Bird’s Eye View Program

About the Program

The Bird’s Eye View (BEV) volunteer program is a field-based volunteer opportunity that engages bird watchers directly in land conservation through citizen science. We are seeking experienced birders to visit Nature Trust Conservation Land properties and record lists of birds they observe at these protected sites. In some cases BEV volunteers may be asked to gather some of the first biological data about sites we are considering for protection. We use the data gathered by BEV volunteers to better manage our protected lands in support of birds.

Please note: For beginner birders looking to improve their bird identification skills we recommend attending one of the Nova Scotia Bird Society's excellent beginner bird walks.

Role Description

Bird’s Eye View Volunteers will:

  • Access properties currently protected or under consideration for protection by the Nature Trust.
  • Survey the birds on the property using the BEV volunteer program guidelines.
  • Submit the bird data collected to the Nature Trust through eBird.

Participation is as simple as visiting existing or potential conservation lands, spotting birds, recording which ones you see, entering your findings online, and sharing your bird list with the Nature Trust.

Qualifications / Skills Required

  • The ability to recognize Nova Scotia birds by sight or song (or both) is recommended for this program.
  • Experience with rural and wilderness navigation is an asset.
  • An interest in data collection and a willingness to learn is important.
  • Volunteers must have or create an eBird account.

Time Commitment

Once trained in the Bird’s Eye View data collection protocol, volunteers can visit sites as little or as often as they like. Volunteers can visit one or more of our 88 Conservation Lands, found across Nova Scotia. Training for volunteers will generally be done one-on-one with the program coordinator, and can be done remotely (by phone or email).

Benefits of being a Bird’s Eye View Volunteer

All volunteers will be recognized for their valuable contributions, and will receive invitations to special Nature Trust events. Plus, as volunteers with the Nature Trust, your contributions to our work results in real conservation action on the ground.

How to Join the Team

To sign up to become a Bird’s Eye View volunteer:

  1. Contact the program coordinator, Karen McKendry at karen[at], or fill out and submit a volunteer application form.
  2. Check out our News & Events page for upcoming birding-related events, and note the ones you might like to participate in. Our events are great opportunities to meet with Nature Trust staff and volunteers.

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