Wild Spirit Education Research & Citizen Science Projects
Wild spirit Education participates in and encourages others to participate in citizen science projects to better understand the natural world and to help support much needed research about nature. Below are listed some of the projects that we are involved and and how you can participate. If you have any questions about any of the projects, please do not hesitate to call or email us.
Wild Spirit participates in bird banding, which is the process of capturing songbirds in mist-nets, collecting data on the bird (weight, age, sex, measurements, etc), placing a metal band on the leg and releasing the bird back to the wild. All of this is done without harming the birds.
Bird banding at Wild Spirit is performed under the supervision of our Master Bander, Paul Fehringer, who is licensed by the federal government to band songbirds. We submit all our data collected at our banding sessions to the federal banding lab for scientists and researchers to use in a variety of studies.
We participate in MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship), winter banding and saw-whet banding. We also band our rehab birds when they are released back to the wild. We are one of the few facilities that bands year round. To view a Youtube video of our banding efforts click here.
Wild Spirit is proud to be a local chapter of the Frogwatch USA program which is a citizen science program that allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. As a chapter of the program, Wild Spirit not only monitors local wetlands, but we are set up to train and recruit local individuals and groups that wish to participate in the program. We hold a variety of training sessions each spring. To find out more about Frogwatch, click here. To see a list of training workshops, visit our Events page by clicking here.
Wild Spirit participates in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's NestWatch citizen science program by monitoring nests at our property and in our neighborhood. As a chapter of the program we hold training workshops in the spring of the year to help others learn how to best monitor birds in their neighborhoods. To find out more about NestWatch click here. To see a list of training workshops, visit our Events page by clicking here.
Wild Spirit has a trail of 22 bluebird nest boxes. We monitor these nest boxes each spring to encourage our state bird to nest on our property. We keep track of the nesting progress of these boxes and submit the data to the Bluebird Society as well as the NestWatch program. We band the babies that are born in these boxes before they fledge the nest so that we can monitor their progress.
Ebird is a citizen science program through the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Wild Spirit reports many of our bird sightings through this easy interactive program. Visit the Ebird site here or contact us if you have questions about the program.
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
Wild Spirit Education has been an ambasador for the GBBC for many years. This citizen science program takes place each February across the world as individuals and groups watch and count the birds that visit their backyards. The data collected is submitted online so that researchers can use it to study trends in bird numbers. This is a fun way to get involved in nature in your own backyard. As an embasador for the program, Wild Spirit advertises the count, participates, and holds training sessions before the big weekend. To find out more about the GBBC click here. To see a list of training workshops, visit our Events page by clicking here.
Each spring and throughout the summer, Wild Spirit does an informal Odanata (dragonfly and damselfly) survey on our property. This is a new study for us. We hope to compile a database of the Odonates on our property in the next few years and possibly expand the research to other sites in the future.
Beginning in the spring of 2017 Wild Spirit will be the first location in New York State to participate in the Caterpillars Count! program. This program will study the insect population in the area in order to determine how songbird food sources are doing. Since many songbirds rely on insects for their food, we will be studying the population in the area. Additional information can be found at the Caterpillars Count! website.
Every spring, Wild Spirit participates in Firefly Watch which monitors how firefly populations are doing. Spend some evenings watching the flashing patterns of fireflies to help scientists explore how populations are doing. Find out more about the program at https://www.massaudubon.org/get-involved/citizen-science/firefly-watch
Wild Spirit Education, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to enlightening others to the wonders of the natural world through conservation, preservation and environmental education.