This week, DGS kicked off our data collection for Cornell’s Backyard Feeder Watch. Before we got into the nuts and bolts on the importance of proper methodology in data collection, we discussed the “why” this citizen science project is important. The data that we collect helps scientists to measure changes in the winter ranges and abundances of bird species over time. Specifically, if there are long term decreases in a specific species population, scientists can start researching into the reason behind this.
In class, we discussed how researchers had discovered several reasons why certain species of birds are in decline. The hopeful part of this is, once we know why something is happening, we can develop solutions to the problem. For each cause of bird population decline, students came up with potential solutions, and we discussed solutions researchers have come up with. We also made the connection that what is happening to bird populations impacts other species as well as birds being indicator species for what is happening in the environment.
There was a lot of excitement among all the classes to be part of this research project. Lower El through Middle school will be collecting data, and the primary class is working on their birding skills so they will be ready to participate in Lower El. Besides, the benefit of having the opportunity to collect useful data, birding also helps develop the skills of observation, stillness, mindfulness, and inner calm.
As a reminder, Davidson Green School is participating in the Audubon Society’s 2019 Christmas Bird Count on December 15th. Mr. Ed sent out an email full of great information about how to get involved with this project. Let us know if you have any questions on getting involved!