In this issue: The Cornell Lab’s new mural is ready for you to explore online! Choose any part of the globe and zoom in for a close-up look at the birds, fascinating facts, sounds, and maps.

Cornell Lab eNews

March 2016

Colorful Wall of Birds mural
Now online: explore the mural by Jane Kim from Ink Dwell studio. You can learn about every bird family in the world by zooming in and clicking on the birds.

One Planet, So Many Cool Birds

Wrap your head around the spectacular diversity of birdlife while exploring the artistry of the Cornell Lab’s new mural--online! View the mural in its entirety and zoom in on any of the 270 species to appreciate each brushstroke. One click uncovers each bird’s way of life, voice, and range—with sounds from the Macaulay Library and dynamically updated maps from eBird. Vote for your favorites to help others discover the most interesting birds on the planet. Explore the Wall of Birds.
Watch the "sky-dance" of a Golden Eagle.
A Golden Eagle sky-dancing in the Wasatch range, Utah. Video by Jerry Liguori.

Watch a Golden Eagle Sky-Dancing

The dizzying "sky-dancing" of a Golden Eagle is a territorial and courtship display. Golden Eagles possess astonishing speed and maneuverability for their size. Diving from great heights, these eagles have been clocked at close to 200 miles per hour. This video is featured in the new Raptor ID app from HawkWatch International in partnership with the Cornell Lab, available now for iPhone and Android.
Can you ID this beautiful raptor?
Watch a video from the new Raptor ID app explaining how to ID this species in flight. Photo by Jerry Liguori. 

Which Species Is This?

This beautiful raptor spends the winter in open areas across much of the United States. In spring, it migrates north across the boreal forest to breed in the tundra and taiga of Alaska and Canada. Learn to identify this species in flight by watching a video narrated by Jerry Liguori from HawkWatch International. It's one of 35 HD videos and 1,000 annotated photos in the big (~1GB) new Raptor ID app available for iPhone and Android ($9.99).
Big Red tends her first egg of the spring.
Big Red, the Red-tailed Hawk on the Cornell campus, laid her first egg of the season on March 13. Watch live.

Watch for Eggs—On Bird Cams and with NestWatch!

Spring must be here: the Bird Cams are now featuring Red-tailed Hawks and Barred Owls incubating their eggs, and Laysan Albatrosses and Great Horned Owls caring for their young. Watch live as these beautiful birds raise the next generation.
Look for nesting birds around you, too. Learn how to find and safely monitor nests, and share your observations with NestWatch.
White-winged Crossbills by Nick Saunders.
White-winged Crossbills by Nick Saunders, Saskatchewan, 2016 GBBC.

2016 Great Backyard Bird Count Breaks All Records!

More than 160,000 birders from around the world logged their bird sightings during the 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count, February 12-15, tallying a record 5,689 species—beating last year’s count by 599 species. Thanks to sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited, and to all of you who took part in this epic endeavor to create a remarkable snapshot of the world’s birdlife. View a sampling of some of the great images submitted during the count in our online gallery.
Take the March eBird Challenge 
The eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on exploring new areas. Submit 1 or more complete checklists in March from at least 15 locations you’ve never included on your eBird checklists before, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binocular!

Bird Events, Near and Far: Looking for an opportunity to combine birds and travel? Choose your destination from our Bird Festivals webpage.

Show Your Cornell Lab Pride This Spring

A variety of premiums are available to those who support the Cornell Lab.
Spring is almost here! Show your love of birds by sporting one of our special Cornell Lab member gifts. When you join the Lab at the $39 Supporter level or higher, you’ll receive one of the gifts pictured above.

As a member you'll also enjoy these great benefits:
  • Our award-winning quarterly magazine, Living Bird
  • Discounts for online bird courses, citizen-science projects, and purchases from
  • Free BirdNotes from our popular information series
Please join us today and help support the Cornell Lab's critical scientific research and conservation efforts. Be part of a community that is continually learning, gaining new birding skills, and contributing to conservation. Thank you!

Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

Students paint bird boxes for Operation Bluebird.
Sixth-grade students at Legacy Academy charter school in Elizabeth, Colorado, paint bird boxes as part of their Operation Bluebird lessons. Photo by Stacy Millet.

Favorite Activities for Spring

It’s a perfect time to start incorporating topics such as life cycles, bird communication, and outdoor investigations into your STEM curriculum! These free educator resources from BirdSleuth K-12 will support you. 
  • An Egg is Quiet. Read this wonderful picture book to discover egg diversity, then encourage kids to closely observe real (chicken) eggs, build their own nest, and explore camouflage. (Webpage, grades K-2)
  • Feathered Friends. Lessons include hands-on activities with content about nesting birds, and bird communication, identification, and citizen science.  (Free download, grades 3-5)
  • Life in a Nest. Lessons inspire a look into the lives of birds and invite you to engage kids in science learning through the Lab’s Bird Cams. We’re also offering related free webinars for educators this March and April. (Free download, grades 4-8)
  • Evolution in Paradise. Explore the topics of science process, natural and sexual selection, behavior, and heritability through hands-on activities and lively discussions inspired by the birds-of-paradise. (Free download, grades 7-12)
  • Bird Communication. Help students explore the sounds in their local environment and reasons for bird calls and songs (Free download, grades 4-8)
Choose your favorite species during March Migration Madness!

The Madness Has Begun!

The Cornell Lab’s annual March Migration Madness tournament is underway on Facebook. Each bird in the “Tweet 16” goes up in head-to-head voting to get to the “Feathered Four.” By casting your vote, you can help pick the “Chirpionship” winner, whose picture will be released as a free coloring page download from the Lab’s upcoming book, “America’s Favorite Birds: 40 Beautiful Birds to Color.”

Download a tournament bracket and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a pair of binoculars from sponsor Maven Custom Optics. To vote, visit the Cornell Lab’s Facebook page each weekday through March 28 to see the match-ups and “like” your favorite.

Stay in Touch on Facebook: Please join our community of 619,000 fans for a daily dose of bird quizzes, gorgeous videos, fascinating articles, and tons of photos.  
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The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at

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