Visitor Center

Discover the Johnson Visitor Center at the Cornell Lab

At Sapsucker Woods just outside Ithaca, New York, you'll find the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, headquartered at the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity. We invite you to visit and discover all that our Visitor Center has to offer:

A bright, roomy observatory with large windows looking out on our bird feeding garden and Sapsucker Woods Pond

Interactive exhibits where you can explore the world of birds through sounds and video

Bird identification guides and binoculars for loan at the front desk

World-class bird art, including innovative travelling exhibits

The Adelson Library, with more than 14,000 books and serials on birds and natural history, open to the public

Special seminars in spring and fall

A Wild Birds Unlimited store packed with supplies, books, optics, and clothing

New Visitor Center Hours

Monday–Sunday: 10:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M.
Trails are open from dawn to dusk.

Hours may change due to special events. We are closed Thanksgiving Day and during the holiday week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

At the top of every hour we will be showing the film “Inside the Lab” in the auditorium. This nine minute video narrated by Lab director John Fitzpatrick, introduces you to the Lab’s goals, projects, and people. Film showings may vary due to special events so please check in at the front desk upon arrival. If you are travelling with a group of 10 or more and have prearranged your visit, custom showings of other films can be coordinated in conjunction with our normal screening schedule.  

Interactive Exhibits

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Our many interactive exhibits bring you closer to the world of birds. From touch-screen kiosks to surround-sound theater and HD movies, there’s plenty to do during a visit. Activities (pictured above) include:

1. Natural Sounds interactive kiosk
2. Find & enter sightings in eBird Trail Tracker
3. Surround-sound films in Bartels Theater
4. Touchscreen Bird ID kiosk
5. Explore animal sounds in Raven Sound Studio



Art Gallery

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We feature permanent and rotating art exhibits in the Williams Gallery of Art and the auditorium. Behind the scenes, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s art collection includes more than 1,000 works of art spanning 150 years. John James Audubon, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, and others strove to depict birds accurately through scientific observation and illustration, while also conveying the beauty and wonder of birds. Our online catalog shows complete thumbnail images of the art collection.

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