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Bird's Eye View - a new, field-based volunteer program by NSNT takes flight today!
April 4th, 2012
The “Bird’s Eye View” program is a new, field-based, citizen science volunteer program to engage bird watchers in the conservation work of the Nature Trust. The program provides opportunities to get out bird watching on Nature Trust Conservation Lands in order to increase knowledge about the bird species using them. For expert birders, there will be opportunities to go to properties being considered for protection, and to gather some of the first biological data about these sites. All participants in the program will be contributing to nature conservation in Nova Scotia through citizen science, as well as improving their birding skills. Participation is as simple as visiting one of the Nature Trust’s glorious Conservation Lands, spotting birds and recording the speices seen and which habitats they are using, and entering findings online.
Why do birds matter? Birds are important to the world and humanity in so many ways. Birds are part of who we are – think of all the stories, expressions, and art that involves birds – and they help keep us alive as they are a key part of the world’s biodiversity (a current hot topic in conservation research is estimating the economic value of all the services birds provide to the world). Unfortunately, many bird populations are in decline, including common species. We owe them so much, yet most of the causes of bird population decline are due to human activities. Fortunately, it is within our power to promote activities that lead to bird conservation.
One of the main threats to birds is habitat loss, which can be partially addressed through habitat conservation, such as the private land conservation work that the Nature Trust specializes in. But for the Nature Trust management of protected lands and selection of properties to work on next depends on good data – the kind that citizen science volunteer programs like “Bird’s Eye View” provide. The Nature Trust has already protected 47 properties across Nova Scotia, some of which provide habitat for rare bird species such as the Bobolink, Piping Plover, and Canada Warbler. If you have an interest in birds and enjoy the outdoors please consider participating the new “Bird’s Eye View” program at the Nature Trust. We encourage people of all ages and skill levels to participate to help out our fine feathered friends!
To find out more about the program, or to sign up right now, visit the program website (www.nsnt.ca/birdseyeview) or contact the program coordinator, Karen McKendry, at Karen[at]nsnt.ca.