Less Light, More Trees Assist Migrating Birds

Scientists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Colorado State University used observations from the Lab’s eBird citizen-science program to estimate the seasonal species richness of nocturnally migrating passerines within 333 well surveyed urban areas in the contiguous U.S. “Richness” is defined as the number of different species in an area.

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Holiday Gifts That Give Back to Birds and Nature

There’s been a huge bump in the number of people connecting with birds and nature as people stuck close to home during this past year, and the trend is continuing. The perfect gift for new—and veteran—birdwatchers is the gift of knowledge. There’s so much to learn about birds! Below are holiday gift ideas that are meaningful and environmentally friendly—and your purchase supports the nonprofit conservation work at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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Join Online Events to Celebrate Bird Migration

Day and night, across the country right now, a river of migrating birds is flowing overhead. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology holds its Migration Celebration to take note of this remarkable natural phenomenon. This year, Migration Celebration is taking place virtually with two weeks of special online events, including articles, activities, and live events.

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If It’s Big Enough and Leafy Enough the Birds Will Come

A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology highlights specific features of urban green spaces that support the greatest diversity of bird species. The findings were published today in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

The study focuses specifically on parks in New York City. It uses observations submitted to the eBird citizen-science database from 2002 through 2019 to estimate the variety of species found on an annual and seasonal basis.

Bottom line: the more green space available, the greater the diversity of birds. Models show that Increasing the area of green space by 50% would result in an 11.5% increase in annual and an 8.2% increase in seasonal species diversity.

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Birdwatchers Set World Records On Global Big Day

Birdwatchers set a new world record on May 9 for birds documented in a single day. During the annual Global Big Day, participants reported a record-breaking 2.1 million bird observations, recording 6,479 species. An all-time high of 50,000 participants submitted more than 120,000 checklists, shattering the previous single-day checklist total by 30%.

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Birds Are Coming Through: Time to Switch Off the Lights

The biggest window of opportunity is opening up now to protect birds returning to the United States and Canada on their spring migrations. Analyses by scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Colorado State University pinpoint key periods with the heaviest movements of birds in April and May. Turning off or reducing non-essential lighting at homes, businesses, and high-rise buildings will help protect hundreds of millions of birds migrating over brightly lit cities.

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Join “Lights Out Texas” to Protect Migratory Birds

Lights Out Texas is a new two-year study now underway in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth. Along with local partners, researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Colorado State University plan to test the best times to turn off lights at night in order to prevent harm to the hundreds of millions of birds migrating over these cities.

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Grants Awarded to Land Trusts for Bird Conservation

The Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative has awarded six new grants to support a variety of conservation projects benefiting birds and other species that live in habitats across the country, from grassland, to scrub, forest, and prairie. The Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative was formed in 2013 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Land Trust Alliance.

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