In this issue: A mesmerizing migration map and other marvels from the bird world.

Cornell Lab eNews

February 2016

Migration Map for 118 Species
Click on the map to start the animation showing 118 bird species migrating. Map by Frank La Sorte, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Watch a Mesmerizing Migration Map

Watch the wonder and spectacle of bird migration captured on a single map. Using millions of bird observations from participants in eBird and the Great Backyard Bird Count, scientists at the Cornell Lab generated an animated map showing the annual journeys of 118 bird species. Watch how the routes change in spring and fall as birds ride seasonal winds to their international destinations. See the map in motion and read more.

Want to know which species is which? Check out the numbered key.
Burrowing Owls
Join the count February 12-15. Burrowing Owls by Jim Rains, Aruba, second place winner for “Group” photo in the 2015 GBBC photo contest. 

Count for the Birds as the Great Backyard Bird Count Begins!

Put your birds on the map and help create the most comprehensive snapshot ever of the world’s birds during this year’s Great Backyard Bird Count, February 12-15, 2016. Count birds for at least 15 minutes at any location, then enter your checklist at or use the eBird app on an iOS or Android device. 
Do you love birds? Share your passion with someone new to birding. Get tips and make a “Pledge to Fledge.”
Adelie Penguin
Click on the image to see this Adelie Penguin walk right up to you. Photo by Hugh Powell.

Witness a Penguin Revolution

The Antarctic Peninsula, home to Adelie Penguins, is the fastest-warming region on the planet. Since the 1970s, scientists have had a front-row seat watching Adelie Penguins raising their young. Now with changes in climate, Gentoo Penguins are taking center stage. Experience this penguin story through sounds, images, and video online. The article is featured in our newly redesigned magazine for members, Living Bird.

Not a member yet? To receive the beautiful Living Bird magazine in your mail box, along with complete digital access, join the Lab today.
Mystery Bird
Can you solve this mystery ID? Click on the photo to find the answer. Photo by JanetandPhil via Birdshare.

Which Species Is This?

Of all the world’s bird species, this one ranked #9 for most individuals reported in last year’s Great Backyard Bird Count. Participants reported 432,513 of these birds in four days during February, an impressive number given that northerners consider this species to be a harbinger of spring. They migrate in flocks with males arriving first, their bold colors catching the eye and their ebullient songs announcing their arrival, unlike their subtle mates (such as the one above) who arrive with little fanfare. Check your answer.
Great Horned Owl at Nest
Hard work rewarded. Watch as a Great Horned Owl on egg duty receives a surprise gift from her mate.

Watch a Gift Delivery at a Great Horned Owl Nest

Tune in live to see nesting Great Horned Owls on the Cornell Lab’s live Bird Cam in partnership with Skidaway Audubon in Savannah, Georgia. Enjoy a video clip of the male owl bringing the female a gift as she incubates their first egg.  
For more excitement, watch this clip of Kialoa, a one-day-old Laysan Albatross chick, being fed by dad Ikaika.
Did your Favorite Birds Win the Vote? Thanks to everyone who voted to pick the birds for a new coloring book, “America’s Favorite Birds.” With more than 250,000 votes cast, you can now find out which birds are the winners.
Spring Field Ornithology, Northeast: Take this eight-week course online or join us in Ithaca, New York, for in-person lectures and field trips, starting March 24. Lab members receive 20% off.
Take the February eBird Challenge: Win a pair of ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars. Submit at least 15 checklists using the eBird app in February for a chance to win. See details.
Summer on Hog Island: Register now for the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine. Choose among sessions including “Raptor Rapture,” “Breaking Into Birding,” and “Field Ornithology.” Taught by Cornell Lab instructors Tim Gallagher, Tom Auer, and Kevin McGowan.
Bird Events, Near and Far: Looking for an opportunity to combine birds and travel? Choose your destination from our Bird Festivals webpage.

It Takes More than Worms to Keep a Robin Hopping

American Robin by B. N. Singh via Birdshare

The Cornell Lab offers many ways to help you provide for birds in your estate plan. To learn more about estate planning opportunities to benefit you, the Cornell Lab, and the birds, please contact Scott Sutcliffe at (607) 254-2424 or, or visit our planned giving website.

Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

"Life in a Nest" Activities
Use the Lab’s streaming Bird Cams to teach science content. Get your free download with four activities that will engage students in learning about life cycles, bird behavior, and habitat. 
Professional Development Opportunities
BirdSleuth K-12 offers free or low-cost training, in-person and online, often for credit. We have upcoming workshops in North Carolina, New York, Texas, Alabama, and Missouri. Check our our events calendar.
Engage Kids in Inquiry!
The Investigating Evidence curriculum engages K-12 students in science investigations inspired by their own outdoor observations. Use coupon code ieFeb5off to get your copy for just $20 during February.

New Book: Bird Families of the World

Explore the stunning diversity of the world’s birds in one volume. Co-published by Lynx Edicions and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Bird Families of the World distills 17 volumes of the encyclopedic Handbook of Birds of the World into a single book. Read an article by author and Cornell professor David Winkler about how you can enrich your birding experiences by delving into the information and photographs about each family.

Purchase the book from Wild Bird Unlimited at Sapsucker Woods. $99.95 plus free shipping. Cornell Lab members receive a 10% discount. At checkout, enter the code: labmember.

FeederWatch Special

Join Project FeederWatch—a citizen-science survey of winter bird populations—by February 29 and get a free online course: "Be a Better Birder 1: Size and Shape." Learn bird identification through expert tips and interactive quizzes with this self-paced course.

Bonus: because this FeederWatch season is well underway, you will automatically be signed up for next season, free (November 2016-April 2017).

You don't have to be an expert. All you need is a bird feeder, a window, and an interest in birds. Sign up now! Offer applies only to online orders in February.

Stay in Touch on Facebook: Please join our community of 595,000 fans for a daily dose of bird quizzes, gorgeous videos, fascinating articles, and tons of photos.  
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Job Openings

Look for opportunities at the Cornell Lab in web development, outreach, and research. Are you a good match, or do you know someone who might be? See listings.

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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