New Year's Resolutions

January 2015

Take Action January 14, 2015

The One Thing You Can Do For Birds This New Year

Cornell Citizen Science staff answered the question: “What’s the one thing people can do for birds this new year?” Below are their answers!


Photo © Vicki DeLoach

Put up a nest box

Resolve to put up a nest box this year, and give a bird a home. You’ll want to install it before spring for the best chance of success this year. Or, if you’ve already got nest boxes, resolve to clean them out and make any repairs before the birds come back. Get great tips on being the best bird landlord with our All About Birdhouses resources. To have your boxes become part of a national research project, monitor them for NestWatch.

Robyn Bailey
NestWatch Project Leader

Introduce a child to birds

Go outdoors with a child and get them hooked on birds. Keep it simple and fun. Tell stories and cool facts about common birds they are likely to see. Get cool facts about common species on the Celebrate Urban Birds Quick Guide to Our Focal Species. Spend time together and unplug.

Karen Purcell
Celebrate Urban Birds Project Leader

Create a bird-friendly yard

Take these quiet moments of deep winter and look around your yard. Where is the cover? Are there any evergreens providing winter shelter right now? Any plants with seedheads or berries left on them? Where are the birds hanging out? Visit the YardMap Local Resources Page for instant access to information about what is native in your yard. Start by downloading the pollinator planting guide for your ecoregion, and then check-out the list of natives for your area. Do you need an evergreen shrub, with winter berries? You can find that with a little time invested now.

More Resources:

Dr. Rhiannon Crain
YardMap Project Leader

Help scientists collect data

Monitor your local bird populations! By joining Project FeederWatch or other Cornell Lab citizen science projects, you are contributing to a dataset that helps us understand how birds are doing – and ultimately, what species are in need of our help.

Dr. Emma Greig
Project FeederWatch Project Leader

Photo © Whit Andrews

Attract natural bird food

Love vegetable gardening? Consider planting a “Trap Crop” of cabbage family plants this spring–broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens, etc. that you leave alone to attract Cabbage Butterflies. This butterfly lays small eggs on the under leaves of cabbage family crops. Birds love these soft-bodied, bright green larva. An excellent, nutrient-packed snack. And, the butterflies may just leave the rest of your cabbage family crops alone!

Becca Rodomsky-Bish
YardMap Project Assistant

This Month’s Articles

Tell Us Your Bird-Related New Year’s Resolutions!

Take a Look January 20, 2015

The One Thing You Can Do For Birds This New Year

Take Action January 14, 2015

Reuse Your Christmas Tree For Birds

Factoid January 4, 2015

8 Comments

  1. Jon C says:

    I think the best way to help birds is to just let your yard “go wild” as much as possible. Let some native “weeds” grow, leave any dead trees that aren’t a safety hazard, and let some grass grow tall. Those things are helpful to birds and very easy for us!
    Instead of so much hard work, just sit and watch birds!
    Now I know that if you live in town, you may not be able to do these things, but there are many people who can.

  2. A good way to encourage birds to nest at your garden’s trees is by hanging feeders on them (diy simple small plates or pots) and fill them with food leftovers instead of throwing them away. Nothing better than a tree filled with birds nests inside your garden

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  8. Classy Hammock says:

    Its absolutely great work!I salute your concept and work.Bird is a part of our world so its our duty to save our bird.Today i will make next box for our bird and i will also share your thought in my friends circle.

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