Feel like you need a wizard to help you identify birds? Ever wonder what kind of bird you saw, but don't know where to begin? Guidebooks can be intimidating, with hundreds of pictures and pages of text describing the nuanced differences between species. A smartphone app called Merlin can whittle down the big list of possibilities for your area and time of year using just a few simple questions like: What color was the bird? How big? Where was it (in a tree, on the ground, in a bush)?
If you are looking for a creative gift for a bird-lover or conservation-minded relative, Wake County Audubon is selling commemorative bricks to be placed at their proposed roosting chimney at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Prairie Ridge Ecostation.
Chimney swifts historically roosted in large, old hollowed out trees. As humans began to significantly alter the forests and landscapes of North America 200 years ago, fewer of these trees were available. Fortunately for the swifts, we also built chimneys perfect for nesting and roosting of these acrobatic birds. Now, as chimneys are less common and many are capped, their habitat is declining once more.
To provide roosting habitat as well as a platform for research, Wake County Audubon is building a large chimney which could potentially house thousands of swifts. If you'd like to contribute to this effort by purchasing an engraved brick, see their website for more information.
BirdLog is the only smartphone app that allows you to log your bird sightings in eBird from your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. And, in honor of the Great Backyard Bird Count, it is on sale for $0.99!
If you use eBird, it's a great way to keep track of your observations. If not, join the eBird community! Your observations will be used to help biologists learn more about bird populations.
Next weekend, the Great Backyard Bird Count is on! An annual event in February, the GBBC is a way for novices and avid birders alike to contribute to the understanding of bird populations. Participants spend as little as 15 minutes observing birds in their backyard, nearby park, or your favorite Birding Trail Site and logging their sightings on eBird or the GBBC website. Participation is easy as 1, 2, 3!
Last year, over 104,000 checklists were submitted, totalling over 17.4 million bird observations!
If you enjoy your experience, you can continue to contribute to science by logging your sightings year 'round via eBird. Participation is free, and eBird provides lots of tools for viewing all of your observations.
The Center for Sustainable Tourism at ECU is launching an 8-month community-based research project to help North Carolina communities collect and analyze information about current and potential visitor markets. The project offers tourism organizations a low cost option for gathering market intelligence and provides attractions, accommodations and other local tourism stakeholders with information to make better tourism development and management decisions. The project includes an online survey tool and a cumulative report for each DMO. The survey will collect demographic information, travel preferences and green travel information. The closing date for communities interested in participating in the project is Feb. 22. For more information, click here or view the YouTube video describing the project. For questions or for those interested in participating in the project, contact Carol Kline or Alex Naar at (252) 737-1346.