’s free app.

Two tiny eggs are tucked away in this Anna's Hummingbird nest on a college campus in California. Photo by Kim Harvey
Two tiny eggs are tucked away in this Anna’s Hummingbird nest on a college campus in California. Photo by Kim Harvey

Participate in Citizen Science Online or via Smartphone

You can report the location of a nest, the species using it, the number of eggs laid, and other important milestones as the adult birds incubate, raise, and fledge their young.

Register for the project at NestWatch.org or download the NestWatch app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Participation is free.

NestWatch app montage. Photo credit: Susan Phillips
NestWatch app montage. Photo credit: Susan Phillips

“We created the NestWatch app to make it easier for the public to communicate their discoveries to scientists using a device that many of us carry with us all the time—a cell phone,” says NestWatch project leader, Robyn Bailey.

What You Can Do to Help Nesting Birds

What have scientists learned?

According to Bailey, “Last year, NestWatch published a study using data from tens of thousands of nests all around the country. The report pointed to one simple thing bird lovers can do to help nesting birds, and that is to install a predator guard on your backyard nest box (birdhouse).”

“The value of these data is easy for me to recognize because I have so many bird boxes,” says Peggy Falk, a NestWatch participant. “Thank you for researching something I can really use! How cool is this?”

Find out more about NestWatch, learn how to monitor nests while keeping the birds safe, and sign up at NestWatch.org.

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