The Maine Bird Atlas will hold a virtual session Thursday evening to share updates on the statewide citizen science project and teach people how they can contribute to bird conservation efforts.

People who enjoy bird watching can share sightings of birds in their backyards or elsewhere to help guide Maine’s future bird conservation. During the virtual meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, participants will learn about the project and about helpful tools.

The project began in 2018 to give wildlife officials a comprehensive understanding of bird diversity and distribution in the state. The last major effort of its kind was a breeding bird atlas project from 1978 to 1983.

This is the first time Maine has conducted a statewide survey of wintering avifauna.

The project depends on volunteers for most of the data collection. While Maine has a strong birding community, participants do not need to be expert birders to take part. To share sightings, participants should take note of what species they saw, where and when they saw them and how many birds they spotted. That information can be reported online.

Data collected through the project will provide a comprehensive understanding of the distribution and use of resources by Maine’s breeding and wintering birds. It will help guide future special status assessments and identify and conserve high-value wildlife habitats, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

More information about the project and how to contribute is available on the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website. To join the Zoom meeting, click here.

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