Community Science

Community scientists are individuals, groups, or a network of volunteers working to support a specific scientific inquiry. You can be one of them!  Just ask yourself:  am I concerned about a specific conservation issue? Passionate about birds, or butterflies, or habitat protection? Interested in managing my own property or a local public park more sustainably? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you can be a community scientist. All it takes is the interest, a little bit of training, and the willingness to volunteer your time.

Audubon Connecticut supports a wide range of community science initiatives. Please click on any of the projects listed below to learn more and to get involved.

Protecting the state’s birds requires that we know where they are. Audubon is working with partners across Connecticut to do just that through the Connecticut Bird Atlas. From 2018-2020, volunteer birdwatchers will help to document birds at sites throughout the entire state. Data collected by these volunteers is critical to the success of the project. Will you lend a hand?

The Christmas Bird Count is the nation’s longest-running citizen science initiative. Join this annual tradition to monitor winter bird populations throughout Canada and the United States. Teams of birders head out on a predetermined date to count as many individual birds as possible in our count area in a 24-hour period.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event (in February) and report their sightings online. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

The Greenwich Summer Bird Count is an annual one-day event held in mid-June that provides important information about the location of breeding birds.

The Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch is the best site in Fairfield County to see thousands of Broad-Winged hawks and 16 other species of hawks, eagles, and vultures migrate southwest over the hilltop at the Audubon Greenwich Center each autumn. Volunteers are needed to help the Audubon Hawk Watcher tally migrating raptors each year from August 20 to November 20.

Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (M.A.P.S) is an ongoing bird-banding project aimed at monitoring bird populations by gathering information about productivity (the ability of individual bird species to reproduce) and survivorship of adult birds from year to year.

The Oystercatcher Stewardship Program is an inventory of American Oystercatchers. With support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon is embarking on a coastal bird stewardship program in Connecticut. The focus of the project will be on an inventory of nesting American Oystercatchers in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Additional, more in-depth volunteer opportunities will be available this field season and next. Contact Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe at for more details on how you can help protect American Oystercatchers and other beach-nesting birds.

How you can help, right now