The University of Massachusetts Amherst

In Pictures

Neighborhood Nestwatch and Citizen Science

Researchers from UMass Amherst have begun visiting the yards of 60 volunteer families across western Massachusetts for the "Neighborhood Nestwatch" project. Organizers say that urban sprawl is destroying wildlife habitat at an unprecedented rate, which not only has a negative effect on birds but also increases people’s isolation from nature. "Birds tend to be bioindicators because they have such a strong connection with their local habitat and environment," Susannah Lerman, the postdoctoral research associate leading the effort adds. "Since the majority of Americans live in urban and suburban areas it becomes essential that we engage urban residents in scientific research to help advance urban habitat management."

Photo credit: James Hawkins