Seeing wildlife on your woodlot is more than fun; it can also be a way to protect those animals in the future. These websites let you share your wildlife sightings with others and help scientists learn how our critter neighbors are doing.
Created by the Audubon Society and the Cornell Ornithology Lab, eBird brings together over 200,000 birders across the world to document bird sightings for science. On this eBird website you get access to maps and graphs, and you can keep track of what you see.
A local project for southeastern New York, Wild Suburbia uses citizen sightings of bobcats, bears, coyotes, fishers, and foxes to better understand wildlife populations. Check out the “Sightings Maps” to see what people are spotting.
Macroinvertebrates—creatures without backbones but that you can see with your naked eye—live in streams and are important food sources for larger wildlife. These critters are easy to find and identify by turning over rocks and sifting the streambed through a net.
Not every property has rare plants or animals, but some do. It’s important to know if your land supports any of these species, because it can influence when and how you can do other activities like cutting firewood, selling timber, and growing crops.
Nature journaling will help you hone your nature observation skills and keep track of what you experience in your woods. Don’t worry if you aren’t a writer, artist, or naturalist; you can still keep a great nature journal.