Celebrate Urban Birds eNewsletter

August 2010


Featured 2010 Mini-Grant Events

Proyecto Juan Diego
: This top-notch mini-grant-funded event held in Brownsville, Texas, highlights mentoring, the arts, gardening, and community involvement. Learn more

Miriam's Kitchen in Washington, DC, pulled off a fabulous event with their homeless clients (including bird yoga, origami, poetry, art, as well learning about the 16 species and collecting data). They created a bird art and bird poetry gallery. They had a lot of fun with birds throughout the month of June. We loved receiving regular updates, including a long list of everyday expressions that refer to birds.

Raritan Valley YMCA has also done a superb job. They used Celebrate Urban Birds, bird watching, and greening (container planting) as a way to engage young people whose parents were involved in court proceedings. Read more

Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico kicked off their Celebrate Urban Birds event by gathering their community together with Brazilian-style drummers (batucada) and with youth carrying a paper maché Puerto Rican Woodpecker. The event included talks on project focal species, endemic birds, and other native animals. They featured bird ID games along with prizes, puppets, and drawing contests. They also planted five Desert Cassia trees.

Sacajawea State Park has involved thousands of participants and a number of schools in their events. They asked participants to submit artwork, including bird masks and drawings and they created bird kites to teach visitors about flight. They made great use of our bilingual materials and worked with many Spanish-only school groups and parents, as well  as with bilingual schools. They focused a great deal on collecting data and doing quality observations. Park staff worked with hundreds and hundreds of youth and really excelled at guiding the public through data collection and in encouraging them to continue collecting data at home.

Blue Jay by Pedro Fernandes
Data Needed

Please spend 10 minutes watching birds today and send us your data. We need data from as many different locations as possible! It’s so easy, and so much fun:

1. Become familiar with the 16 focal species

2. Choose a place to watch birds approximately 50 x 50 feet (a parking lot, yard, garden, rooftop, city street)

3. Watch for 10 minutes

4. Tell us if you see or don't see any of the focal species: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/celebration/online-data/data

Curator Charles Dardia shows 4-H visitors some of the bird specimens in the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates.
4-H Career Explorations 

Recently, high school 4-H members from throughout New York State came to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for three days of learning. The purpose of the program was to expose young people to academic fields and career exploration, to develop leadership skills, to provide hands-on experience in a college setting, and to introduce them to Cornell University. Participants learned about birds, habitat improvement, and citizen science. They created Action Plans, stating what they intended do back in their communities to improve habitat and create change. They also created tools, such as illustrations, brochures, posters, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, picture books, and more to help them accomplish their goals. See more 

We Need Your Help to Keep Going!

More than 80 percent of the organizations we work with are reaching under-represented audiences and people who are new to birds. For every kit we give to someone who has not had the opportunity to connect with nature, we get a bit closer to creating a world that cares about conserving and interacting with nature. It’s good for kids, it’s good for families, it’s good for seniors, it’s good for birds! We promote healthier neighborhoods, habitat improvement for birds, getting kids outdoors, and connecting everyone with nature.   


Thanks for Celebrating Urban Birds!

Kaytee "Funky Nests in Funky Places" 

Craig Ashworth of Murray, Utah, says, "The elk's head has been there for 40 years and this is the first time that any bird  species has built a nest. This year, the  doves built their nest and gave birth to  two baby doves."







We’ve had so much fun with your entries for the Funky Nests in Funky Places contest! We’ve received hundreds of submissions showing bird nests on statues, mops, hoes, the head of an elk, waterlines, barbecue grills, mailboxes, clothes lines, garages, signs, and many other funky places. Enjoy browsing through Funky Nests in Funky Places!

New Tally Sheet

We have a new visual tally sheet that will work well when leading groups. Download here (PDF)

Join Celebrate Urban Birds on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr

Check out our exciting Facebook page and become a fan. You’ll see photos submitted by participants, get links to up-to-date information on fun research that educators and families can use  in their efforts to connect to the outdoors, get book recommendations, and be the first to hear about mini-grant opportunities, challenges, and more.  

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you think would be interested. Anyone can sign up to receive updates by registering for Celebrate Urban Birds or by sending us an email at: urbanbirds@cornell.edu.






Your support of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helps us solve critical problems facing birds and other wildlife by using the best science and technology--and by inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to care about and protect the planet. Please  join as a member or  make a donation to support our mission.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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