Green Bank Elementary-Middle School AmeriCorps Christin Shinaberry and Marlinton Middle School AmeriCorps Jean Srodes are piloting a joint project with students called Feeding the Flying Flock.
The students have placed bird feeders around their communities at libraries, senior centers and schools to attract birds this winter. Accompanying the feeders will be data sheets for bird watchers to record bird activity.
“We’re trying to get the community involved in this project because it will help the students with their science and it will help with the research,” Shinaberry said. “These data sheets are going to be placed in each location of the bird feeders and if there are bird lovers out there, they can sit down, watch the birds and write down what they see.”
The data sheets will include temperature, weather conditions, number of birds, bird species and time of day.
Once the data is collected, Shinaberry plans to compile it all into one comprehensive data sheet.
“If we get good participation, we can collect all that data and be able to see the migration patterns and what species are likely to feed with each other,” Shinaberry said.
Shinaberry will send the information to a friend who is a GIS specialist, and he will map the migration patterns.
“We’re going to be able to learn so much about the birds in Pocahontas County,” she said. “I think if we can get this out there in the community and we get the data we need, the science teachers, even the high school, can use the mapping for their classes. They can do some sort of activity with those maps.”