Cornell Lab eNews

June 2014

Bird Song Hero - new game for learning bird calls

Learn to Bird by Ear With New “Bird Song Hero”

Learning bird songs is a key birding skill, and it’s one of the most frequently requested features our website visitors ask for. So our All About Bird Biology team developed Bird Song Hero. This fun game puts the visual side of your brain to work, asking you to match the song you’re hearing to one of three visual representations of the sound. With more than 50 songs featured, you might just end up with a catchy song stuck in your head. Try out Bird Song Hero.

Bird Songs Everywhere: The critically acclaimed movie A Birder’s Guide to Everything used sounds from our Macaulay Library to ensure aural accuracy. The DVD release (available now) includes a video version of Bird Song Hero as a bonus feature.

Making of video: Cornell Lab silhouette mural by James Prosek

Artist James Prosek describes the meaning he finds in simple, classic silhouettes inspired by the old Peterson field guides.

A Supersize Mural Honors Peterson’s Famous Silhouettes

Many bird watchers remember the neat black silhouettes in the endpapers of the classic Peterson’s field guides—an eloquent reminder about the value of size, shape, and posture. Now, the Cornell Lab’s visitor center echoes those pages in a magnificent 40-foot-high mural painted by James Prosek. Featuring 170 birds, the mural celebrates biodiversity and challenges viewers to identify both the familiar and the unusual. Watch this video showing the mural coming to life.

A Century of Discovery. Prosek’s mural is one of three pieces commissioned by the Cornell Lab for our 2015 centennial. The second piece, an interactive sound ring designed by Maya Lin, features ambient soundscapes and was dedicated last weekend. The third piece, an evolution mural by Jane Kim, starts work this summer.

Do you know the name of this enigmatic gray bird?

Do you know the name of this small gray bird with the big green mouthful? Photo by Joshua Clark via Birdshare.

Which Species Is This?

Here’s a bird that looks simultaneously rather small and rather fierce. Is it a mild-mannered bird wearing banker’s gray, or a bank robber in a black mask? And that oversized mouthful—did this bird get lucky or is it more of a hunter than the crouching posture and spindly legs might suggest? Do you know what species this is? Check your guess and learn more.

American Redstart by Brian Sullivan

American Redstart by Brian Sullivan.

Flyways for Flyweights: How Migrating Songbirds Use Weather to Their Advantage

In one of the greatest feats of endurance in the biological world, millions of tiny songbirds—many weighing less than an ounce—migrate thousands of miles to Central and South America each year. Now scientists are finding out how these featherweights do it: using elliptical routes that take advantage of prevailing wind patterns to save calories. Read the full story.

Two of the three nearly fledged hawk nestlings on our Bird Cams

Two of the three nestlings, known as E1 and E2, in the Cornell hawks Bird Cams nest.

The Cornell Hawks May Fledge on Camera This Weekend

The Cornell Red-tailed Hawks, Big Red and Ezra, are about to fledge a brood on our Bird Cams for the third year in a row. This year the three nestlings have braved high winds, eaten snakes and chipmunks, and tested their hunting skills on visiting European Starlings (they missed). Don’t miss your chance to see them take that first plunge from the nest. Last year the first nestling fledged on June 4, so it could be any day now. Keep an eye on the hawk cam.

Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

Children in nature, by Holly Yocum
Your Class Could Win Binoculars From Celestron. Use citizen-science projects to get your students interested in nature, and your class could win up to 20 binoculars from our sponsor Celestron. Just submit your activities to our Action Map to be considered. Get the full details.

Discount on “Nature Detectives” Kit. With six fun lessons and plenty of hands-on supplies, this kit is perfect for summer camps, clubs, scouts, and more. Save $10 through the end of June by entering promotion code Nature10. Get the details and place your order.

Summer Webinar Series. Our five-part webinar series will help you learn about birds and how to use Cornell Lab resources in your educational program. Participants who take all five have the option to earn 1 CEU credit for $10. We’ll be offering all five in two convenient summer sessions on July 17 and August 21 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Eastern time. Get the details.



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