Citizen Science

PHOTO BY MORGAN SLEVIN

Become a
Citizen Scientist

Citizen science has revolutionized the field of ornithology by democratizing the process of data collection and analysis, allowing enthusiasts, nature lovers, and concerned individuals to actively contribute to scientific records. We greatly benefit from the collective efforts of everyday citizens who observe, document, and report bird species and behaviors. This collaborative approach has expanded the scope and depth of ornithological research, as it harnesses the diverse observations and contributions of people from all walks of life, highlighting that anyone with an interest in birds can make meaningful and valuable contributions to our understanding of avian life and ecosystems.

There are a number of statewide and national programs open to the public. See just a few ways that you can start contributing below!

Christmas Bird Counts

A census of birds in the Western Hemisphere, performed annually in the early Northern-hemisphere winter by volunteer birdwatchers and administered by the National Audubon Society. About 75 Christmas Bird Counts that are part of the venerable National Audubon Society program are run in Florida from Pensacola to Key West.

Contact a compiler near you

Florida Shorebird Alliance

The purpose of the FSA is to provide an online resource for information and materials on Florida’s shorebirds and seabirds, and improve the level of coordination and information sharing between the various groups involved in shorebird and seabird conservation across Florida.

Get involved with FSA

JayWatch

Audubon Florida coordinates the Jay Watch citizen science program statewide. They train and support volunteers to conduct scientific surveys that measure annual nesting success and count the total number of Florida Scrub-Jays at more than 50 sites in 19 counties.

Become a JayWatcher

EagleWatch

Audubon EagleWatch is Audubon’s citizen science program to monitor and protect Florida’s eagles. With over 1,400 nesting pairs in our state, this team of volunteers spans 27 counties monitoring more than 350 nests.

Become an EagleWatcher

Coastal Bird Stewardship

Many species of beach-dependent birds are still on the decline. In order to reverse the declines and stabilize these bird populations, it’s necessary to collect and analyze data through surveys and monitoring, to educate the public through interaction and outreach, and to protect nesting colonies and provide sanctuaries where birds can nest, rest and feed with minimal disturbance.

Become a Coastal Bird Steward

North American Breeding Bird Survey

The BBS is a large-scale roadside survey of North American birds and joint project of the United States Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service. The BBS was started in 1966 and now contains over 5,000 survey routes which are surveyed in June by experienced birders.

Become a surveyor

eBird

eBird is an online database of bird observations providing scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with real-time data about bird distribution and abundance.

Contribute to the database

Project Feeder Watch

Each year, 15,000 people count birds at their feeders for Project FeederWatch. With more than 1.5 million checklists submitted since 1987, FeederWatchers have contributed valuable data enabling scientists to monitor changes in the distribution and abundance of birds.

Join the project

NestWatch

NestWatch participants help scientists track the breeding success of birds across North America by finding and monitoring bird nests.

Become a NestWatcher

Celebrate Urban Birds

Celebrate Urban Birds is a bilingual citizen science project focused on underserved urban and rural communities.

Join the project

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Begun in 1998, the four-day Great Backyard Bird Count was the first citizen-science program to collect and display bird observation data online on a large scale.

Join the event

Habitat Network

Habitat Network collects detailed maps of landscapes and people’s practices to document what is happening in our communities and explore how collective efforts to transform yards and urban landscapes into more diverse habitat may support wildlife and connect people to nature in communities around the world.

Join the network

Find your flock

Programs

Join us

Help us promote field ornithology in Florida.

Meetings & Events

November 10–12, 2023 | St. Pete, FL

We are the Florida Ornithological Society

Let's get in touch

We'd love to hear from you.

  • Inquire about becoming a member.
  • Report a rare bird sighting.
  • Submit a field observation.
  • Leave a question or comment.

Learn something new today

Books for birders

Read from some of the foremost ornithologists when they summarized what is known about birds in this diverse state.

Identify bird songs