Community Science

Explore Your World with Community Science

You don’t need to be a scientist to do community science—the only requirement is your own curiosity! Community science with the National Aviary brings opportunities for families and individuals throughout southwestern Pennsylvania to engage in the scientific process and discover the natural world in their own backyard or local park. Community science is real science that uses the interest and ability of large numbers of people to make accurate observations of nature. National Aviary researchers work with community members to teach them what to look for, what information to collect, and how to record and submit their data. Community science can contribute significantly to scientific studies of birds. Projects like the Christmas Bird Count and the Great Backyard Bird Count have used the observations of community members for decades!

We invite people to help with studies of nesting backyard birds, migrating owls, and wintering hummingbirds.

Project Owlnet

Project Owlnet is a continent-wide research effort to understand the migration of Northern Saw-whet Owls.

Neighborhood Nestwatch 

The National Aviary works with dozens of families in urban, suburban, and rural areas around Pittsburgh to document the survival and reproductive success of eight common bird species.

Tracking Western Hummingbirds

The National Aviary Ornithologist Bob Mulvihill follows up on reports of unusual hummingbirds. Banding these tiny birds helps scientists understand their migration patterns.

In The News

See All News

Verify: Experts encourage keeping feeders down | WUSA

"Keep your feeders down," Mulvihill said. "Wait until there is an announcement from one of the credible sources of information."

Read More »

National Aviary Experts Weigh in on Bird Illness | Pittsburgh Today Live - KDKA

PTL's David Highfield talks with National Aviary experts Dr. Pilar Fish and Bob Mulvihill about a mysterious illness that is killing songbirds in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Read More »

Kidsburgh Learning Guide: Discovering the Joy of Outdoor Learning | Kidsburgh

All year round, the Pittsburgh region is full of great opportunities to explore outdoors — and build knowledge about science, math and the environment along the way.

Read More »

Seven Days in Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Explore the biodiversity of Africa’s wildlife during African Adventure at the National Aviary.

Read More »

Drifting and Watching with the National Aviary | Pittsburgh Magazine

The bird zoo’s collaboration with L.L. Bean is a peaceful summer outing.

Read More »