Here is a project for skilled birders. Volunteers must be able to identify a full suite of eastern forest bird species by sight and sound. The rewards are solitude in remote forests, a dawn chorus, and valuable data on forest bird populations.
In conducting these early morning counts in interior forest habitats, volunteers primarily rely on identifying birds by ear rather than by eye. And because they work off-trail, forest bird monitors must know how to navigate with map and compass or GPS. (Being fairly functional before sunrise is also a prerequisite!)
Birders without these skills might want to consider VCE’s Mountain Birdwatch, which features a smaller suite of birds and extensive training materials for participants. Plus, in Mountain Birdwatch you’ll reach some of the region’s highest and most striking places.
Birders who can’t quite find the time for either project can still contribute valuable data on bird abundance and distribution. While birdwatching (even casually) here in the Green Mountain State, add your sightings to Vermont eBird. Or if you’re outside of Vermont, you can send your sightings to the national eBird site (which includes Vermont data). Thanks!