Volunteer Resources

Welcome and thank you for your interest in being a volunteer in our study on bird behaviour around feeders. On this page, you will find all information you need, but please contact us at caching.birds@newcastle.ac.uk if you have any questions!


What is this study about?

We investigate how common tit species (UK), titmice and chickadees (USA & Canada) decide whether to eat or hoard food items they find. To learn more about this, we need data on wild birds, which is where you as our volunteers are of key importance! For more details, please check the volunteer information below.

What do I need to take part?

Any enthusiastic bird watcher with a feeder in their garden can take part! Ideally, you are also able to visually identify common garden tit species (UK) or titmice and chickadees (USA & Canada). A pair of binoculars might come in handy. – Don’t worry! UK volunteers do not need to distinguish between Marsh and Willow tits. USA/Canada volunteers do not need to distinguish between Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees.

How much time will I spend?

The study will take place between August 2023 and April 2024. You can take part for any timeframe within this period. 1 hour per week would be great (this does not have to be all at once), but all observations, whether it is once a month or every day, are welcome!

What will I be doing?

As part of our volunteer team, you will be observing bird behaviour. We’d like to know what species visit the feeder(s) in your garden, what they do with the food they find (e.g. eat it, fly away with it or hide it), what food they are attracted by and when you observe them. Submitting your data is very easy with the form below.

How do I start?

You can participate in this study by signing up with the form below. Just click on the orange button labelled “sign up”. Once you’ve signed up, we will send you the volunteer materials for the study, which include a guide on how to identify the birds and their behaviour. You will be reporting your observations with our online webforms or through a mobile app.


Recording your observations is a lot easier with our new data collection app. You can register in the app and log your observations on the go!

Leave our study

Would you like to leave our study? Please fill in the form here and we will take you off our mailing list and remove your personal information.