I signed up to be part of this year's Project FeederWatch! I first read about this a couple of months ago and then again in the current issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion. Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, with help from volunteer bird watchers all across the U.S. and Canada, does an annual survey of wild birds that come to backyard feeders.
I'll know more about how to take counts and submit the data after I receive my research kit in a few weeks. But basically, I have to choose an area to watch, then take weekly counts (from November 10th to April 4th) of the type and number of birds that visit and submit that info online to the lab. I watch birds anyway so this seemed like a very doable project. We have a new feeder stand that holds four of our feeders plus we'll be adding a suet cage this fall for the woodpeckers.
Check out the website if you want more info or would like to sign up. It costs $15 to participate but that fee goes directly to their research. And you get a bunch of cool posters and materials in the mail. This might be a good project for your kids, starting with putting up a feeder!