Photo from Jocelyn of the Caterpillar Lab, Sharon, MA via iNaturalist


Birds depend on arthropods for their food supply as they migrate. To help scientists understand the abundance of arthropods along birds’ migratory routes, SEMPBA is joining researchers out of UNC-Chapel Hill in the “Caterpillars Count!” Citizen Science project. We have implemented a series of 4 survey sites with 5 trees each at the Center Hill Preserve! On these 20 trees, we will periodically track abundance of arthropods (caterpillars and more)! Ornithologists will then compare the data we collect about bird food sources to the migration patterns of the birds they study in order to better predict changes in migration due to climate change.

If you choose to help with this project, you would come to a survey or multiple surveys throughout the season (May-August) and make the rounds with SEMPBA volunteers to track arthropod abundance by using a “beat sheet” to count the numbers of bugs present on a 50-leaf/1-branch section of each tree!

Email [email protected] if you are interested in participating in the surveys!