NEW YORK, NY – With spring migration underway, the National Audubon Society invites birders and nature enthusiasts of all ages to help track the health of hummingbirds with Audubon’s Hummingbirds at Home app. This citizen science project utilizes the power of volunteers to help collect data that provide scientists with crucial information about the bird species and the plants that sustain them.
Every spring, hummingbirds visit our yards looking for nourishment from our gardens and feeders. Many hummingbirds migrate very long distances and must eat several times their weight in nectar daily to stay alive. Audubon scientists recently released a groundbreaking study that revealed some species of hummingbirds could lose more than 50 percent of their current ranges by 2080 if climate change continues on its current trajectory. As flowers bloom earlier because of warming temperatures there is a growing mismatch between flowering times and the arrival of hummingbirds in their breeding areas.
Hummingbirds at Home differs from other bird monitoring programs in that the focus is on recording the species, nectar sources and feeding behavior observed. It leverages existing technology with ground-breaking innovation to crowd source rigorous science. Using the mobile-friendly web portal and smart phones apps for iPhone and Android devices, people from across the United States can report their hummingbird sightings anywhere. Identification functions and the online mapping feature also allow users to track hummingbird sightings and follow their spring migration in real-time.
“With today’s technology anyone can become a citizen scientist. Joining Audubon’s Hummingbirds at Home program to help crowd source rigorous data can uncover how hummingbirds are affected by climate change and provide the information necessary to protect them,” said Gary Langham, Chief Scientist at Audubon.
The data collected will help scientists understand how climate change, flowering patterns and feeding by people are impacting hummingbirds. It will also enable Audubon to make specific, regional recommendations for people who want to enhance the value of their yards and gardens for these birds.
Hummingbirds at Home helps people set up patches in their yard, garden, porch, window box, local park – or just about anywhere – where they can do surveys to keep track of hummingbirds and what they feed on. Participants can get involved by spending just a few minutes or for as long as they wish. There is no cost to participate and using the free mobile app or website makes it simple to report sightings and learn more about these remarkable birds. For more information visit, www.hummingbirdsathome.org
For tips on how to create a hummingbird-friendly yard visit, http://www.audubon.org/content/how-create-hummingbird-friendly-yard
The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.