News

North American Bird Phenology Program (BPP) Data Entry System

The North American Bird Phenology Program (BPP) has announced a online data entry system. Through this new online program, volunteers from around the world can register on the website and begin transcribing historical bird arrival records into our online database which were originally scanned in the BPP office.

The BPP is working to understand the scale of global climate change and how it is affecting birds across North America. This is the oldest and longest running bird monitoring program in the country, currently housing six million records dating back to the early 1880′s. The program, started in 1880 by Wells W. Cooke, collected bird observations by over 3,000 citizen scientists and came to an end in 1970, until we revived the program during the last year. The records document bird migration arrival and departure dates from around North America; an unparalleled and untapped resource, but one in which volunteer help is needed to modernize.

The BPP relies solely on volunteers to scan images of the migration cards and transcribe them into its database. BPP accepts participants from all ages and backgrounds and volunteers can participate from the comfort of their own home.

Online participants must register online at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bpp/BecomeAParticipant.cfm. There enthusiasts can learn more about the transcription process and register to become a transcriber. After registering, paticopants will receive a confirmation email which will then take them through a 15 minute training video and back to the website to begin transcription.

Also, volunteers are needed in the Baltimore-Washington area to help in the BPP office with scanning and working with the historic files.

Individuals, families, and small groups are urged to to help discover how spring and fall arrival times of birds have changed since the 1880′s.

For more information visit www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bpp/  or call (301) 487-5745.