Daily Archives: January 27, 2012

Big-Hearted for the Birds

Do you enjoy gazing at nature photos? Want to do a good deed just by sitting, looking and clicking? Your valuable skills can be put to good use for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, where a team of clever scientists are working hard at their facility on Sapsucker Woods Road (yes, really). They’re building an online bird identification tool. And they need thousands of volunteers to help “train” the tool by looking at bird pictures and answering questions about what they see.

I’m smitten. I love birds, as any visitor to my office will quickly conclude. It’s adorned with all things ornithological: magnets, calendars, figurines, ornaments, artwork, stained glass. If I can make a difference by staring at photos of feathered folk – not to mention without having to stand up or even put down my steaming cup of coffee – I’m so in.

Answer questions about as many birds as you want, and each time you’ll be rewarded with the name of the species, which of course you’ve been burning to know by this point. You’ll also get a song clip, which you can play as many times as you want. Now I’m dreaming summer dreams.

Bulletin board with bluejay artwork

Detail from my bulletin board. Bird-obsessed? Maybe just a tweet.