In this issue: A global big day everyone can take part in, plus a gorgeous new documentary on PBS Nature, tips for learning warbler songs, and more. 

Cornell Lab eNews

May 2015

world map bird art by Luke Seitz
Click through to download this world map artwork, by Luke Seitz.

Can We Get the Whole World Counting Birds This Saturday?

This Saturday, May 9, we'll be embarking on a new kind of Big Day, and we hope you'll come with us. Our birding team will spend 24 hours birding in Panama, the crossroads of the Americas. But we need your help to reach our twin goals of recording 4,000 of the world's species in a single day and raising $500,000 for conservation. No matter where you live, you can help our cause. Find out how to be a part of it

You Might Even Win Zeiss Binoculars. Enter at least five checklists into eBird for May 9, and you'll be eligible to win a pair of Conquest HD binoculars from Zeiss, our sponsor.

watch the Sagebrush Sea on May 20 on PBS Nature

Dive Into The Sagebrush Sea—Airing May 20 on PBS Nature

Mark your calendar and set your DVR—you won't want to miss a major new documentary about the great sagebrush plains—one of the largest yet most vulnerable landscapes in North America. Capturing both the breathtaking sweep of the land and the intimate struggles of its most delicate inhabitants, this 1-hour show immerses you in a world of owls, hawks, eagles, bluebirds, pronghorn, and coyotes, all framed by the spectacular rituals of a bird you truly have to see to believe: the Greater Sage-Grouse. Watch the trailer.

More on Sagebrush Conservation: Read the Living Bird magazine article on efforts to help the sage-grouse.
photo by Linda Petersen via Birdshare
Do you know the name of this sneaky little songbird? Photo by Linda Petersen via Birdshare.

Which Species Is This?

Despite this small brown bird's unassuming looks, this is one of the most notorious songbirds in North America. That oddly sharp, thick, black bill is one distinctive feature. You'll also get a clue from seeing its eggs—although you won't learn anything by looking for its nest. Do you know which species this is? Check your guess and learn more from our NestWatch project.

It's Time for NestWatch! Get a whole new appreciation for birds' parenting skills when you become a participant in our free NestWatch project.

Eggs hatching on Bird Cams now. Tune in and watch bird family life even when you're indoors. 
Prairie Warbler by Anupam Dash
Prairie Warbler by Anupam Dash via Birdshare.

Learn 8 Spring Warbler Songs With Tips From Authors of The Warbler Guide

Warblers are back and filling the woods with beautiful song. If you've found those melodies hard to learn in past years, take heart. Learning to listen for just three basic aspects of sound can help you quickly narrow down which warbler you're hearing. Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, authors of The Warbler Guide book and app, break down their approach for us and illustrate it with eight distinctive warbler songs you can start learning right away

New Guides Turn Waterfowl ID Into a Matter of Black and White

Ducks are gorgeous birds, but sometimes simplicity rules. When you're trying to sort out waterfowl it's better to think in black and white—as these silhouettes illustrate. Our ID expert Dr. Kevin McGowan has condensed this approach into three handy foldout guides that will help you identify all the common North American ducks, geese, swans, loons, and grebes, even at great distances. 

Buy all three guides from the Wild Birds Unlimited store and receive free shipping! Lab members receive an additional 10% off. Published by Waterford Press.
Seen a Funky Nest? Send us your photo, story, video, poem, or artwork and you might win a prize in our Funky Nests in Funky Places challenge.
TV Does Citizen Science: SciGirls, a PBS show, turns its lens toward our Celebrate Urban Birds project, with a cameo by Merlin. Tune in May 13 
Birds, Blooms & Biggest Week: 
Our friends at Birds & Blooms magazine are entering a birdathon at the Biggest Week in American Birding, and raising money for the Cornell Lab. Thanks and good luck Team Kirsten!
Free Coffee That's Great for Birds: Through May, get a free 2.2.-oz "taster" bag with any order of the Bird-Friendly coffee from Birds & Beans.
Birds at the Movies! Pelican Dreams is out on DVD (read our review); and Emptying the Skies is available at iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and elsewhere.
Boreal Birds Need Half: A campaign backed by the Boreal Songbird Initiative, Ducks Unlimited, Cornell Lab, and others urges protection of our continent's "bird nursery."
Take a Road Trip: Our Upcoming Bird Festivals and Events webpage makes it easy to plan your next birding destination. You can look through listings by calendar or on a map, so you can start planning your road trip right from the page.

We Need Your Help to Make Global Big Day
a Win for Birds

Please donate to Global Big Day
Golden-collared Manakin by Luke Seitz.

Global Big Day brings attention to the role that we all can play to improve the understanding and protection of birds as their habitats continue to change. By making a gift for Global Big Day, you enable new discoveries and essential conservation work to continue.
Please express your support for bird conservation by making a donation today.
To thank you for your support of $100 or more, we’ll send you a porcelain mug with the beautiful Global Big Day map of birds painted by Cornell student Luke Seitz.

Please donate to Global Big Day
Find Us on Facebook: If you're on Facebook but don't follow us yet—please join our community of 410,000 fans for a daily dose of bird quizzes, gorgeous videos, fascinating articles, and tons of photos. 
Like on Facebook

Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

nature investigators contest from Birdsleuth
Writing, Art & Photography Contests:  Educators and students can win bird feeders and other prizes by entering one of two contests this spring and summer. Contest closes August 14—full details are here

Professional Development: Plan now for our 3-day Summer Educator's Retreat. Retreat tuition includes curriculum kits and a pair of Celestron binoculars.
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

Copyright © 2015 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All rights reserved.

Update your information, manage subscriptions, or unsubscribe from Cornell Lab eNews


Unsubscribe from all Cornell Lab electronic communications