PATCH is a citizen science app designed to be a fun, interactive experience for bird-watchers to track and log the birds they spot. Users will have the ability to track their location in-app, identify birds they spot, create a gallery of photos they have taken of the birds they’ve seen, and be posted to a leaderboard. Even better, all the data collected through the app will be sent directly to researchers at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources to be used to track the effects of climate change on the number of birds living in a specific region. This information is vital for helping conserve these “trailing-edge” species of birds that are declining due to climate change.

The main features of the app are Tracking: the tracking feature allows users to locate their whereabouts in-app as well as see bird species that were spotted in their area, Identification: the identification tab includes a thorough index of bird species and a detailed description, so you’ll always have the most accurate bird sightings and records, Leaderboard: our leaderboard feature allows users to compare their bird sightings with others in your area. Users are ranked based on the number of bird species you track. Photo Tab/Gallery: Our camera and gallery feature makes it easy to point, shoot and capture a bird and save it to your personal gallery in seconds. Checklist: before heading out on your birding adventure, utilize our checklist feature to take note of which birds you hope to spot. Check off your findings throughout the day!

Due to climate change, bird species’ migratory ranges appear to be shifting poleward, resulting in a lack of information on the rate of change and the implications for population viability and genetic diversity. As users log their bird sightings on PATCH, the data will help provide information both to the public and to researchers about the effects of climate change on wildlife populations.