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Neighborhood Nestwatch

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This Smithsonian citizen science program provides an outdoor educational experience for backyard wildlife enthusiasts and underserved youth. Participants contribute to important scientific research by re-sighting banded birds and monitoring nests. The Neighborhood Nestwatch approach features face-to-face interaction on an annual basis between Smithsonian scientists, participants and neighborhood birds. The program takes place in metro-area backyards, as well as at under-resourced schools in cities throughout the U.S.

Read more about Neighborhood Nestwatch in action, and listen to recordings from an actual backyard visit.

Resources for Participants

Find participant resources, such as nest monitoring guidelines, instructions for re-sighting color-banded birds, backyard habitat enhancements and information about annual site visits.

Re-sighting Color-banded Birds

Each year, hundreds of birds join the thousands that have already been color-banded in Nestwatch backyards and schoolyards.

Nest Monitoring Guidelines

Following the life of a nest provides the opportunity to make an important scientific contribution but must be done very carefully.

School Participation

An adapted Neighborhood Nestwatch experience provides a fun and educational outdoor opportunity for second- to eighth-grade students, right in their schoolyard. Please note that school programs will not be available for the 2017-2018 school year.

Submit Nestwatch Data

Are you a Neighborhood Nestwatch participant? Submit your nest monitoring and bird re-sighting data to Smithsonian scientists here.