Cornell Lab eNews
October 28, 2010
Through the Lens: White-tailed Ptarmigan
White-tailed Ptarmigans by Gerrit Vyn
View the incredible terrain on Mount Ranier’s alpine tundra and see stunning images of the ptarmigans that live there. Watch a short narrated piece by photographer Gerrit Vyn on our YouTube channel. Watch now.
Osprey by Laura Erickson
An Osprey’s Flight
Penelope, a 3 month-old Osprey, flew 2,700 miles from Massachusetts to French Guiana in 13 days. Lightweight transmitters are revealing where Ospreys go—and the hazards they face along the way. Read more.
Common Redpoll © Raymond Lee Photography Winter Finch Forecast
What’s happening with boreal trees this year, and how will this affect which birds people see at their feeders? Ron Pittaway’s winter finch forecast predicts where 11 species will (or won’t) show up. Read more.
A Second Look at “Seagulls”
Stumped by gull identification? By learning a few key concepts, anyone can pick out the most common three or four gull species along any coast. See our tips.
New Bird Songs Bible Blends Art, Science, and Sound
For the birding faithful, the “Bird Songs Bible” showcases the sounds of all of North America’s breeding bird species. Hear recordings of nearly 750 species from the Cornell Lab’s archive at the push of a button, with beautiful images and interesting facts at every turn of the page. Retail price is $125. Learn more.
How to Win a Bird Songs Bible
Enter our photo contest at WeLoveBirds.org, the free online birding community launched by the Cornell Lab and NRDC. You’ll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of the Bird Songs Bible. Learn more.
Photographs courtesy of Maria Schneider Jazzed About Birds
Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider is fascinated by birds and flight—and captures the sound and motion of birds in her music. After the Maria Schneider Orchestra played in Cornell’s Bailey Hall, Maria visited the Cornell Lab to hear bird recordings in our Macaulay Library and to talk with staff writer Pat Leonard. Read the interview.
Featured Artist Maria Coryell-Martin
Maria creates 4-inch by 6-inch compositions that feature a small painting of a bird and notes about its life and habitat. See Maria’s gallery.
Join Us for Project FeederWatch!
New season begins November 13
Enhance your bird-watching experience by joining Project FeederWatch. Put up a bird feeder, use our simple instructions to count birds that visit during regularly scheduled days from November to April, and send your data to scientists.
Carolyn Bryant, a FeederWatcher in Maine, said, “I am astonished by how much I can learn just by watching closely. FeederWatch gives me the motivation to stop, watch, and learn, and I am happy to be helping the environment at the same time.”
Based on nearly a quarter-century of FeederWatch data, scientists document fluctuations that could be the result of climate change, habitat destruction, disease, or other environmental factors. Project leader David Bonter said, “These are large-scale changes that we would not be able to see without the massive amount of data from participants. Keeping an eye out in your own backyard can make a difference.”
A $15 fee ($12 for Lab members) helps cover the costs of participant support, data analysis, and materials, including FeederWatcher’s Handbook, a poster, and a calendar. To sign up, visit http://www.FeederWatch.org.
More to Explore
1. Bird-Feeding Tips
Download our PDFs about winter bird feeding, keeping squirrels at bay, and other topics in our BirdNotes series. See choices.
2. Bird Chow Challenge
Our Celebrate Urban Birds program asks you to share your photo, story, or art about birds and what they eat. You could win one of more than 50 birdy prizes! Learn more.
3. Volunteers Help Scientists Understand Birds and Changing Habitats
NSF’s Science Nation shows how citizen-science participants are making a difference by contributing the data scientists need to gain new insights about birds. Watch the video.
4. Flamingos of the Altiplano
On a high plateau in the Andes, a little-known population struggles to survive. Read this article and other fascinating stories in our Living Bird magazine.
5. Elephants Through Night-Vision Glasses
Endangered forest elephants are so difficult to see that our team uses some of the same acoustic technologies to study elephants that ornithologists use to study birds. Read about our scientists’ adventures with elephants in Gabon and take a look at their photos, recorded with night-vision binoculars. See the photos.
6. Did You Know?
The kind of coffee you drink can help the birds. Traditional shade-grown coffee plantations in Mexico can support more than 100 bird species, compared with 6-12 species in sun-grown monocultures. You can learn more about the birds that benefit, or order shade-grown coffee, by visiting our partners at Birds & Beans.