Want to help hummingbirds? There's an app for that

Want to help hummingbirds? There's an app for that

Credit: Kellie Sagen

Want to help hummingbirds? There's an app for that

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by SUSAN WYATT / The Pet Dish

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KING5.com

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 8 at 1:26 PM

The National Audubon Society has launched a project called "Hummingbirds at Home," which allows citizen scientists to track sightings of the cheeky little birds.

To live such high energy lifestyles, Audubon says, hummingbirds must sync their migration and nesting times with the flowering of nectar-bearing plants. Recent science reports indicate that there is a mismatch between flowering times and the arrival of hummingbirds in their breeding areas.

The Hummingbirds at Home program was developed to collect data on how hummingbirds interact with nectar sources so that Audubon can begin to understand how the birds may be impacted by changing flowering patterns and climate change. They also hope to gain insight into what, if any, effect human-supplied nectar feeders have on hummingbirds.

Here's how it works: You set up a patch in your yard or other location where you can keep track of hummingbirds and what they feed on. You can also keep track of hummingbirds you see in other locations. You do not need to provide a feeder.

The software will provide image of the 14 most likely hummingbirds seen in the U.S., as well as an option for "unidentified" so you can pick them off a list.

Using the free app, you submit your data. A smartphone is not required to participate; you can enter your hummingbird sightings using a desktop PC or Mac.

Get the iPhone app

Get the Android app

Sign up online

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