Project BudBurst, eBird and Journey North – Is it Spring Yet?

budburstIt’s that time of year in my neck of the woods. The snow is deep, the coldest temps are upon us and my mind is obsessed with wondering when the first snowdrops will bloom. And when I can start a few tomato seeds on a potential suicide mission in my never-ending quest to have a really, really early tomatoes.

And that means it’s also time to take a look at some web sites that track the arrival of spring.

Project BudBurst

I ran across this site in an issue of Organic Gardening today. It’s run by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the purpose is:

This national field campaign engages the public in making careful observations of the phenological events such as first leafing, first flower, and first fruit ripening of a diversity of trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses in their local area.

I just signed up and registered to track forsythia and dandelions – one of which I have in more abundance than the other. The web site has materials for teachers and for students.


Got birds? In your back yard? Join Cornell’s eBird!

A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

From the View & Explore Data section, I used the Summary Tables feature to create a chart of birds in my county for each month during 2008. I’ll be watching the 2009 data grow and hope to learn what some of the birds are that I have in my back yard.

Journey North

“A Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change”, this perennial favorite  tracks the migration of Monarch butterflies, robins, gray whales, the bloom of tulips and more. Individuals and school groups can register to participate.

Are you looking forward to spring? What other websites would you include on this list?

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