Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

And the Squirrels were Merry

By January 21st, 2017 at 8:00 am | Comment

I grew up in Fishtown, Philadelphia, an inner city grid of red-brick row homes, corner bars, candy shops, and barely-breathing factories. Fishtown was not known for its wildlife. There were birds. A wide variety, if two counts as a wide variety: big birds (pigeons) and small birds (sparrows). There were cats and an occasional dog that escaped out of someone’s yard.

On rare occasions, I’d see a squirrel scampering about on the telephone pole in my backyard. This was an occasion to call all the neighbor kids and we would stand there like we were at the zoo. The squirrel stared right back, Philly-style. Read the rest of this entry »

Spot a Squirrel and Help Science

By January 19th, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Comment

January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day! Celebrate by participating in one of these squirrel-centric projects. It sounds a little nutty, but researchers unnamed (2)rely on your squirrel observations to advance research about these furry friends.  Find more projects on SciStarter to do now, or bookmark your favorites for later!
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USFWS
Project Squirrel
Squirrels are some of the most common forms of backyard wildlife. Wherever you are, you can join the study of wildlife by counting squirrels in your neighborhood and reporting your findings online.

Photo: USFWS
Southern California Squirrel Survey
Squirrels are abundant in Southern California, but some native species are in decline and other introduced species are spreading a little too quickly. Learn what’s happening in your neck of the woods by by posting a photo and location information on this website.

Photo: WA State DFWC
Western Gray Squirrel Project
The western gray squirrel is threatened in Washington state, and biologists need to know more about them to understand what’s happening. Residents in the Methow Valley can conduct squirrel surveys to estimate the size and distribution of the population.

White Squirrel Mapping
Have you ever seen a white squirrel? Throughout the world, squirrels of species that are normally grey or red are sometimes white. Report sightings of white squirrels and add to a global map of their distribution.

Photo: USFWS
SquirrelMapper
In some locations, gray squirrels have evolved to be black! By mapping the locations of black squirrels, you can help biologists understand more about this change and how it benefits the squirrels.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is launching a wildlife camera trap study called North Carolina’s Candid Critters. Find out more here.  Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Turtle Crossing in Wisconsin

By January 12th, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Comment

Why did the turtle cross the road? Change the “why” to a “where,” and conservation biologist Andrew Badje just might be able to tell you. Through his work with the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program, Badje collects turtle road crossing data to help map populations, especially at precarious road and rail crossings. Read the rest of this entry »

12 Days of Christmas with Citizen Science (seriously!)

By December 22nd, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Comment

Photo: John Ohab

Photo: John Ohab

The holiday season is upon us! In the spirit of the season, we’ve put together another edition of our annual 12 Days of Christmas Newsletter. ANNNNNNNND…as our gift to you, we’ve made it possible for you to track your citizen science contributions and interests in one place! Check out the beta version of SciStarter 2.0. Sign up, complete your profile, and earn credit for your awesome contributions to research!

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Birding- Seasonal Citizen Science for Everyone!

By December 8th, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Comment

Photo: USFWS

Photo: USFWS

Citizen scientists have been studying birds for over 100 years, and some of the most popular projects involve observing birds throughout the winter.  Below, we highlight five projects that study birds during the winter.  Whether you want to watch birds while outdoors or from the comfort of your home, we have a project for you!  Find more with the SciStarter Project Finder.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USFWS
Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey
In the United States, volunteers are needed in the first half of January to look for eagles along standard survey routes. It’s always a treat to count these majestic birds!

Photo: USFWS
Puget Sound Seabird Survey 
From October to April, volunteers in Washington state walk the coastline counting overwintering water birds. Data are collected on over 50 species!

Photo: USFWS
South Texas Wintering Birds
Many birds spend the winter in South Texas. If you go birding anywhere in the region, either in an urban or rural area, report your bird sightings to this project.

Photo: Jean Pennycock
Study Adelie Penguin Breeding
This is a great project for classrooms in November through January. Using online photos and data from Antarctica, students can study Adelie Penguin behavior. The project offers many online resources for educators.

Photo: USFWS
Project FeederWatch
If you enjoy watching birds from your window, this is the perfect project for you! In North America, citizen scientists can observe and report on the birds visiting their feeders during the winter months.

Help SciStarter help you! Take this 10 minute survey on what information you find most important about projects. Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!