The Life of a Bird Lover: 5 Stages to Becoming A Citizen Scientist

The Life of a Bird Lover: 5 Stages to Becoming A Citizen Scientist

For every expert, legend and leader, there’s one spark that started it all. It could have been an inspiring teacher, a monumental failure or an irresistible curiosity.

At Perky-Pet®, we’re excited about setting the stage for that magic moment when curiosity turns into life-long passion. We want to help support kids who are looking to get lost in the wonder of science.

We’ve seen it happen hundreds of times: A youngster with an emerging interest in birds blossoms into someone who goes on to expand the field of habitat conservation. The process goes a little like this:

father and son bird watching

  • Inspiration. At age ten, Maggie becomes fascinated with birdwatching when her teacher helps her identify the many common birds outside her classroom window, including her favorite, the Northern Cardinal.
  • Discovery. A new bird enthusiast, Maggie begins exploring the topic of birds on her own. She checks out several books on ornithology from her school library.
  • Training. Maggie seeks out educators and experts to learn at a deeper level. As a participant in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s BirdSlueth K-12 program, she learns the importance of defending a habitat in order to protect its bird population.
  • Action. Fast forward to high school. Maggie is now an expert all on her own! She loves to spend time in the field observing and assisting, and she’s a regular volunteer at a nearby bird conservation organization.
  • Innovation. Maggie goes to college and majors in ornithology. She makes observations that lead to new ideas and advances in the study of ornithology. It’s her lifelong desire to work with citizen scientists, teaching others about birds as an educator.

People like Maggie are a wonderful inspiration and it’s not hard to follow in her footsteps.

flock of birds flying at sunset

Eager to get going? The State of the Birds report recommends a number of options to help the bird conservation efforts in your area and on a national scale.

  • Support Bird Friendly Legislation. Watch for changes to the following:
    • Farm Bill
    • Endangered Species Act
    • Clean Water Act
  • Support Habitat Protection Efforts. Monitor local planning commissions and zoning boards for efforts to protect habitats used by birds and other wildlife. Alert conservation societies and fight to keep the habitats undisturbed.
  • Know the Endangered Species in Your Area. Across America, hundreds of bird species are headed for extinction. Know what birds are at risk in your area and take action to save them. Support local efforts to reduce man-made threats like overfishing and collisions with glass. Promote responsible pet ownership by rallying around efforts to keep cats indoors.
  • Engage in Citizen Science. Participate in events, studies and surveys that help further the science of ornithology. These include:
    • Christmas Bird Count
    • eBird sighting logs
    • North American Breeding Bird Survey
    • Project FeederWatch
  • Create Bird Friendly Environments. Build or rebuild habitats that birds can use.
    • Small Scale: in your backyard
    • Medium Scale: in a municipal park
    • Large Scale: at a major area of land

Be sure to visit us on Facebook to tell us about your efforts to encourage bird conservation. Also subscribe to our e-newsletter for updates on our efforts, information on great discounts and links to stories about the wild birds we all know and love!


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