Hummingbirds at Home

Hummingbirds at Home FAQ

Everything you need to know to start counting hummingbirds

Allen's Hummingbird. Photo: Lou Orr/Great Backyard Bird Count

Hummingbirds at Home FAQ

Everything you need to know to start counting hummingbirds

What is Hummingbirds at Home all about? Why is this program important?

There is a growing mismatch between flowering times and the arrival of hummingbirds in their breeding areas and we don’t know how this is going to impact hummingbirds. Hummingbirds at Home collects data on how hummingbirds interact with nectar sources so that we can begin to understand – the first step towards ensuring the survival of these miraculous birds in the face of climate change. We also hope to gain insight into what effect providing nectar feeders has on hummingbirds.

When does Hummingbirds at Home happen?

You can submit your hummingbird sightings and feeding observations at any time of the year.

Does it cost anything?

It is free--there is no cost to participate, and no cost to download and install the mobile application, or to use the desktop version of the application.

Do I have to know hummingbird identification to join this project?

The software will provide images of the hummingbirds you are most likely to see as well as an option for "unidentified" on the pick list. Any information on hummingbird-nectar source interaction is important to us, even if you don’t know what kind of hummingbird it is. You can also learn to identify hummingbirds from our free online field guide

Do I have to know flower identification to join this project?

As with the hummingbird id, the software will provide images of flowers you are likely to see in your area, as well as an option for "unidentified".

Do I have to maintain a hummingbird feeder as part of this project?

No, you are not required to have a hummingbird feeder to participate.

Do I have to commit to a certain number of times or days to participate?

No, you can decide how often you wish to participate. You can define and monitor up to six patches. It helps scientists substantially to have repeated surveys from the same patch over time. Participating in a patch survey from 5-60 minutes each time is a valuable way to contribute to our scientific understanding of hummingbirds. If you wish to submit just one survey that is good, and if you submit more than one survey over the period of a week, that is better. If you wish to submit surveys more frequently that is wonderful!

How do I record the same hummingbird(s) visiting my patch all day long?

If you have planned to do a patch survey, you may log the presence of each hummingbird species during your survey as well as the number of birds seen. If you would like to record the same hummingbird(s) visiting your patch throughout the day, submit each visit as a single sighting.

I live outside of the United States; can I still participate in Hummingbirds at Home?

Unfortunately, data can only be reported for locations within the lower 48 states and Alaska, but we are hoping to expand it in the future.

Do I have to have a smartphone to participate in this program?

A smartphone is not required to participate; you can enter your hummingbird sightings using a tablet, iPad, desktop or laptop by going to www.hummingbirdsathome.org to enter your sightings.

What operating systems and browsers are needed to run the application?

Currently supported versions of the Windows or Apple operating systems and the most recent versions of internet browsers will work properly with this application.

Will my results show up on a map? Can I see other people's results in my area?

In 2014 we are providing a display of all sightings on a map.

Will this project extend beyond one season?

Yes, this is an ongoing citizen science program.

How can I find out the results?

Audubon's e-newsletter, American Birds, contains results and findings from Audubon's Citizen Science programs including Hummingbirds at Home. This e-newsletter is sent to everyone participating in Hummingbirds at Home. Anyone is welcome to sign-up to receive results of these programs, even if you do not participate. Sign up at www.audubon.org/citizenscience

Where can I donate to support this program?

You can click here to make a donation to support this free program and all of Audubon's citizen science efforts.