In this issue: A bird that drums on air, a bird ID quiz, and an invitation to join the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Cornell Lab eNews

February 2012

Ruffed Grouse photo by Marie Read

Ruffed Grouse: Drumming on Air

By beating their wings, Ruffed Grouse create a low thumping sound, often said to be felt more than heard. Listen to the sounds in a YouTube video narrated by the Lab's Martha Fischer. Go.
Photo by Helena Garcia

Which Bird is This?

This songbird can survive temperatures of –65 degrees Fahrenheit. During the 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count, observers tallied 105,906 individuals of this species, compared with only 18,667 in 2010, an example of dramatic year-to-year movements influenced by unpredictable food resources, including birch seeds. Which species is this? Check your guess and learn more.
Ovenbird photo by CleberBirds

Beyond the Empty Nest

With the help of lightweight bird-tracking technology, researchers followed young birds as they left the nest, and found they don't always go where one might think. Read article in Living Bird magazine online.
Photo by Jesu Martinez

Art, Birds, and Urban Youth

The Lab's Celebrate Urban Birds program brought kids from cities around the country to participate in workshops connecting art, nature, and conservation. They tried new art techniques, explored career paths in conservation and science, took bird walks, learned about video production and editing, and more. See photos and read comments.

Get Set for the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Red-bellied Woopecker
In addition to counting the birds, contribute your favorite bird photo taken during the Great Backyard Bird Count. Red-bellied Woodpecker photo by Larry DeWitt.

If you love to watch birds, please participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 17-20! Watch birds anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for at least 15 minutes. Tally the highest number of each species you see at any one time. Then enter your counts at Watch birds on one or more of the count days—it's up to you. Your sightings will help create a snapshot of where the birds are this winter. You'll also be entered into a drawing for lots of great prizes. Please share your counts to put your area on the map! Learn more.

Listen to an interview with Cornell Lab director John Fitzpatrick about the Great Backyard Bird Count on Bird Calls Radio. Hear the segment.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada. The GBBC is sponsored in part by Wild Birds Unlimited.
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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