What is Citizen Science?

Citizen Science Projects utilize the time, expertise and energy of the general public who volunteer to collect data for various projects, both locally and worldwide.  Since starting Dragonfly Nature Programs, I have gotten involved in various projects.  I am including the data here, so you all can see what I'm up to when not visiting my students and conducting nature studies....and maybe some of you will get inspired to get involved.  Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about any of these projects.  Thanks for your support of Dragonfly Nature Programs LLC.

Great Backyard Bird Count 2017

February 2017:  I've definitely improved my birding skills over the past year!  I was one of 210,000 participants worldwide in this year's GBBC.  I saw many of the same species that I did last year with a few new species this year.  I identified a Gray Catbird by sound, saw a Hermit Thrush at one of my feeders and am getting better at identifying woodpeckers by their calls.  This year I identified the Red-Bellied Woodpecker & the Downy Woodpecker!  My favorite find so far this year, the Red-Winged Blackbird.  That was fun to see in my neighborhood.

NCSU Turtle Rescue Team Foster Parenting-THE BLOB THAT ATE EVERYONE aka SUNSHINE

"Blob" moved in with us in November of 2016 and she will winter with us.  It looks like she has suffered multiple traumas to her shell, and has the scars and attitude to prove it!  She is a good eater, loves her baths, and is hopefully getting well enough to be released when the weather warms again next spring.

NCSU Turtle Rescue Team Foster Parenting-HALDIR

While not a true Citizen Science Project, this still had me busy with community outreach.  In September 2016, Haldir came home with me to rehabilitate from a broken plastron suffered in the wild. (plastron is the belly shell of a turtle).  He is an Eastern Box Turtle and was picked up in Hendersonville NC, late August.  He needed a home to keep him safe until the rescue team can return him to the wild.  In my family's care, Haldir gets outdoor exercise and a bath daily!  The bath helps him hydrate and is an opportunity for him to relieve himself.  He is provided lots of fruits, vegetables, worms and slugs to eat.  And he came with me to classes to help kids learn more about reptiles of NC.  He has been charismatic and active and it's been a fun learning experience to have him here!  Scroll through the picture slideshow (by clicking on the turtle images) to see Haldir in action.  And visit https://ncturtlerescueteam.org/ for more information of the work being conducted to help native turtle populations of NC.

eMammal Triangle Area Camera Trap Project Spring 2016

My son and I set up 2, 3-week camera trap deployments this spring.  One was in our backyard, the second in a friend's backyard which has a stream and much more room than our yard (we were hoping to see more animals in their yard).  The camera takes pics if anything moves in front of it (including wind blown trees) and will continue to take multiple pictures to get some quick time information.  We then uploaded all the images to the project data base (over 1000!) after identifying the animals in every picture, so now our data is part of the eMammal data base, tracking mammal populations around the world!  We had a great time being a part of this project!  Enjoy our pictures.


Great Backyard Bird Count 2016

February 12-15:  Rachel, owner and lead teacher of Dragonfly Nature Programs will be collecting data about the wild bird population around her backyard.  While only about 1/3 of an acre, the property butts up against a wooded lot and bird feeders, native plants and a small pond on the property attract a variety of avian visitors.  Her data will be officially shared online for scientists to monitor bird populations worldwide, but will also be shared here for you to view.  Stay tuned!

Here are the results from watching birds in my backyard....all made possible by a bag of birdseed from the local Walmart.

37 birds-10 different species including:

red bellied woodpecker, turkey vultures, mourning doves, carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, red-breasted nuthatch, eastern bluebird, dark eyed junco, white crowned sparrow, white throated sparrow, song sparrow, northern cardinal, house finch, pine siskin, america goldfinch.

I think my favorite for this count were the bluebirds.  They are just so pretty!