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.

Do you have a teen conservationist at home? Register them for this fall’s Teen Conservation Leadership program under the National Aviary’s CyBIRD Virtual Education platform.

Learn More!

In The News

See All News

Birdwatching takes flight in Pennsylvania | Keystone Edge

Birdwatching and birding have become wildly popular across PA.

Read More »

Bethel Park woman named National Aviary’s Volunteer of the Year | TribLIVE

Elaine Steffenauer is recognized for her dedication to the National Aviary.

Read More »

10 Things to Do This Week with Kids | Kidsburgh

Pick up a paintbrush and create a masterpiece during Brushes & Birds!

Read More »

Thousands of Birds Fly Over Pittsburgh During Mass Migration | KDKA - CBS Pittsburgh

Ornithologist Bob Mulvihill discusses this annual return of birds from the north to their wintering grounds in the south.

Read More »