North American Bird Phenology Program

Do you know about the BPP (Bird Phenology Program)? They currently have a huge initiative to transcribe millions of records about bird migration. The processing of these records is a citizen science project run by the USGS in which anyone with access to a computer can participate.

The North American Bird Phenology Program houses a unique and largely forgotten collection of six million Migration Observer Cards that illuminate migration patterns and population status of birds in North America. These handwritten cards contain almost all of what was known of bird status from the Second World War back to the later part of the 19th century. The bulk of the records are the result of a network of observers who recorded migration arrival dates in the spring and fall that, in its heyday, involved 3000 participants.

Those handwritten cards are being transcribed into an online database by citizen scientist volunteers like you and me! You can become a participant and transcribe scanned cards into online records. If you live in the Baltimore-Washington area, you can also help with scanning the original records. Check out the BPP Website for more information.

Share the birds, share the love!
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