Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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In the world of Ornithology, Cornell University is known as the “Bird School,” with good reason. Cornell has produced some of the greatest Ornithologists of our time and is the academic institution that leads citizen science efforts in collecting wild bird information. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution whose mission is to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education and citizen science focused on birds.

Cornell Lab annually compiles the data for Project FeederWatch and the Great Backyard Bird Count. These efforts provide biologists with invaluable information about bird populations, migration trends and to some extent, the effects feeder stations are having on certain species.

Another Cornell “claim to fame” is their collection of bird song recordings. Many of the bird song tapes and CD’s on the market today utilize Cornell’s song library.

If you want to learn a lot more about birds, the Cornell Lab offers a fantastic learn at your own pace home course on bird biology. It comes with a ton of information and quizzes as well as a “diploma” when you’ve finished.

Cornell’s contributions to conservation are generally overlooked. The education value of the bird recordings and project feeder watch has been huge. The more informed people are about the natural world, the more concerned they are about its health. To get more information about Cornell, Project Feeder Watch and all of their efforts, please visitwww.birds.cornell.edu or stop by the store and pick up one of their brochures.

By Mark McKellar

WINTER 2005