Facility Rental

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850

Visitor Center Hours

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily

Closed Thanksgiving Day and the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Hours may change due to special events.

The Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary is open daily, dawn to dusk. No dogs or bicycles please.

Admission is free. We appreciate donations and member support to help grow and develop Visitor Center experiences.

If you're looking for a special venue for a meeting, seminar or conference, we may have just the place. Our building can host events ranging from elegant university dinners to seminars and conferences. However, we typically do not host special events (weddings, anniversaries, memorial services, etc.) due to the volume of mission-related events and university hosted events. We're happy to provide information about caterers, vendors, lodging, transportation, and entertainment for your event. Please inquire with Olivia Hathaway at (607) 254-2449 or ogt3@cornell.edu.

These rooms may be rented by Cornell University departments and Cornell University affiliated groups. Private groups may also be eligible to rent the facilities; certain restrictions may apply. Our Visitor Center is a nonsmoking facility and is fully ADA accessible. We have plenty of free parking close to the building for after-hours events.




Our auditorium seats as many as 114 people. It is a pleasant space for large meetings and presentations.

  • Fully carpeted auditorium with up to 114 comfortable, non-fixed chairs
  • For meetings that require seating at tables, up to 56 people can be accommodated
  • Large drop-down projection screen; high-definition (HD) digital projection and sound system for PowerPoint presentations, DVDs, VCR tapes, and other graphics from laptops. (Users must provide own laptops.)
  • Sophisticated lighting system with a wide variety of presets, recessed soffit light and overhead light combinations, and adjustable brightness
  • Wireless Internet connectivity and plug-ins for Ethernet cables
  • Wildlife art exhibits grace the walls
  • Room can be expanded by opening to adjacent Fuertes Room
  • Please note, we do not allow food and beverages to be served in this room. All food and beverages can be served in the Morgens Observatory.

Fuertes Room

Fuertes Room

Host a small meeting in the beautiful hand-crafted Fuertes room, known among birders as the “Sistine Chapel of Birding.” In 1909, Frederick Brewster commissioned Louis Agassiz Fuertes, one of the world’s great bird artists, to design the teak-paneled library and complete a set of oil paintings to wrap around the room in his Connecticut mansion. The library, including the books and original paintings, was donated to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and reassembled here.

  • A wooden conference table seats 20 in comfortable, hand-carved chairs.
  • Small drop-down projection screen available available (you have to provide your own projector and computer).
  • Sophisticated lighting system with variable presets, recessed soffit light and overhead light combinations, and adjustable brightness
  • A sound-dampening divider wall can be closed between this room and the adjacent auditorium
  • When this divider is open, a large drop-down screen on one side of the Fuertes Room can be lowered, on which projections originating from the auditorium (DVDs, VCR tapes, and PowerPoint and other graphics from laptops) can be shown
  • Please note, we do not allow food and beverages to be served in this room. All food and beverages can be served in the Morgens Observatory.

Morgens Observatory

Morgens Observatory

The Morgens Observatory is an elegant space for receptions, dinners, and other events, with a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows overlooking Sapsucker Woods pond and the sanctuary's woods.

  • The observatory can accommodate up to 300 people for a standing reception
  • Sophisticated lighting system with variable presets and combinations
  • Gas fireplace warms the mood of the room on a cold day or evening
  • Radiant-heat floor adds comfortable warmth
  • Original wildlife artwork includes two huge bird murals, prints and paintings by famous artists, plus several sculptures, including the "Sound Ring" by Maya Lin.
  • Interactive exhibits in this space help visitors learn about the birds of Sapsucker Woods
  • During business hours, the Wild Birds Unlimited store offers bird-related gifts, clothing, and collectibles for purchase

Hotel Discounts

Located just minutes away from the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity and the 220-acre Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, the Courtyard by Marriott offers Lab visitors a special discounted rate. This rate is based on availability and subject to change. Free shuttle service is available to and from the Cornell Lab by appointment on the hour from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Please call 866-541-3600 and ask for the Lab of Ornithology visitors' rate, or visit the Courtyard by Marriott website.

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