The first week of my New Jersey Big Year was busy and productive! Not only did I bird some great locations, but I managed to locate and identify 104 species of birds and got a good jump on my goal of 300 birds.
Following the e-mail posts and rare bird alerts from other birders around New Jersey I found some rare birds, like Rufous Hummingbird and King Eider, and hard to locate birds like Razorbill and White-winged Scoter. With the help of a group of birders on a New Jersey Audubon All Things Birds outing, I located a Western Grebe. Watching my bird feeder, I got Northern Cardinal and Carolina Chickadee.
Why is the Citizen Science program important enough that I am willing, eager, to complete a New Jersey Big Year?
New Jersey is a small state which offers a wide variety habitats from freshwater wetlands to pine barrens, salt marshes to upland forests. Many threatened or endangered bird species rely on the unique ecological characteristics of these habitats to successfully migrate, breed, and raise their young.
While some things are known about the bird species that call New Jersey home, there is still much to learn and only a limited number of scientists to collect and analyze the data. Specially trained and highly motivated volunteer citizen scientists, like me, are able to collect much need data about the distribution and abundance of bird populations throughout the state. Through our efforts, the New Jersey Audubon Citizen Science program is able to development meaningful information about these bird populations and the ecological conditions which support them, and use this information to promote habitat preservation.
The great news is folks are already stepping forward with pledges of support. Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge!
I still have a long way to go to meet my goal and I need and want your support. Won’t you make a tax-deductible pledge to New Jersey Audubon Citizen Science today?
I’ve got some big birding plans for the coming weeks and I hope you’ll come along. Thank you again for your interest and support!