Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Celebrate Urban Birds

How about a year-long Urban Wildlife Watch just for birds? Thanks to Mini-Grants Available for Local Events offered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it could happen – for you and me. The Cornell Bird Lab promotes outreach and citizen science at every level. Celebrate Urban Birds is a special program that encourages urban bird watching, recruiting young people from inner-cities to learn about birds, and participating in neighborhood activities focus on birds and nature.
An example of a great Citizen Science/Urban Bird Project is The Urban Bird Sounds Project: An Audio Guide to Urban Birds produced by students of Codman Academy Charter Public School. It is a great site – pictures, narratives, and audio to teach you how to identify common city birds by its bird song and its physical appearance. Free educational materials are also available. (Thanks Regan for letting me know about this).
And related to Urban Birding and Black History Month, I wanted to introduce you to two African-American Urban Bird Watchers: John C. Robinson and David Lindo.

John C. Robinson is an ornithologist, wildlife biologist, author, and noted urban birdwatcher. Check out his website to learn more about him, birds, and urban bird watching.
David Lindo is a broadcaster, writer, talker, and bird guider. Check out his comprehensive blog about urban birding and conservation.
These are two pioneers in urban nature watching and outreach, will you follow in their paths?

The Press Release Announcing the Mini Grant.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology invites organizations and educators to apply for its Celebrate Urban Birds project mini-grants. Mini-grants average $100 to $500 and help fund neighborhood events across North America.

Celebrate Urban Birds is a free year-round project that collects information from everyday people about 16 species of birds that may be found in urban areas. Participants spend 10 minutes watching birds in their neighborhood and report their observations online at www.CelebrateUrbanBirds.org. This information helps scientists better understand how birds survive in cities and make use of greens spaces, including parks and gardens.
A local Celebrate Urban Birds event connects the arts, music, dance, and gardening with birds and science. Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grants could be used to support a bird-activity day at a local museum, afterschool, library, or community center, or fund art and gardening activities at your club, business, school, senior center, or neighborhood.
To qualify for a mini-grant, please plan to:
- hold a Celebrate Urban Birds event in 2009
- introduce the public/youth to birds
- collect Celebrate Urban Birds data and inspire others to observe birds and collect data
- distribute Celebrate Urban Birds kits (with posters, seeds, and more)
- integrate the arts
- integrate gardening/habitat creation
- get people outside
Application deadline is February 15, 2009
I’m seriously thinking of applying for the Cornell Mini-grant. I’m also encouraging all of you out there to apply, too. Organizations/individuals working with traditionally underserved communities are strongly urged to apply. No experience with birds required. That’s good to know, so no excuses. Any takers out there? If you or someone you know receives this grant, let me know. I would love to know how things are going and to blog about it.
If anyone in the St. Louis, Missouri area participates, let me know. I’d be happy to help out or contact me. We can write the grant together. I’ve assisted with some bird netting and bird handling. I’m also pretty good at public programs and such.


Anonymous said...

Wow-- thanks for spreading the word about the Celebrate Urban Birds project. What a wonderful concept!

P.S. You should totally apply for one of the mini-grants!

Anonymous said...

Dear DN Lee, thanks for mentioning Celebrate Urban Birds project to people who follow your interests. We really appreciate the help in getting the word out. There are a lot of resources on the CUBs web site that we hope people will take the time to find...people can do great things using the Celebrate Urban Birds project as a tool, whether or not they get a mini-grant...lots of the resources can be downloaded for free. we have received over 290 applications so far and know it will be very hard to choose the winners!

petersteel said...

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