Data Entry Contest: How do you share your love of birds with others?

April 11, 2023

A songbird with drab brown above and white below with a thin eyeline perches on a branch surrounded by yellow catkins.

|Warbling Vireo by Michael Stubblefield/Macaulay Library |

For the seventh season in a row, Project FeederWatch and our sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited are rewarding registered FeederWatchers with the chance to win prizes. This year, Celestron is joining the fun and offering one pair of binoculars to each data entry contest winner as well. After entering bird counts (data) into the FeederWatch website, participants have the opportunity to share a story, memory, or tip by clicking the “Enter to Win” button on the Count Summary page. We randomly select two winners per prompt. Our final Data Entry contest prompt this season was:

Do you impart any birding skills learned from Project FeederWatch to anyone? How do you share your love of birds with others?

Congratulations to our winners, Millie Simbeck and Joann Ringelstetter!

 Millie shared:

I love to share my knowledge of birds with my granddaughters. They love seeing and hearing all the different species at their home and mine. They’ve even been drawing and coloring different birds and giving them to me as gifts.

Participating in Project FeederWatch, or even simply watching birds can help engage children in the excitement of nature study and the wonder of scientific investigation. The Cornell Lab’s K-12 Education team has created resources for teachers and parents that build science skills while inspiring young people to connect to local habitats, explore biodiversity, and engage in citizen-science projects. Check out the K-12 Education website for lessons and activities for different grades, professional development training, parent resources, and more. You can find resources specifically related to Project FeederWatch such as the new FeederWatch Classroom Guide, applications for PFW classroom funding, and related activites and learning on our Educator Resources page.

Joann shared:

Whenever anyone visits my wooded property, or if I go on a nature hike with anyone, I always stop and ask them to listen to the birds that are singing. I identify the species they point out and tell them a bit about that bird. My absolute favorite thing is sharing birds with children – they are so eager to learn. What I love sharing the most with them is mnemonic [devices], especially for the Warbling Vireo: “If I sees you, I will seize you, and I’ll squeeze you ’till you squirt!”

A mnemonic device is a memory technique used to more easily remember difficult material. In this case, Joann is referring to phrases that people use to help them remember bird songs and calls. For example, similar to the Warbling Vireo song she references above, you might hear a Carolina Wren singing, “Tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle,” or a White-throated Sparrow singing, “Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada.” If you wish to practice learning your bird songs, you may find Cornell’s Merlin Bird ID app very helpful. Merlin Bird ID is a free app that acts as a pocket field guide. You can explore a list of birds that live near you, learn their songs, view their range maps, and more. The app also has a Sound ID feature that listens to the birds around you and shows real-time suggestions for who’s singing. Learn more or find out how to download the Merlin Bird ID app here

Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their stories over the 2022-2023 season – we wish we could share all of your submissions! Email with questions, and read the stories from past winners on our blog.

Interested in becoming a FeederWatcher? Join the fun now!

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