In this issue: A successful youth workshop, Funky Nests in Funky Places is back, Spanish webinar, and more.

Celebrate Urban Birds eNewsletter

May 2014

Scholarships available
Funky Nests in Funky Places is back! Photo by Jan Calcaterra

Funky Nests is Back!

Our annual Funky Nests in Funky Places Challenge is back! Send us your photos, videos, artwork, songs, poems, and stories about a nest you've discovered in your neighborhood.

Not sure where to find nests?
Check out store signs, streetlights, balconies, traffic lights, gutters, downspouts, rooftops, stadium lights, light fixtures, grills, utility poles, potted plants and more! Download this free PDF poster showing all the funky places you might find a nest.

We are not looking for professional photographers for the challenge. We’re just looking for interesting stories. People of all ages are encouraged to participate.

Before you go out to look for nests read these important guidelines!

include Celestron binoculars, Pennington bird feeders, Inside Birding DVDs, Diversity of Sounds CDs, Cornell Lab of Ornithology membership gift packets, Project FeederWatch posters, and much more.
Blue Jay - Fascinating Feathers
Birds, Careers, and Conservation Youth Workshop. Photo by Diane Tessaglia-Hymes

Youth Workshop a Success

Thanks to Kaytee Avian Foundation and generous donations from Barbara Bessey and Vicky DeLoach, we held a Birds, Careers, and Conservation Youth Workshop at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on April 24th and 25th. Staff and students from every Lab department participated in hosting 16 urban youth and their 8 educators/chaperones from cities across the country! All students were selected via a competitive application/nomination process. We had more than 200 applications for the April workshop. Please consider making a donation to help us continue to bring more low income youth to the Lab.

Exploring the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates. Photo by Marta del Campo

Students participated in a wide array of activities throughout their visit, including a wonderful, in-depth tour of the Macaulay Library. Youth got to record sounds outdoors, listen to "surround sound," learn about video editing, and learn about sound archiving. They really loved this comprehensive tour and enjoyed the hands-on outdoor activity very much. Participants also loved hearing about the Elephant Listening Project and playing a fun bird identification game.

Students visited the Cornell campus on Thursday afternoon, and tour of the Boyce Thompson Institute. No visit to Cornell is complete without ice-cream from the newly refurbished Cornell Dairy Bar, so after lunch at Appel Commons and great campus tours from students, workshop participants enjoyed the famous frozen delights at Stocking Hall. Later, they learned about web programming, got a taste of the adversity facing the world’s biodiversity, and explored conservation in the Neotropics and the value of the arts in conservation.

Participants learned how to have hands-on fun with the creative arts through mixed-media collages. And from dusk till darkness the students, many of whom had never walked through woods before, experienced a night walk (in silence) through Sapsucker Woods. They heard huge choruses of peepers (tiny frogs)!

For more direct interaction with wildlife, on Friday morning participants learned all about bird banding. Then they checked out the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, and got back outside for a fantastic birding walk and a display of birds’ nests.

For insight into the college experience, three current undergraduates spoke about their time at Cornell and staff from Cornell Admissions taught them about what’s involved in applying to Cornell (and other four-year universities). Finally, participants learned about the Lab's Bioacoustics Research Program and listened to ocean sounds. We ended the workshop with a picnic at Taughannock Falls Park and an impromptu hike to one of Ithaca’s great natural attractions.

Help us continue workshops for low-income youth
Photo courtesy of Haffen Park

You Can Help Low-Income Youth Discover Their Potential!

Please donate today so that we can continue to provide scholarships to bring low-income youth to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for life-changing workshops. Every dollar you donate can make a difference!

How Can You Help Nesting Birds?

Every year we get lots of emails from participants asking how they can help nesting birds. Our instinct to help and protect the birds that share our neighborhood can be strong! Most of the time the best thing you can do is to simply let nature take its course. Birds know what they are doing and our "help" can sometimes cause more harm than good.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help.

Learn how you can help nesting birds!

On Our Blog

This month the Celebrate Urban Birds blog highlights Funky Nests in Funky Places, youth workshop, and science day in Ithaca!
English     Spanish
Proyecto Juan Diego - Mini-Grant winnner
Photo by Heather Sundberg

Spanish Webinar

Join our next Celebrate Urban Birds webinar focused on birds, citizen-science data collection, and community greening. The webinar is offered ONLY in Spanish on May 14 at 3:00 pm (Eastern). If you want to join, please send an email to and we'll send you instructions.

Please share the description below:

Celebra Las Aves Urbanas -- Webinar 14 de Mayo a las 3:00 pm EST

¿Te has preguntado alguna vez por qué las aves migran, o no tienen ombligo? ¿Por qué las aves de tu vecindario son “indicadoras” de lo que pasa en tu ciudad?
Nuestro proyecto de ciencia participativa trata de conectar a tu comunidad con la naturaleza local y sus aves. Te apoyamos en lo posible para que goces y aprendas acerca de aves. Como aliadas, utilizamos las artes y la jardinería, para que todos los que deseen, aunque no sepan mucho de aves, puedan participar. ¡Todos son bienvenidos! A los interesados les damos materiales, recursos y mucho apoyo. Ofrecemos mini-becas, talleres para jóvenes, entrenamiento a distancia, un sitio web lleno de información con actualizaciones constantes,  materiales educativos, y mucho más.  ¿Quieres saber más acerca de nuestro proyecto? ¿Cómo participar? ¿Qué oportunidades ofrecemos para tu comunidad?
Participa en nuestro próximo webinar en español el próximo 14 de Mayo a las 3pm (Eastern), y ¡entérate de mucho más!
El webinar dura una hora. Marta del Campo explicará las diferentes facetas del proyecto, tanto acerca de las observaciones de aves, como de las oportunidades que ofrecemos a las diversas comunidades del continente.
¿No has participado de un webinar? No te preocupes, ¡es fácil! Sólo tienes que enviar un correo electrónico a , y asegurarte que tendrás acceso a una computadora conectada a la internet y con audio a la hora y día indicados. En cuanto recibamos tu mensaje, te contactaremos dándote instrucciones específicas de cómo ingresar al salón virtual vía internet el día señalado. ¡Personas de todas la edades y de todo el continente son bienvenidas!

Youth band birds at Cornell Lab workshop
Student investigating owl pellets at a Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant event: Bronx Public School 126, Dr. Marjorie H.Dunbar.

Connect With Us

Check in with Celebrate Urban Birds via Facebook and  Twitter.
Celebrate Urban Birds Educational Kit

Buy the CUBs Kit and Help Support the Project

Now you can buy the Celebrate Urban Birds kit directly and help us continue our work in low-income neighborhoods. We need your support.

Kits cost $5 each. If you order 5 or more, each kit is $2.50;  If you order 25 or more, each kit is $2.00; and if you order more than 50, each kit is $1.50.

Kits will continue to be free for organizations working with underserved communities. Scholarship requests for kits can be filled out directly through our project registration.

Funky Nest photo by Daria Sorokina

Join NestWatch

Join the NestWatch project this spring at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. NestWatchers collect information about nest location, habitat, bird species, number of eggs, and number of young. It’s fun to do, a great way to contribute to science, and it’s free. For more information, visit
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.

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