Lab Events

Planning a Visit

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850
1-800-843-BIRD (1-800-843-2473)

Reservations requested for groups of 10 or more. Click here

The Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary is open every day, dawn to dusk.

Visitor Center Hours

Monday–Thursday: 8:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.
Friday: 8:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:30 A.M.–4:00 P.M.
Sunday: 11:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M.
Hours may change due to special events. We are closed on some holidays.

Holiday Hours

Closed Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving Day.
Closed from 4:00 P.M. on Christmas Eve through January 1.
Open 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and the day after Thanksgiving.

Adelson Library Hours

Monday-Friday: 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Where to Stay

The following hotels offer special reduced rates for Lab visitors. This rate is based on availability and subject to change. Free shuttle service is available to and from the Cornell Lab, please contact the hotel for more information on their shuttle service.
Courtyard by Marriott: 607-330-1000
Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott: 607-277-1000
Best Western University Inn: 607-272-6100

Admission is free. We appreciate donations and member support to help with trail maintenance and local outreach programs.

Watch Selected Seminars Live Online!

Next Live Seminar: September 15, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Title: Martha’s Question: “Have You Learned Anything From My Passing?” Reflections on the Tragic Centenary of the Last Passenger Pigeon

Speaker: Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick, director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Seminar Archives:

You can watch any of our past livestreamed seminars via the free video seminar archive on our blog.

Bookmark this web page to watch live seminars and sign up for alerts about upcoming presentations.

Monday Night Seminars

Monday, September 29, 2014 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Hawaii’s Birds: Past, Present, and Future

Speaker: Jack Jeffrey, wildlife biologist & photographer

Join Jack Jeffrey, photographer and wildlife biologist, in an entertaining, informative, and humorous program about Hawaii’s wonderful forest birds, the threats they face, and the extensive efforts being made to protect these amazing forest creatures from further decline and extinction.

Humans arrived at the islands more than 1,000 years ago and triggered an extinction process through habitat destruction, agricultural practices, and the introduction of alien species including large herbivores, mammal predators, invertebrates, diseases, and invasive plants. These introductions have caused, and continue to cause, extinction and endangerment of many native forest bird species throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Jeffrey will describe how today’s conservation efforts are attempting to reverse this trend through habitat protection, forest restoration, reforestation, alien species prevention and control, captive propagation, and public awareness and education.


Doors open at 7:00 p.m. but seating is limited. Doors will close when room capacity is reached
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Monday, October 06, 2014 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Birds in Flight: the Art and Science of How Birds Fly

Speaker: Carrol Henderson, wildlife biologist, photographer, and author

Carrol Henderson has long been captivated by the phenomenon of birds in flight.During this seminar, he will take you through the stages of an “Avian Flight School 101.” Learn about the physics-based miracles of flight ranging from the “Bernouilli Effect” to the “secret of the alula,” the venetian blind effect, dynamic soaring by albatrosses, and the amazing process by which hummingbirds hover—all illustrated with photos taken by Henderson in the course of his international travels.


Doors open at 7:00 p.m. but seating is limited. Doors will close when room capacity is reached.
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Monday, October 13, 2014 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds

Seminar and book signing
Cayuga Bird Club Meeting
Speaker: Julie Zickefoose, writer/artist

Join writer/artist Julie Zickefoose for an evening exploring the intersection of birds and spirituality in our lives. Can a bird become a demigod to some? Can certain species achieve the level of a totem or spirit guide? Are there phenomena that occur between human and nature that cannot be explained by conventional means? These are concepts that have surfaced over a lifetime of helping broken birds and mothering those who are orphaned, and in so doing coming to know birds from the inside out. A scientist at heart, Julie has lately found herself wondering more than knowing. This talk will help you keep your spirit “open to the thrust of grace,” thinking about the unexplainables in your own life. Zickefoose's book "The Bluebird Effect," will be available for purchase and signing.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, doors open at 7:00 p.m. Cayuga Bird Club meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., program starts at around 8:00 p.m. Open to the public. Please note that there is limited seating and doors will be closed when the auditorium is full.
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Monday, October 20, 2014 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Science and Nature in the Galapagos Islands

