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Volunteers' Reference

What's New

CALENDAR - Team members can use this link to sign up for field checks or to see who is scheduled.

TRAINING MATERIALSdetailed descriptions about monitoring procedures and practices.

Team Communication

Emails sent by team members to are delivered to all other team members and are archived for the project. (Note: You must send your email from a subscribed email address. If you want to change the email address used by the project, contact  If you submit photos to the website, please send them as full-sized files. 

Brief summary of field practices and recording codes

Items to observe and record for each visit

Initials of the box checkers.
Date (month/day) and time (to nearest hour) and weather conditons.
Box number and the condition of the nest.
Activity and species of adults seen or heard on or near the nest.
Number of the nesting species' eggs counted in the nest.
Number and status of live young of the nesting species counted in the nest.
Number of dead young of the nesting species found in the nest.
Estimated hatch dates (EHD).
Actual date and number of young hatched.
The number of unhatched eggs.
Estimated fledge dates (EFD).
Actual date and number of young fledged.
Amount of time spent doing and recording the checks.

Cornell Codes to be used in the observation record

Adult activity codes

NO = no adults seen or heard

VA = adult(s) remained in vicinity of the nest box during the check

BA = adult building nest or carrying nest material

AA = adult flushed from nest during check

RA = adult remained on the nest, or in the nest box

FA = adult feeding young at nest or seen carrying food

DA = dead adult(s) at or near nest site

Nest status codes

NO = no nest

IN = nesting materials present; nest building appears to be underway

CN = nest appears to be structurally complete, with an obvious central cup

DN = damaged nest

AN = another nest found in same site (begin new attempt)

NN = non-avian nest found (bees, mouse, squirrel--describe in comments)

FN = flattened nest, with fecal matter

RN = nest removed, remover unknown

Young status codes

NO = no young present in nest

HY = at least one chick hatching or has just emerged from egg

NY = nestlings naked and pink, or with sparse down, eyes typically closed

PY = wing feathers emerging, eyes open

FY = body feathers completely cover skin

VY = vocal young, heard only

Management activity codes

NO = no management activities conducted

BM = banded adults or young at nest (only to be done by a permitted individual)

EM = unhatched host eggs removed

NM = nest box management (cleaning, plugging, unplugging, replacing boxes; removing old nesting material, etc.)

PM = non-avian competitors (wasps, ants, mice, etc.)

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