The Cornell University Lab of Ornithology has a number of research projects that anyone can become involved in:
Project FeederWatch – “Put up a bird feeder. Count the birds that visit. Send your data to scientists.” Check out their web site for more information.
House Finch Disease Survey – If you have house finches or goldfinches in your yard, the scientists at Cornell need your help in tracking the spread of disease in the finch population. Check out the web site for details.
Project Pigeon Watch – This project involves counting pigeons and observing courtship behavior. Help scientists figure out “why are there so many colors of pigeons?””
And more…check out their web site for additional research projects.
They also have an Educator’s Guide to Bird Study with “fun activity ideas and support materials to learn about birds and conduct inquiry-based research”