In this issue: Remembering the great Ted Parker, a shorebird quiz, heron highlights, and more

Cornell Lab eNews

August 2013

Ted Parker recording in Guyana
Ted Parker recording in Guyana. Photo by Haroldo Castro/Conservation International.

Remembering One of Our Greatest

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Ted Parker, a collaborator and friend of many at the Cornell Lab, and perhaps the greatest field ornithologist in living memory. We're taking time this month to celebrate this extraordinary person—who could identify more than 4,000 species of birds by sound alone. His work has inspired a generation of young ornithologists; we're continuing that legacy by giving Ted's audio guides to schools and groups in Latin America (you can donate to help with shipping). Other ways to remember Ted:
Highlights of 2013 Great Blue Heron nesting season

Watch Three Herons Grow Up in Eight Minutes

Through cool spring mornings and crashing summer thunderstorms, the Great Blue Herons outside our office windows raised a boisterous trio this year. Thousands watched the youngsters grow up (way up), until they were ready for their first flights in mid-July. The nest is now empty, but we’ve compiled some of the season’s best images so you can look back at the beauty, wonder, and humor of the heron family. Watch the highlights slideshow
Do you know the names of these species?
If you want to get on a first-name basis with shorebirds like these, we have a webinar series for you. Photo by Kevin McGowan.

Which Species Are These?

Birds love the water's edge, but shorebirds are sometimes stubbornly hard to identify. Take these two birds, for instance. They're little sandpipers often called "peeps"—but is this one species or two? Which one (or ones)? Look closely and see if you can put name(s) to faces—then check your guess for the bird on the left and the bird on the right

Make sense of shorebirds with webinars! Our series of three one-hour webinars will give you a solid grounding in the diversity of shorebirds and help you identify some of the trickiest groups. The first webinar is this Friday, August 16—take it at noon or 3:00 p.m Eastern time. The $10 webinars feature instruction and Q&A sessions with the Cornell Lab's Dr. Kevin McGowan. Find out more and register.
Eastern Meadowlarks depend on private land for much of their habitat, according to the State of the Birds report.
Eastern Meadowlarks depend largely on private land for habitat. Photo by Michael J. Andersen.

Grassland Birds Need the Farm Bill, Says Washington Post Op-Ed

"The birds are still singing to us, but they are doing so in greatly reduced numbers. They're telling us that we need to do more, not less...." That's how Cornell Lab director John Fitzpatrick and American Bird Conservancy president George Fenwick opened their call for more conservation funding in this year's Farm Bill, which is currently at risk of having such funding cut completely. Thanks to this year's landmark State of the Birds report, we know that the Farm Bill has been instrumental in aiding populations of grassland birds on private lands. "Conservation is not a luxury," they say. Read the full op-ed.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers were more numerous after an emerald ash borer invasion.
A devastating invasion by emerald ash borers seems to have benefited Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Photo by Rockytopk9 via Birdshare.

Woodpeckers Find Windfall in Emerald Ash Borer Invasion

Take a sneak peek at our newest issue of Living Bird magazine with this story of voracious beetles, invaded forests, and the birds that are trying to clean up. The emerald ash borer arrived in North America from Asia in the 1990s. It quickly started killing ash trees and has spread from Michigan as far as New Hampshire. Thanks to Project FeederWatch participants, Cornell Lab scientists were able to trace the beetles' effect on woodpeckers and nuthatches. Read the full story.
Learn How Much There Is to Learn: One of the unexpected delights of doing citizen science is the "antipiphany," according to Cornell Lab scientist Caren Cooper.
Amass a Master Set: Get in on introductory pricing for our master set of nearly 5,000 bird sounds ($49.99) and essential set of nearly 1,300 ($12.99).
Take a Road Trip: Our Upcoming Bird Festivals 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.

Save When You Join—and Enjoy Our Newest Issue

Join now to receive the Summer 2013 issue of Living Bird
The summer issue of our award-winning magazine is on its way to mailboxes—and you can get it, too, by joining the Cornell Lab at a special rate. This issue features wonderful photos and an intriguing story about puffins in Iceland—did you know that 40 percent of the world's Atlantic Puffins breed in this tiny island nation? Plus: sounds of migration, emerald ash borers (see below left), Killdeer paintings, and more.

Members receive this elegant magazine four times a year. If you aren’t a member, don't miss out! You'll receive Living Bird, discounts on courses and merchandise, and more when you join today and save $5.
Celebrating 150,000 fans: Thanks to everyone who has liked us on Facebook—and please tell your friends about us! Head over to our page for a daily dose of bird quizzes, gorgeous videos, fascinating articles, and tons of photos. 
Like on Facebook

Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

Our BirdSleuth program offers resources and training to science teachers.
Black-capped Chickadee by Joan Gellatly.
New webinars: Our new Soar Through the Standards webinar series from BirdSleuth (K-12) offers great ideas for teaching Next Generation Science Standards using birds. The five webinars are offered as a two-day course starting August 20, or weekly on Tuesdays starting in September. More details.

The Ordinary Extraordinary Junco is a series of free, short videos and teacher resources produced by scientists at Indiana University. They've studied the birds for decades, and their videos cover myriad science-standards-related topics.
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 © 2013 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