In this issue: Fill up on feeder knowledge; ID a tropical quiz bird; read how DNA can help dentify species—or not; and much more.
Cornell Lab eNews
Fill Your Feeders! Project FeederWatch and BirdSpotter Are Back
Feeder season. It’s one of the best things about fall and winter. With the cold weather and bare trees, your bird feeders become hubs of activity. Project FeederWatch’s free tools can help you make the most of this feathered flurry:
FeederWatch is also a great activity to charge up your curiosity and turn your observations into scientific discoveries. A small fee helps offset project costs. Sign up for FeederWatch.
Are You a Shutterbug (or Shutterbird)? It’s time for our BirdSpotter photo contest. Submit entries, vote on your favorites, and win prizes every 2 weeks during FeederWatch season. Entry and voting are open to all. Browse the photos, enter your own, and vote.
Thanks to Wild Birds Unlimited for sponsoring Project FeederWatch and BirdSpotter.
Ever notice how some birds sit at your feeder and munch, while others flit back and forth on an endless quest to ferry seeds into the woods? Chances are this is for one of three reasons: fear of hawks, lack of the proper “tools,” or planning for the lean winter ahead. Explore each option in this timely article about why birds fly with seeds in their bill.
To ID this bird using Merlin, you’ll need to know it was taken on Dec 5 near La Fortuna, Alajuela, Costa Rica. Photo by Corey Finger/Macaulay Library.
Which Species Is This?
Yellow eye, blue-black breast spot, massive saw-toothed bill—what could this be? Hint: photo was taken in Costa Rica. Do you know which species it is? For help, try our free Merlin Bird ID app, which just released a new ID pack for the birds of Costa Rica. Check your answer and learn more.
For anyone whose holiday shopping starts after Thanksgiving, we’ve handpicked some ideas for the bird lover on your list. Choose from children’s books, Bird-a-Day calendars, Bird-Friendly coffee, bird song audio collections, a comprehensive ornithology course, and more. Browse the gift ideas list.
More tips: If you’re celebrating Christmas, should you get a real tree or a fake one? In this informative article, the Habitat Network team argues that real trees are the way to go.
Sage-Grouse Second Thoughts? Writing on the policy site The Hill, our director of conservation science and executive director argue that the bipartisan, public–private agreement to save the Greater Sage-Grouse should not be scrapped. The public comment period is open until the end of November.
November eBirder of the Month Challenge: Submit 3 or more complete checklists on any one day in November, and you’ll be entered to win a pair of Zeiss binoculars. Learn more.
Job Openings: Check out opportunities at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and help us spread the word among family and friends. See listings.
You can fill 2018 with beautiful birds. Become a member of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and receive our gorgeous “A Year With Birds” 2018 calendar.
Your membership also entitles you to a subscription to Living Bird, our award-winning magazine exclusively for members, as well as discounts on courses and other products.
Support the vital work needed to help protect the birds we love!
Take the New Course From Bird Academy
Do you love your feeder birds but also find them mysterious? This self-paced online course will teach you to identify 60+ species, arm you with tools for tricky IDs, and give you a glimpse into why they do what they do. More about the course.
Apply by Dec 31 for a Community Mini-Grant
Our Celebrate Urban Birds project is once again offering mini-grants up to $750 to support events that integrate arts, gardening, and citizen science. Groups in underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply. Full details here.
Resources For Educators
Feathered Friends Lessons: Free downloads describe activities perfect for elementary classrooms—one per month of the school year. You can even receive a free bird feeder from Pennington Wild Birds. Learn more.
Stay In Touch On Facebook
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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 birds.cornell.edu.