Cornell Lab eNews: A 1-Ounce Bird Resurfaces, 2 Years and 10,000 Miles Later

Cornell Lab eNews

October 2013

Watch this video of Spoon-billed Sandpiper chicks hatching

Spoon-billed Sandpiper Resighted, 10,000 Miles Later

Some unexpected good news has us looking back at this 2011 video of an endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper hatching its young in Russia. The adult male in this video was recently spotted in wetlands near Shanghai. In the intervening years, this one-ounce bird has flown the 3,200 mile journey between Russia and China three times and is still going strong—a symbolic moment of tenacity and hope for this critically endangered species. Watch the father with his chicks.

Read the full story of videographer Gerrit Vyn’s encounter with this bird in Last of Their Kind, in our Living Bird magazine.

Shareable yard cards from YardMap

Share These Fun Info Cards About Great Yards

How many rodents can one Barn Owl take in a year? Where do caterpillars spend the winter? How many insects must a pair of chickadees catch to raise their young? Enjoy one thought-provoking answer after another on these pretty fact cards made especially for sharing online. They were created by our YardMap project to help spread the word about healthy yards. Share them from the YardMap Facebook or YardMap Pinterest pages.

Do you know the name of this species? 

Do you know the name of this pale-gray charmer? Photo by Flickr user hawk person via Birdshare.

Which Species Is This?

Here are a couple of small grayish birds that nevertheless manage a distinctive appearance. While they’re busy gathering nesting material, try to gather your own clues about their identity. Hint: Size & Shape and Habitat both help. These birds have quite a crest, although we’re not sure we’d call it a tuft. Do you know which species this is? Check your guess and learn more.

eBird HotSpot Explorer screenshot

New Tool Guides You to Good Bird Watching Spots

The all-new, free eBird Hotspot Explorer offers a completely new way to plan birding trips. A nifty map interface filters millions of sightings from over 100,000 eBirders to show you which birding locations have the most species. You can even filter by season or date to get the most relevant results. Take the full tour of Hotspot Explorer.

Tools like Hotspot Explorer help explain eBird’s zen-like success in citizen science, according to a post on Scientific American by Lab researcher Caren Cooper.

Atlantic Puffin by Chris Linder 

The article has great images from conservation photographer Chris Linder.

Atlantic Puffin Stars in a Modern-Day Icelandic Saga

The tiny country of Iceland is home to more Atlantic Puffins than anywhere else in the world. But warming waters in the North Atlantic are ushering in a new wave of competition and threatening the birds’ food supply. Find out what the puffin, as it faces its future, has in common with the unlikely hero of an ancient Icelandic saga. Read our full story.

Protect the Farm Bill: We joined with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory to write about the conservation value of the Farm Bill in an op-ed in the Denver Post.
Penguins, Whales, and Fisheries: Learn about the pristine Ross Sea of Antarctica in this archive of our first livestreamed Monday Night Seminar.
Taming Big Data: Researchers in our Bioacoustics Research Program were recognized for their innovations in data analysis—an emerging challenge for scientists.
Amass a Master Set: Get in on introductory pricing for our master set of nearly 5,000 bird sounds ($49.99) and essential set of nearly 1,300 ($12.99).
Take a Road Trip: Our Upcoming Bird Festivals webpage makes it easy to plan your next birding destination. You can look through listings by calendar or on a map, so you can start planning your road trip right from the page.

FeederWatch Season Starts November 9th!

Join up for the 27th season of Project FeederWatch
Northern Flicker by George in the Gorge.
Project FeederWatch’s 27th season starts in just one month and one day—and you can be a part. The information you and others report online provide a crucial resource to help us track changes in the numbers and distribution of birds across the continent. We need your help!
We welcome people of all interests and skill levels. A $15 fee ($12 for Lab members) covers staff time and project kits. Returning this year will be the BirdSpotter photo contest, sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. Join today and receive your kit before the new season begins!

Big Binocular Review on Tap for Next Living Bird Issue

We reviewed more than 100 pairs of binoculars
It’s been eight years since our last comprehensive binocular review, and there are more options than ever. So we went outside with more than 100 pairs and got our whole staff involved in reviewing models ranging from $100 to $2,500. 

We’ll feature our top picks in five categories in the next Living Bird, our award-winning members’ magazine. If you want help picking your next pair of binoculars, or you want our mix of great nature writing and spectacular photos—or you just want to support our science and conservation work, then please subscribe today by joining the Cornell Lab.

Find Us on Facebook: If you’re on Facebook but don’t follow us yet—please join our community of 160,000 fans for a daily dose of bird quizzes, gorgeous videos, fascinating articles, and tons of photos.
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Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

New citizen science book edited by Cornell Lab educators
Learning Lessons: a new book coedited by our Education program staff is packed with ideas for using citizen science in the classroom. Order the book or download a free chapter

Attention Homeschoolers: You can use Project FeederWatch to do bird counts and teach science concepts. Our Investigator’s Kit for Homeschoolers offers everything you need and is on sale now for 30 percent off.

Webinars for Teachers: Our Soar Through the Standards webinar series is a fun way for teachers to learn how to bring NGSS standards alive for K-12 students. Each one-hour webinar incorporates live instruction, multimedia, and Q&A time. The next webinars will be November 11. Learn more here.

The Ordinary Extraordinary Junco is a series of free, short videos and teacher resources produced by scientists at Indiana University. They’ve studied the birds for decades, and their excellent videos cover myriad science-standards-related topics.

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

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