In this issue: Funky Nests in Funky Places, mini-grant highlights, and Celebrate Urban Birds offers full scholarships for upcoming workshop at Cornell Lab.

Celebrate Urban Birds eNewsletter

July 2013

Mourning Dove nesting on ashtray
Mourning Dove nesting in an ashtray. Recognized photo submitted by Sandi Bain

Record Number of Funky Entries

Funky Nests in Funky Places 2013 was a huge success! We received nearly 900 photos, stories, poems, and artwork showing bird nests on statues, barbecue grills, mailboxes, helmets, cars, fuel trucks, boats, wind chimes, oven mitts, plastic bags, bicycles, and more. We were thrilled to receive funky entries from 18 countries around the world, including Algeria, Bahrain, India, and Venezuela!  

Browse Funky Nests in Funky Places entries here

See recognized entries here

If you see a funky nest this summer, take a photo, write a poem or story, or do some artwork and enter it in Funky Nests 2014!
Participants at 2012 Arts and Nature Workshop
Participants at Arts and Nature Workshop 2012

Offering Full Scholarships for Low Income Youth to Attend Workshop

Scholarships will cover travel, accomodations, and cost of the workshop at the Cornell Lab on October 24-25. We are looking for outstanding teens, 12-18 years old, who are interested in learning more about careers in science and conservation. Only youth from the Northeast are eligible for scholarships.

The workshop will focus on careers in the sciences, learning about conservation science, and what you can do in your neighborhood to make a difference. In addition participants will learn about Cornell, experience Cornell dining, and learn about paths to higher education. Staff from seven departments at the Cornell Lab will share their expertise and time.
Students will:
•    explore career paths in conservation, science, and the arts;
•    learn how they can make a difference in their neighborhood;
•    explore how the arts are used to mobilize communities;
•    learn about cutting-edge conservation science research;
•    explore the value of participatory science and critical thinking;
•    learn  the power of graphic design and data visualizations;
•    meet people who have made a career out of their love for the arts, conservation, and science.

If you are an educator/chaperone who would like to nominate one or more youth please do so here                  
Once we receive your nominations will will contact you to schedule a phone conversation.

If you are a student who is interested in this opportunity please apply here              
Once we receive your application we will contact you to schedule an interview.

Please be aware that youth will need to travel to Cornell with an adult chaperone (funds for attendance will be provided). Only applicants from the Northeast are eligible for full scholarships.

Questions? Email or call 607 254-2455
Youth band birds at Cornell Lab workshop
Youth band birds at a Cornell Lab workshop this past spring. Photo by Amanda Romani

Why We Do What We Do

According to a recent New York Times article (Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor, Sunday, March 17, 2013): “Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges…Among top students in the highest income quartile, that figure was 78 percent.” 

According to the article, talented low-income youth who enroll in college are more likely to attend institutions with lower graduation rates and fewer resources. Youth are therefore less likely to graduate and will have fewer career opportunities.

In addition, low income and minority students are not pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Bureau of Labor reports that there will be more jobs in STEM fields than in non-STEM fields over the next decade, and workers in STEM occupations earn 26 percent more than workers in non-STEM fields. Yet low-income youth are strikingly absent from the STEM pipeline.

Our project directly addresses the significant under-representation of low-income youth in STEM by connecting youth with science and quality higher education. We do this through our youth development work, workshops, and youth summits focused on underserved youth, relevant community stewardship projects using proven methods, and exceptional science outreach.

Become a part of the Celebrate Urban Birds family! Join or donate today.

On Our Blog

This month the Celebrate Urban Birds blog highlights cool hummingbird nests, focal species (Killdeer and Brown-headed Cowbird),  mini-grant highlights, and Funky Nests in Funky Places.
English     Spanish
Donna Posont and youth on walk
Donna Posont leads youth on bird walk. Image from CBS news report.

Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind

Wonderful things keep happening just around the corner. None prove it better than a group of young people in Michigan who are teaching us all about the value of getting outside and connecting with nature. The group’s participants are blind or visually impaired, and with the support of Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind, these young people are becoming excellent birders and taking great pleasure in nature and the outdoors.
But how did they learn to identify and enjoy Michigan’s birds by ear? With the help of group leader, Donna Posont, who applied for and received a 2013 Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant. 
Donna also obtained support materials from the Cornell Lab's Macaulay Library.  Learn more on our blog, watch the CBS news video, or listen to an interview with Donna Posont.

Actualizaciones en Español

¿Quieres recibir actualizaciones  en Español? Déjanos saber si tienes interés en recibir información acerca de concursos, mini-becas, y programas de ciencia participativa, ideas, recursos educacionales, noticias, y más. Escríbeme a

Connect With Us

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Youth at Haffen Park watching birds
Youth watch birds in their neighborhood. Photo courtesy of friends of Haffen Park.


EECapacity is bringing established and urban environmental educators together to exchange ideas and resources, and form expanded social networks. As innovative environmental education practices emerge through this exchange among diverse professionals, EECapacity will share and test them.
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