Bird Friendly Community
Become a Citizen Scientist
Worldwide, everyday, people of all ages partake in citizen science — helping with projects that tackle real-world questions. Much of this work is done near to home, in neighbourhoods and in backyards. All of us can contribute something important to our understanding of the natural world. Becoming a citizen scientist can be as easy as downloading one of these apps:
Managed by the Cornell lab of Ornithology, eBird Mobile
is an app that makes it easy to record bird songs and document sightings while out in the field. Your data will be available for scientific research and conservation purposes. It’s also a great way to keep records of the birds you encounter!
The iNaturalist app is a great tool for identifying plants, insects, and animals. Your observations will be assessed and confirmed by a social network of naturalists. It will allow you to discuss your findings with experts!
Seek by iNaturalist uses the power of image-recognition technology to identify plants and animals. It encourages you to explore by offering badges for seeing different types of plants, birds, fungi, and more. It’s a great tool to aid kids in outdoor learning!
Merlin by the Cornell Lab will help you identify birds you see or hear. Its sound identification (ID) technology listens to the birds around you and offers real-time suggestions for who is singing. Create a digital scrapbook of your birding memories with Save My Bird.
NatureCounts is one of the largest biodiversity data repositories in the world. It will show you the distribution and abundance of Canadian bird populations. This resource is free to access and is extremely useful for studying environmental changes. Download their free guide to the birds in your region with updates throughout the year.
Audobon Bird Guide
This free Audobon field guide to over 800 species of North American birds will help you identify birds and keep track of your sightings.
Global Bird Rescue
During the second week in October, join the global effort to search and rescue birds injured from collisions with windows.
Birds see reflected foliage and sky on the window’s surface as an inviting place to fly toward. Impact with glass is usually fatal.
The Global Bird Collision Mapper allows a registered user to report the species, location, time, and status of the bird they recover, anywhere in the world. This community science tool shows every collision on its interactive geographic information system (GIS) map, providing invaluable data.
Global Big Day
Join a team and compete to record birds during the annual Global Big Day. This event occurs every year on the second Saturday in May. October Big Day is similar to Global Big Day in the spring but occurring on the second Saturday in October. This 24-hour fall birding opportunity falls on the peak of fall migration.
Shown below is a photograph of a Barn swallow taken by Carolyn Brown through her binoculars.
Interested in joining the nature community in person? Listed below are some fantastic local clubs and organizations to get you outdoors:
Essex County Field Naturalists
This non-profit volunteer organization focuses on promoting the conservation and restoration of our local natural heritage. With monthly meetings and guest speakers, this engaging community is a great place to start for anyone who wants to become better acquainted with their natural environment.
The Field Naturalists’ website provides fun activities and educational opportunities.
Their Junior Egrets program provides monthly opportunities for kids of all ages to connect with nature and each other.
Pelee Island Bird Observatory
The Pelee Island Bird Observatory (PIBO) is devoted to the study of migratory birds on Pelee Island. Dedicated to the preservation of natural habitats on the island, this globally recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) was created in 2004 after a pilot study documented 192 species of migrating bird.
The Pelee Island Bird Observatory was instrumental in helping the City of Windsor acquire its Bird Friendly City status. Work done by researchers on the island highlighted how important this region is to the global bird population. The community has worked honestly and vigorously to improve the lives of wild birds. To learn more about the work that was done to gain Bird Friendly City status, visit PIBO’s website (linked above).
Ontario Field Ornithologists
The Ontario Field Ornithologists mission is to foster and increase the appreciation, knowledge, and conservation of Ontario’s birds within an equitable and inclusive organization. With events around the province and educational webinars, this is a great organization to help you get involved with the larger birding community.
Visit the Ojibway Nature Centre
Located at 5200 Matchett Road, the Ojibway Nature Centre is an excellent place to start exploring the Ojibway Park Complex. Visit ActiveWindsor to learn about upcoming hikes and kids' programs.
Shown below is a collage of photographs of local birds taken by Jennifer Nantais.
Counter-clockwise from top-left: white-breasted nuthatch, tree swallows, wood duck family, ruby-crowned kinglet