NestWatch is a citizen science project that gathers data on all of North America’s breeding birds in order to track their nesting success and study breeding behavior. Through monitoring their survival and reproduction we are able to study and report on the health of bird populations.
Ultimate purpose is to be contributing to “real” scientific research… this is actually happening!
NestCams is our sister program. Get a peak at the inner world of nesting birds!
Project NestWatch, ASTC Workshop 2012
NestWatch NestWatch:Monitoring nesting birds with the power of citizen science Jason Martin Project Leader - NestWatch
NestWatch Presentation Overview• What is NestWatch?• Recruitment, training, & retention• How are we trying to improve?
NestWatch What is NestWatch?• Monitors status and trends in the biology of breeding birds across U.S. since mid-1960’s• Location, species, timing of nesting, # eggs and young produced, reproductive success• Online open-source database• Public education
NestWatch What is NestWatch?Since 2000:• >100,000 nests monitored• 149 species• 5,100 participants
NestWatch Why nesting birds?• Impacted by environmental disturbances• Abundant and widespread• Inhabit a variety of habitat types• Engaged in many ecological processes• Easily observed by amateurs (“hobby factor”)
NestWatchNestWatch Data in Action!Dunn, P. O. and D. W. Winkler. 1999. Proc. Royal Soc. Lond. B 266:2487-2490.
NestWatch Participant Recruitment• Press releases and media interviews• Cross promotion though other CLO programs and partners• Online social media• Word of mouth• Low hanging fruit
NestWatch Participant Training• Heavily internet based – nestwatch.org (protocol, code of conduct, certification quiz, data entry/exploration, educational material)• Some phone and email contact
NestWatch Participant Retention• Mainly passive, although some email/Facebook reminders• Provide beneficial services – Data storage and access – Educational resources• Making people feel good about what they’re doing – Contributing to science – Connecting with nature
NestWatch Participant Retention: How are we doing? 2006-2011 Years Participants • 75% participated for 1 yearParticipating 1 2732 • 33% participated for 2 years 2 483 • 13% participated for 3 years 3 192 4 82 • 5-6% = retention sweet spot 5 62 6 83
NestWatchNestWatch Chapters: A more effective way? • 25 local chapters to help recruit, train, and retain participants • Chapter coordinators trained by NW staff • Win-win partnership – Chapter organizations take advantage of existing program and feed into national data collection scheme – More intimate relationship with volunteers = personal accountability, improved data quality, greater depth of experience, & increased retention