Cool Green Science Celebrates The Celebrate Urban Birds Initiative

Hummingbirds nesting in a patio chandelier. Photo by Lydia D’moch for the CUBs Funky Nests in Funky Places 2014 competition.

Hummingbirds nesting in a patio chandelier. Photo by Lydia D’moch for the CUBs Funky Nests in Funky Places 2014 competition.

The Nature Conservancy is currently promoting their blog called Cool Green Science, which we expect to be a new source for us to regularly share links to on topics we particularly care about.  We like the blog’s stated purpose:

noun 1. Blog where Nature Conservancy scientists, science writers and external experts discuss and debate how conservation can meet the challenges of a 9 billion + planet.

2. Blog with astonishing photos, videos and dispatches of Nature Conservancy science in the field.

3. Home of Weird Nature, The Cooler, Quick Study, Traveling Naturalist and other amazing features.

Cool Green Science is managed by Matt Miller, the Conservancy’s deputy director for science communications, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications.

Of course we would like you to consider visiting Xandari for this purpose, but we appreciate Lisa Feldkamp’s point. She is the senior coordinator for new science audiences at The Nature Conservancy and earlier this week she posted on a topic that is near and dear to us:

What is Celebrate Urban Birds?

You don’t need to book a trip to Costa Rica or the Amazon to enjoy great birding.

As many serious birders know, there is a surprising abundance and diversity of birds living right in the city. In even the most densely packed urban areas, birds have found a way to survive.

And this week’s citizen science project will help you find and identify them.

Celebrate Urban Birds (CUBs), a project run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, studies the birds that manage to eke out a living in cities and surrounding areas and connects people who live in those areas to science and nature.

“The project seeks to understand how both resident and migratory bird species are using green spaces. We are presently analyzing the data and looking for patterns to better understand what size and quality of green spaces are needed to better support birds in urban locations,” says Karen Ann Purcell of CUBs. 

Why is CUBs Important?

By 2050, scientists project that two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities.

That will likely mean that more birds will be living in cities as well, especially as cities expand and convert other bird habitats.

That doesn’t mean life is easy for an urban bird. Many die each year because of threats like cats and window collisions. Even birds that survive may be in poor health.

The needs of urban birds are poorly understood. It is likely that green spaces play a role in urban bird diversity, but more data is needed to understand what qualities a green space needs to maximize benefits to birds.

A great benefit of the Celebrate Urban Birds program is that it opens up the avian world to a greater diversity of people  – diversity that is often underrepresented in STEM fields like conservation science.

“When we ask questions as scientists we are asking questions based on our own beliefs. If we ultimately don’t have diversity in conservation science then all the questions that we are asking will continue to come from one understanding of the world — and that is not good science,” says Purcell. “If people of all backgrounds and from all neighborhoods don’t get the opportunities to have positive experiences with birds we will have a lot of people who will not be tuned in to the natural world around them. These folks will not have a voice in conservation decisions that directly affect their communities and their lives.”

CUBs provides diverse communities an opportunity to participate in conservation science by studying birds that live nearby…

Read the whole post here.

5 thoughts on “Cool Green Science Celebrates The Celebrate Urban Birds Initiative

  1. Pingback: Bambi, or Rudolph? | Raxa Collective

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