Looking for a project to get you out of the house this month?
The 115th Annual Christmas Bird Count starts in just 1 week! The Christmas Bird Count is one of the longest-running citizen science projects that began back in 1900 when a group of birders decided they didn't want to go on the traditional Christmas Bird Hunt. Since then amateur and professional birders alike have joined forces to survey birds across North America. Listen to one birder tell his story and explain the Christmas Bird Count in the video below.
- The Boulder County Audubon Society is holding their bird count event on Sun, Dec 14. You can make observations in your yard, join a hike, and attend a pot luck with other citizen scientists. Find out more here.
- The Audubon Society of Greater Denver is organizing several bird count hikes on Dec 20, Jan 1, and Jan 3. Find out more information by clicking here and scrolling down to the "Bird Counts" heading.
- The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory is holding their 3rd Annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids on Jan 19 at Barr Lake. Kids 3-18 and adults are invited.
Looking for a project that lets you stay warm inside instead?
Try an online citizen science project on Zooniverse.org! The Zooniverse is a collection of online projects that allow you to productively procrastinate from your holiday "to-do" list. Take a few minutes to help describe galaxies, transcribe WWI soldier diaries, or track endangered California Condors.
Stay tuned for more information on next summer's version of the Sunflower Community Project, which will likely focus on our iNaturalist Project. Or sign up for the Bees' Needs, which will resume next spring.
The Bees' Needs is a project aimed at measuring native solitary bee populations. Volunteers get a wooden bee block to put up in their yard and take up the fantastic hobby of bee-watching (like bird watching, only smaller!). Throughout the summer, citizen scientists report what types of bees and nests they see in their block to help scientists at the the CU Museum of Natural History monitor and learn about local pollinators. The project won't begin until March or April, but you can sign up for your block now. Just go to their website to find out more.
Let us know in the comments below! We'd love to hear about it.
Whichever project you choose to explore, find something you are excited and passionate about!