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Citizen Science

Volunteers, many without specific scientific training, can perform research-related tasks that allow scientists to accomplish research goals that would otherwise be impossible. Many volunteers of all skill levels participate in these different projects for their own enjoyment, for conservation, and to provide scientists with valuable information.

Contact our Education and Outreach Director at (408) 252-3740 or by email if you need help finding a program that suits you.

Christmas Bird Count (CBC)

The annual Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society, is the oldest and largest wildlife survey in the world. Birders of all levels join together to count bird species in a predefined circle. SCVAS coordinates an impressive four counts in December and January. See how to participate and results.

Summer Bird Count (SBC)

SCVAS also coordinates a summer bird count near the beginning of June to count birds and record breeding activity. See how to participate and results.

Cavity Nesters Recovery Program (CNRP)

SCVAS's CNRP involves many volunteers in Santa Clara County who establish nest box trails. During the breeding season, these boxes are checked weekly for parasitism, predation, number of eggs, nestlings, and number of young fledged. At the end of the nesting season, results are submitted and compiled, then made available to scientists. See how to participate and results.

Great Backyard Bird Count

A joint project of National Audubon Society and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the Great Backyard Bird Count takes place each February. Participants spend at least 15 minutes counting and recording birds that they see in their backyards, a local park, or other natural area, and submit the results online. Results help ornithologists determine how bird populations are coping with winter weather, where certain species are spending the winter, and whether species of concern are increasing or decreasing in numbers. See how to participate and results.

Project Feeder Watch

Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count birds at their feeders from November through early April. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. Project FeederWatch is operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. See how to participate.


Last modified February 2016

How to Volunteer for SCVAS

Fill out our Volunteer Sign-up form or contact our Education and Outreach Director at (408) 252-3740 or at

Check out our most pressing needs, plus our list of individual and committee opportunities.

Become a volunteer for conservation.

View our volunteer calendar.

Donating Benefits our Communities

Your tax-deductible donation allows SCVAS to increase the number of youngsters, many from low income families, that we reach with our local science education programs. Your donation dollars also support our many conservation efforts that make us one of the most effective conservation organizations in the Bay Area. We have many different ways that you can volunteer and donate.

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22221 McClellan Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014
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