The Birdfreak Team has declared February Citizen Science Month, dedicated to citizen science projects and ideas relating to birds.
We’ve said in the past that citizen science is very important to birds and bird studies, but what is citizen science exactly? It is a partnership between the regular “Joes” and the professional scientists, and sometimes it is the only way enough information can be gathered to adequately study a large mobile population of feathered beings.
The Citizen Science Projects blog says it best:
A â€œscientistâ€ has become someone with a doctorate degree from an accredited university whoâ€™s smarter than us and gets paid by corporations or institutions that know whatâ€™s best for us. But it didnâ€™t used to be that way. And whether itâ€™s from a need to save a local habitat or from the sheer joy of understanding one more piece of â€œtriviaâ€ about a red-tailed hawk, we need to take science back.
It is up to all birders to study, monitor and report in the name of citizen science and bird conservation. One professional (or even a group of ornithologists) could never study one bird species thoroughly, let alone an entire ecosystem or long-term population trend. It is just impractical. So as birders let’s also become citizen scientists too and make huge contributions to bird conservation.