Cornell Lab eNews – California Condors on Bird Cams, Tips on Finding Nests, and What’s a Robo-Raptor?

Cornell Lab eNews

April 2016

California Condor pair with their newly hatched chick

Female California Condor #111 feeds her one-day-old chick.

Watch Live As A Wild Condor Grows Up

For the first time, people who tuned in to the Lab’s live California Condor cam on the morning of April 4 got to see a condor chick hatch! The 22-year-old female condor, #111, and her 7-year-old mate, #509, are raising the chick hatched from a captive-bred egg produced by the California Condor Recovery Program. The pair’s own egg disappeared in March, most likely taken by a predator. The nest cave is located at the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, California.

Live Chat About The Condors
Visit the cam page to ask questions about the birds during a live online video chat with condor biologists on April 14, at10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

More Species, More Bird Cams To Enjoy
Check out the action on our other live cams: the Red-tailed Hawks and Barn Owls are incubating eggs, three Barred Owl chicks have just hatched, and the Great Horned Owl chicks are getting big. Watch for our live hummingbird cam coming online soon!

Northern Spotted Owl

Click above to travel with photographer Gerrit Vyn to an old-growth Oregon forest where Northern Spotted Owls can still be found.

Spotted Owls Struggle With An Invasive Relative

The Northern Spotted Owl came to epitomize the struggle between logging and conservation in the Pacific Northwest during the 1990s. Despite attempts to help the species bounce back, it is just as imperiled today. Habitat loss remains an issue, but the newest challenge comes from a close cousin, calling for some agonizing decisions. Read more in the current issue of Living Bird magazine.

Northern Mockingbird nest with eggs.

Northern Mockingbird nest by Lindell Dillon via Birdshare.

Is There A Nest Nearby?

Spring is primetime for the Lab’s NestWatch citizen-science project. We often get asked how you know if there’s a bird nest anywhere nearby. In the spring issue of Living Bird, NestWatch leader Robyn Bailey offers her top 3 tips on what to watch for and how to make sure the birds stay safe.

Can you ID these shorebird chicks?

Steppin’ out. Photo by Jessica Kirste via Birdshare.

Which Species Is This?

OK, we’re being a little tricky here. Chicks often look nothing like the adults they grow up to be, especially the altricial variety, born naked and helpless. But downy daredevils like the little shorebirds above are born ready to rock (precocial). Look at those big feet! Can you make the ID? Check your answer.

Mechanical owl used in alarm call experiments.

Mechanical owl used in alarm call experiments.

What Do Bird Alarm Calls Mean? Tips From A “Robo-Raptor”

When there’s a predator nearby, other birds sound the alarm. To study those alarm calls and how they are passed along from one species to another, scientists built their own on-demand raptor. Watch the video above and read more about this fascinating research from the winter issue of Living Bird.

Eastern-Central (left) and Western Birdsong Guides are now available.

Singing Bird Guides Are Back

The Cornell Lab Publishing Group has just reissued two popular beginner bird guides for Eastern/Central and Western North America. These guides by author and birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma include a built-in player so you can hear the voices of dozens of birds. If you are a Lab member, you can save 20 percent on your order by entering CLPGSave20 in the promo code box at checkout on A portion of the proceeds from these listening guides, and from other titles soon to be released, benefit Cornell Lab programs.

Live Seminar on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time:
Journalist and author Darryl McGrath will give a talk at the Lab about “The Pioneering Women Biologists of New York’s Raptor Recovery Programs.” Watch it here.

Take The April eBird Challenge: Submit 15 or more complete checklists during April and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a pair of ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars. Winners will be notified by May 10. Challenge sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.

Volunteer For The West Coast Brown Pelican surveytaking place May 7 using eBird. Find out more.

Bird Events, Near And Far: Looking for an opportunity to combine birds and travel? Choose your destination from our Bird Festivals webpage.

Global Big Day Is May 14!

Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Lesser Prairie-Chicken by Gerrit Vyn.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s ace birding team, the Sapsuckers, is taking their annual “Big Day” birding challenge to Colorado on May 14. They’ll strive to see or hear at least 205 bird species in 24 hours for this year’s Global Big Day. But the Sapsuckers need your help to meet an even more important goal: to raise support for conserving birds around the world.

Please pledge a gift amount for each species the team finds. 

Your gift will help protect the future of birds and the natural world. Thanks to the Sapsuckers’ sponsor, Swarovski Optik, every dollar you donate goes directly to the Cornell Lab’s conservation programs.

With your support, every species identified will result in more funds for helping the amazing birds that enrich our planet and our lives. Please pledge today!

Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

Tap Into Global Big Day Learning Opportunities

  • Join us for a free Global Big Day Webinar. Chat with other educators and get free educational resources and guidance for engaging young people in citizen science. Offered in English and Spanish.
  • In honor of Global Big Day, the BirdSleuth cirriculum Most Wanted Birds kit is 25% off.  Perfect for grades 4-8 in teaching STEM subjects.
  • Grab a set of  Bird ID Cards to help young people learn to ID common birds through beautiful images, fun facts, and games. The set is $14.95 for a set of 38 cards
  • Explore the BirdSleuth blog seriesfocused on bird identification—then get outside and count birds for science!
Duck and waterfowl ID course

Get Your Ducks In A Row With New Online ID Course

We’ve just released a new, self-paced online course on how to identify ducks and waterfowl as part of our “Be a Better Birder” series. The course includes more than 3 hours of video instruction, 21 quizzes, and 2 puzzles. Bird enthusiasts of all levels will benefit from the expert ID tips throughout. Check it out on the Bird Academy website. ($52 for Lab members.) Sign up for the course byMay 1 and you’ll be eligible to win a pair of Celestron Granite ED binoculars!

Raptor ID app icon

Click image to see what species this is.

How To ID This Raptor

Spring hawk migration is in full swing. Can you identify the bird in this image? Brush up on your raptor identification skills with the new “Raptor ID” app from Hawkwatch International and the Cornell Lab, including content from Jerry Liguori and eBird project leader Brian Sullivan, available now for iOS and Android.

Stay In Touch On Facebook: Pleasejoin our community of 630,000 fans for a daily dose of bird quizzes, gorgeous videos, fascinating articles, and tons of photos.
Like on Facebook

Comments are closed.