In this issue: Black Birders Week, feeder advice for summer, seabird successes, a quiz bird, and more.

Cornell Lab eNews

June 2020

Screenshot of panelists for Zoom discussion during Black Birders Week
Watch an archive of the panel discussion with Tykee James, Kassandra Ford, Alex Troutman, Christian Cooper, Jeffrey Ward, and Corina Newsome (clockwise from top left).  

5 Take-Home Messages from Black Birders Week 

Last week, a social-media movement known as #BlackBirdersWeek helped Black birders voice the experiences and challenges they face as birdwatchers. Across some 9 hours of livestream discussion, thousands of questions, and 50,000 viewers, themes ranged from weighty to whimsical—from personal safety to favorite bird song mnemonics. Most importantly, the discussions aired important ideas worth the attention of all birders

Why Are We Sharing This? We believe everyone has the right to enjoy the outdoors in peace and safety. Recent events have highlighted, once again, that this is not the case for Black birdwatchers. Fairness and equity are integral to the pursuit we as a community love—and we join the many voices in support of those values. Please read our full statement here.
Orchard Orioles visit a sliced orange loaded with jelly. Photo by Pam Garcia/Project FeederWatch.

It's Summer: Here's What to Offer Your Bird Feeder Visitors

Sure, winter is a prime time for feeding birds, since natural foods are less abundant. But birds flock to feeders in summer, too—especially in midsummer, after they’ve fledged a brood from their nest and they’ve got new mouths to feed. With so many summer birds around, it's a great time to try out-of-the-ordinary treats like oranges and waxworms
Our mystery bird doesn't let a fast-running stream stop it from taking a dip. Photo by Andy Bankert/Macaulay Library.

Which Species Is This? 

What's this round gray songbird doing with its feet in the water? These adventurous aquanauts are common sights along the rushing mountain rivers of western North America and Central America. Do you know which species it is? Check your answer and learn more in this free, in-depth Birds of the World account.

Good News: After 25 Years of Hard Work, Mexico Recovers 20+ Seabird Species

Seabirds are the fastest declining bird group in the world—so kudos to Mexican biologists for pulling off a massive effort to reverse centuries of damage and restore seabird populations on nearly 40 islands. Their success is a gleam of hope, as well as inspiration for tackling these problems elsewhere. Find out how they did it in our full story.
European Goldfinch by Daniel Field/Macaulay Library.
European Goldfinch by Daniel Field/Macaulay Library.

Birdwatching Booms As a Homebound World Looks Outdoors for Respite 

Partially in response to the April–May lockdown, people around the world turned to birdwatching in droves. eBird checklist submissions, media uploads to our Macaulay Library, and downloads of our birding app, Merlin Bird ID, all broke records. It was a time for appreciating birds around the home, while out-of-the-way birds saw a decrease in reporting. Find more on these trends in our full article.  

Are You Birding From Home? Here are some ways to have more fun: take our free eBird Essentials course, start a Yard List, learn Merlin Bird ID's power features, and learn how to record bird songs with your smartphone.

Suddenly, Oceans Are Quiet: In a side-effect of coronavirus measures, shipping traffic has declined and oceans are quieter. In Alaska, seals and humpback whales are noticing.

Love Our Bird Cams? Check out "Hawk Happenings," a viewer-driven investigation that's exploring Red-tailed Hawk behavior at our live Cornell Hawks nest cam. Try it out.

Enjoy Bird Sounds and Win: Rate Macaulay Library recordings and you could win a year of Birds of the World. Or upload 50 of your own clips to win recording equipment. Enter by June 30. Full details.

June eBirder of the Month Challenge: Submit 20 eligible checklists from one eBird location and you could win ZEISS binoculars. Details here. New to eBird? Try this free course.

Win a Free Course: In June, every eligible eBird checklist that you submit gives you a chance to win a free bird behavior course from Bird Academy.

Nest Quest Go: It's always nesting season at Nest Quest Go! Help us transcribe historic nest observations in this fascinating project at Zooniverse. This month focuses on American Robins and flycatchers.


Thank You for a Successful Big Day!

Solitary Sandpiper—one of 181 species recorded during Big Day. Photo by Chris Wood/Macaulay Library

On May 9, Team Sapsucker, the Cornell Lab’s ace birding squad, channeled the massive support of bird lovers like you into one of our most unforgettable Big Days yet!

Your cheers fueled 24 hours of birding through unexpected May snow squalls, urging our birders onward to an incredible total of 181 bird species. Your generosity will spark crucial conservation efforts today and tomorrow, at a time when birds need us most.

THANK YOU for supporting our work and BIG DAY 2020.

Watch the day's highlights here, and join our continued efforts to help birds around the world.

Girl with nature journal
Image by Jennifer Fee.

Explore Nature with Virtual Summer Camps

Camp is in session! Our K–12 team is excited to offer a series of weeklong, nature-focused online summer camps for kids in grades 1–5. Through hands-on missions, we’ll support your child getting outside for learning, art, investigation, and fun. Join the adventure!

Download Free Owl Sounds

Most owls are nocturnal and secretive, but they give themselves away with their calls. To help you learn them, we're offering a free download of the hoots and screeches of Barred Owls, screech-owls, Great Horned Owls, Barn Owls, and more. Download, listen and learn to recognize these hard-to-see species.
Save 20% when you spend $35

New Flash Cards for a Summer of Learning

You and your family will love our new flash cards. We also have free coloring book pages, links to educator guides, children's books, puzzles, playing cards, backyard guides, and more. Use code SUMMER20 to save 20% on all purchases when you spend $35 through June.

A portion of the proceeds from every purchase supports projects such as children’s educational and community programs.

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 © 2020 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All rights reserved.

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