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Sunday, March 20, 2011

What You Could be Doing When You're Not Sewing

Photo from here.

When you're not sewing, you could be birding!
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Note: The following will appeal particularly to you data nerds out there.
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Check out ebird. It's a data-lover's and a nature-lover's resource all in one place.
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The basic idea is that you watch for and count the birds you see. Then you record the species, quantity, location, time, and other information if you want. Obviously, having a bird guide on hand is useful. I use Sibley's Bird Guide for North America. [I need to buy this, since my library will want it back eventually...]. Happily, the database is global: if you live on earth, you can submit data.
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My inner scientist likes contributing raw data for actual scientists to use in real life.
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I was surprised to spot a great blue heron in the wetland beyond my yard the other night. I think we never notice the variety of wildlife around us because we aren't looking for it.

6 comments:

  1. Y'all have prettier Heron's up north than we do down here. Ours are pretty plain-jane compared to that one! When I lived on Weiss Lake in Alabama - we had bunches of them. Now we're lucky if we see them in someone's cow pond. (boy! I sure sound like a red-neck!)

    Sam

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  2. I see so many birds out and about on my walks, water birds in the rivers and on the lakes here, as well as birds in the big trees we have in our back yard... I love watching them. I expect they are mostly different varieties to what you would see in North America.

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  3. Blue Herons are one of our favorite birds to spot.

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  4. Since I've been teaching middle school field biology this year, I've really become more familiar with our birds and other creatures. I'm especially enjoying being able to identify birds and frogs (!) by their calls.

    Have you ever read the book Naming Nature by Mary Blocksma. You might enjoy it. Also, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, allaboutbirds.org is a great resource and their Project Feeder Watch another way to be involved in citizen science.

    On a completely unrelated note, belated thanks for your help with ideas for a swimsuit for Clara. Sadly, when my computer crashed, I lost your email. Is there any chance you saved it in a sent file and could resend it to me.

    Hope you and yours are all well!
    Love,
    Beth

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  5. Great minds think alike! I will be checking out this data soon...I know I won't be able to get away from it though if I start looking!
    Cool post!

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  6. It's amazing what nature you see once you start looking. last week I watched a Bald Eagle groom itself from underneath through my car's sun roof! And I love those simple little Juncos.

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