Our understanding of birds has been profoundly shaped by the work of ordinary people. After all, anyone can go out and pay attention to a wild world swooping in overhead.
This summer, we invite readers from around the world to participate in a science project we’re working on with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. We will collect observations about the birds around us, filling in data gaps and giving researchers a clearer picture of biodiversity in places where birds are less frequent.
It’s important work. Nearly half of all bird species worldwide are known or suspected to be in decline, and climate change could accelerate this trend. By collecting such data, you will help make informed decisions about protecting and studying birds.
You don’t need to be an expert or have special equipment. For starters, we’ll be offering a series of challenges in the next few weeks aimed at getting you on the path toward contributing scientific data.
If you are an experienced birder, we have more to ask. We’d like you to go beyond the usual hotspots for feedback in areas where data is sparse.
The project will run from now until September. Join us anytime, and connect with a global community of readers, scholars, and researchers. Share what you learned. And maybe even discover a new way of seeing nature.
To get started, tell us a little about yourself below. It should only take about 2 minutes.
Next up is to download Merlin or eBird, bird apps from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Click on the sentence that best describes your birding experience. Then stay tuned for an email with a full set of instructions.
Please note that Merlin and eBird are third party applications with their own privacy policies, and The Times has no control over (and is not responsible for) their content or privacy practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I still join the New York Times project if I’m already using Merlin or eBird?
naturally! Please complete the form above to register your participation in this project. You can continue to send your feedback through the apps as you normally would.
Why do I need to register with The New York Times if I’m going to submit my details to Cornell Lab?
Registering will allow us to interact with Times readers specifically.
Do I need to download the Merlin or eBird apps to my phone to submit my feedback?
If you are a beginner birder, we recommend using the Merlin app as a reference and teaching tool, which will also allow you to share your observations with the Cornell Lab.
If you are an experienced birder, you can submit your feedback through the eBird app or via the eBird app eBird website on your computer.
I have a question about Merlin or eBird, or need additional help getting set up! Where to go?