Speakers: Irby Lovette, Director, Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program, Cornell Lab Ornithology; Fausto Rodriguez, Galapagos Park Naturalist and founder of Galapagos Best

The Galapagos Archipelago has long been celebrated as an icon of evolution and wondrous natural history. The Galapagos remains an otherworldly setting where the wildlife from boobies to finches to fur seals, penguins to giant tortoises to frigate birds shows no fear of humans, and where the remoteness of the archipelago has fostered the evolution of wonderful organisms and spectacular adaptations found nowhere else in the world. Lovette and Rodriguez have many years of experience in Galapagos, and they will recount some the wonders they have witnessed on their trips through the archipelago, present new research findings from their own projects and those of their colleagues, and discuss some of the challenging conservation issues that may change the Galapagos forever.


Doors open at 7:00 p.m. but seating is limited. Doors will close when room capacity is reached.
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Monday, November 03, 2014 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Fighting Crime with...Feathers: The Casebook of a Forensic Ornithologist

Speaker: Pepper Trail, Senior Forensic Scientist/Ornithologist, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory

When a crime is committed against a bird, a forensic ornithologist identifies the victim. Pepper Trail is likely the world’s only full-time ornithological crime-fighter. Trail works at the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, where he identifies all bird evidence submitted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement officers. This evidence ranges from oil-soaked seabirds to the plumes of birds-of-paradise, from carved hornbill skulls to live South American parrots. Join us for a look behind the scenes at one of the world’s most fascinating crime labs, and learn how feathers are powerful weapons in the fight to protect the world’s birds.


Doors open at 7:00 p.m. but seating is limited. Doors will close when room capacity is reached.
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Monday, November 10, 2014 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Birds of the Colombian Cloud Forest

Cayuga Bird Club Meeting
Speaker: Jorge Orejuela, Conservationist, Dept. of Environmental Sciences/Group in Environmental Studies for Sustainable Development, Autonomous University of the West, Cali, Colombia.

Dr. Jorge Orejuela has been an educator and conservationist in Colombia for decades and is currently the director of the Cali Botanical Garden as well as professor in the environmental sciences department at the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente. Trained as an ornithologist, his research spans the Neotropics and includes species as varied as orchids, spectacled bears, and bats. Orejuela’s early work led him to the cloud forests between Colombia and Ecuador, home to one of the most important endemic bird areas of northern South America. Recognizing the need for its conservation, he undertook the establishment of the La Planada Nature Reserve, now in its 18th year of operation.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; snacks and social hour 7:15–7:30 p.m.; program 7:30–9:00 p.m. Please note that there is limited seating and the front doors will be locked when the room is full. Open to the public.

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Monday, November 17, 2014 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Sierra Wings: Birds of the Mono Lake Basin

Seminar and book signing
Speaker: Marie Read, photographer

Nationally known bird photographer Marie Read takes us on a journey exploring the birdlife of Mono Lake and its surrounding basin, located in California¹s Eastern Sierra. Marie’s stunning photography, now featured in her newly released book "Sierra Wings: Birds of the Mono Lake Basin," reveals the fascinating lives of the birds that breed or migrate through this spectacular birding hotspot, famous for bizarre tufa towers and highly saline and alkaline water. Enjoy Read's stories from the field and learn how she obtained some of the behavior and action shots in the book. Signed copies will be available for purchase from the Wild Birds Unlimited store.


Doors open at 7:00 p.m. but seating is limited. Doors will close when room capacity is reached.
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Monday, December 08, 2014 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Enchanting Bolivia & Lake Titicaca

Cayuga Bird Club Meeting
Speaker: Meena Haribal, naturalist

Cayuga Bird Club members Kathy Strickland and Meena Haribal traveled to Bolivia in December 2013 to visit Lake Titicaca and other locations such as the Amazonas, Andes and Zongo regions, in search of birds, butterflies, and plants. Meena will talk about their trip, using slides and sounds to show the creatures they found. Meena photographed more than 100 species of butterflies and several species of birds and recorded hours of sound. She will share the best of this material to whet your appetite for travel to Bolivia.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; snacks and social hour 7:15–7:30 p.m.; program 7:30–9:00 p.m. Please note that there is limited seating and the front doors will be locked when the room is full. Open to the public.

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