Cornell Lab eNews: Learn “Seagullese” in This 4-Minute Video

Cornell Lab eNews

September 2013

Ted Parker recording in Guyana 

Gulls communicate with a rich system of calls and postures—take a closer look in our video.

Learn the Basics of “Seagullese” in Four Minutes

Even common birds live lives full of mystery. Take gulls: a gull colony is a maelstrom of birds—big, assertive, hungry. How do they keep the peace and raise their young? Like most animals, they communicate with each other via ritualized postures and vocalizations. This video takes you to Appledore Island, Maine, where you can learn to recognize several of the most common calls and poses of Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls. Watch it!

Fascinated? Animal behavior is captivating once you scratch the surface. For an in-depth introduction to display and courtship in birds, sign up for our acclaimed five-week online course.

Highlights of 2013 Great Blue Heron nesting season 

eBird data are powering a new generation of range maps—like this one for Common Yellowthroat—that estimate ranges for each week of the year.

New York Times Highlights eBird’s Crowdsourcing Success

The birder-powered success of our eBird project captivated readers of the New York Times in August. The story topped the weekly Science Times section, describing how each eBird sighting helps “provide scientists with a very big picture: perhaps the first crowdsourced, real-time view of bird populations around the world.” The story led with images of eBird’s animated heat maps—a groundbreaking new way to look at range and migration. Read the article.

Don’t miss the video extra: The Cornell Lab’s Andy Farnsworth sits down with the Times to describe how anyone can eBird, and how our new BirdCast project takes eBird data one step further. Watch the video.

Do you know the name of this species? 

Do you know the name of this diminutive swimmer? Photo by Stuart Oikawa via Birdshare.

Which Species Is This?

Here’s a waterbird so small it almost blends in with the ducklings it’s swimming alongside. These cute brown-and-white birds are distinctively shaped, and if you could see the male you might immediately recognize his combination of white, black, cinnamon, and blue. Can you piece together the clues in this photo and determine what species this is? When you’re ruddy, check your guess and learn more.

Wood Thrush by Kelly Colgan Azar 

In late summer birds can become secretive and hard to find. Click through to find out why. Photo by Kelly Colgan Azar.

It’s Late Summer… Where Did All the Birds Go?

The corn is sweet, the peaches are ripe—there’s a lot to like about late summer. But bird walks are a different story. They can go dead quiet this time of year. Most of the birds are still here, they’re just not making noise. Explore why, and get an appreciation for the magic of molt, in our recent article. Read it.

The Warbler Guide - quick finder detail 

Detail from a Quick Finder page in the new Warbler Guide. Image courtesy Princeton University Press.

New Warbler Guide Practically Sings with Useful Info

The Warbler Guide, new this summer from Princeton University Press, raises the bar for what a specialty bird guide can do. It’s packed full of information and innovation, including multitudes of photographs, drawings, downloadable Quick Finder guides, and an unprecedented emphasis on understanding songs, calls, and chip notes. Its digital features, including an optional audio guide from our Macaulay Library featuring all 1,000+ vocalizations used in the text, mean that this guide combines the best aspects of the paper and digital formats. We highly recommend it. Read our full review.

Red-tailed Hawk fledgling "D3" in early August. Photo by Christine Bogdanowicz. 

Red-tailed Hawk fledgling “D3” in early August. Photo by Christine Bogdanowicz.

Sad News for Two of Cornell’s Best-Loved Hawks

We’re sad to report that in early August, following a severe thunderstorm, two young hawks were found on the Cornell campus: one was found dead; the other severely injured and later euthanized. The circumstances suggest the two birds were fledglings known as D1 and D3 from this year’s Bird Cams nest. Our Bird Cams team and many Cornell veterinarians worked tirelessly first to save the hawk and then to determine the cause of the injuries. For more about this turn of events, what we were able to learn, and what we all can do to make birds safer, please see this article.

Crackerjack Birders: Our Young Birders Event welcomed 16 high-schoolers for a weekend of birding, training, science, and quite a surprise from event sponsor ZEISS. Attendee Patrick Carney has this first-hand account.
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.

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