BPP E-Newsletter DECEMBER 2009

Current Migration Card Count:

• 1,666 online volunteers
• 203,967 cards transcribed online
• 10 office volunteers
• 525,855 cards scanned in the office


  • Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you enjoy this time with your family and loved ones. Thank you for your participation this year with the Bird Phenology Program and hope it continues into the new year. I have greatly enjoyed the feedback I have gotten from everyone and ask that you continue to keep me informed on any problems you run into with the interface or suggestions for improvement.
  • Volunteers using the new filter feature to select migration cards according to species or locations- After making a selection and completing all of the cards for that selection you will receive the following message written below. This message will soon change to instruct you to make a new selection but until then, please take note of this and make a new selection for cards you would like to transcribe.PHP Notice: session_start():ps_files_cleanup_dir:opendir (C:WINDOWS\TEMP\) failed: No error (0) in E:\Inetpub\wwwroot\htmls\BPP\submit_transcription_form.php.
  • Want to see some of the volunteers who contribute to the BPP? Visit the Featured Photos webpage! If you would like to add your picture, email me a picture of yourself transcribing from your home computer, couch, office or wherever! Please include your name and location in the email.
  • I am looking for a few volunteers to help answer a few questions for upcoming magazine articles on the BPP. If there are (#1) any volunteers from the Washington DC metro area or (#2) any young volunteers in the teens or early twenties who are interested in answering a few questions about what it is like to participate with the BPP, please email me.
  • The BPP Office is in need of office volunteers who can come in and scan migration cards. If you are in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area- come on in!
BPP Database and Interface

Coming Soon:

  • Chart for entering in cards with multiple event dates spanning more than one year
  • A prompt instructing transcribers to make a new filter selection once the current selection they have chosen has run out of cards.


It has been a great year for the BPP and so many of our achievements has been due to the dedication of volunteers, worldwide, taking the time to transcribe migration cards and getting this astounding collection of records into a database. Thank you to all of you for your continued participation with the Bird Phenology Program!

To the office volunteers- Thank you for the time you have put in the past month to scanning migration cards. We have now exceeded the 500,000 mark- and incredible achievement!


Clarence “Bob” Birdseye was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 9, 1886. He attended Amherst College for two years with the intention of becoming a biologist, but never graduated. Instead, he went to work for the U.S. Biological Survey in 1912 as a field naturalist and was sent to the Canada to conduct research culture of the native Americans who lived there and trade animal furs. Birdseye returned to Labrador again in 1916 with his new wife and infant.

While in Labrador, Birdseye began experimenting with freezing foods. In order to preserve vegetables imported to Labrador by ship, and information gathered on methods used by the Eskimos, Birdseye began experimenting with quick-freezing. Birdseye also used fish and caribou meat and discovered that with quick-freezing methods, it would not cause any damage to the cellular structure of the food as it does with slow freezing and that these foods would remain fresh-flavored.

As a young scientist, Birdseye was making notes on his fascinating discovery and also realized that this could be highly profitable. Birdseye returned to the United States in 1917 to develop commercial tequniques of rapidly freezing food. In 1923 he invested all of his savings into Birdseye Seafoods, marketing frozen fish. In 1924 he along with three partners founded General Seafoods in Gloucester, Massachusetts, becoming the first company to use the method of rapid dry freezing of foods in compact, packageable units.

The Postum Company bought Birdseye's business and 168 patents in 1929 for $22 million. The company renamed itself General Foods and marketed its frozen foods under the Birds Eye trademark. Clarence Birdseye continued as a consultant to General Foods after the sale and continued promoting the development of the frozen foods industry by lecturing and writing. Over the course of his life, Birdseye obtained and invented over 300 patents including ones for an infrared heat lamp, a whale-fishing harpoon, a method of dehydrating foods, and a spotlight for store window displays. When Birdseye died in New York City, he was recognized as the father of the frozen food industry and his name lives on in the Birds Eye brand of frozen vegetables.

Throughout his life, Birdseye was a skilled businessman. He did more than create the modern frozen food industry. He also obtained almost 300 patents for various inventions, many of them in the fields of incandescent lighting, wood pulping, and infrared heating.

Clarence Birdseye from Encyclopedia of World Biography. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation.

Clarence Birdseye from World of Invention. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation.

Have a submission you would like to add to the BPP E-Newsletter? Email Jessica.

Clarence Birdseye

Clarence Birdseye

Photo courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica

Birdseye Migration Card

To learn more about Clarence Birdseye, please visit:

Wikipedia: Clarence Birdseye