Popular annual bird watchers' event Jan. 14-17
PRATT — Each year, thousands of Kansans spend chilly days in the comfort of their homes, entertained by bustling birds raiding feeders. As snow and frigid winter temperatures entice finches, cardinals, juncos, woodpeckers, and a variety of other birds to backyard bird feeders across the state, both avid and casual bird watchers participate in the Kansas Winter Bird Feeder Survey and help biologists monitor songbird species. The Winter Bird Feeder Survey is a partnership among the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), the Kansas Ornithological Society, and Pathfinder Science and is sponsored by the Chickadee Checkoff program.

Kansas bird watchers are asked to choose two consecutive days from Jan. 14-17, then observe and record the number and species of birds visiting their backyard feeders. Watchers then report the results online at Pathfinder Science,, or go to the KDWP website for a hard copy form that can be mailed. Information gleaned from this survey helps KDWP track songbird population trends and types of feed that are most attractive to backyard birds. This long-term survey was expanded several years ago through Pathfinder Science at the University of Kansas to include surveys around the nation. Information is reported by state, so Kansas results are separate.

During the two days viewers choose, they record the times of day observed, list the numbers of each species seen, and describe their feeders using the online or printed form. In spaces provided, they list the highest number of each species seen together at any one time. For example, if 10 juncos are seen at 9 a.m., 11 at noon, and seven at 4 p.m., the number recorded is 11.

Observers are asked to count only during the two consecutive days and record only birds seen at their feeders, under their feeders, or in cover around their feeders. Birds that fly past a house and do not use feeding areas should not be counted.

For more information, phone 620-672-0792.