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

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National Aviary to offer ‘World of Oceans’ program | Observer Reporter

The summer season has begun at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh where a “World of Oceans” await.

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Best of the Burgh: Best Pittsburgh Events to Get All Dressed Up | Pittsburgh Magazine

Night in the Tropics allows guests to explore the largest aviary in the country after dark; food, drinks, dancing and getting up-close with some of the Aviary’s 500 birds are mainstays of the program.

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Hike, Bike, Explore, and Support the National Aviary’s Second Annual Hike-A-Thon Presented by UPMC Health Plan |

After a successful inaugural year, the virtual fundraiser supporting the National Aviary is back with a new, intuitive platform allowing hikers, bikers, and explorers to connect with nature from anywhere in the world.

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Vitro Architectural Glass Helping Restore Aviary Wetlands | Building Enclosure

The Wetlands habitat renovation includes the addition of over 20,000 square-feet of bird-friendly glass donated by Vitro Architectural Glass.

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