For release:
March 9, 2011

Third Annual "Funky Nests in Funky Places" Contest 
Bird contest spotlights wacky avian real estate

Victoria Jostes of Indiana says this American Robin laid four beautiful blue eggs in her floral door wreath and all of them hatched.
Ithaca, NY—The Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is bringing back its "Funky Nests in Funky Places" environmental challenge for the third year--the most popular of its seasonal challenges. Participants have sent in hundreds of images over the past two years showing nests in wreaths, shoes, signs, farm equipment, traffic lights, and many other funky places. Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

For the 2011 Funky Nests in Funky Places challenge, participants may take photos, do a painting, write a story, or shoot a video showing a bird's nest built in some out-of-the-way or out-of-this-world place.

"We've had such fun with this challenge," says project leader Karen Purcell. "The theme really struck a chord with people. You wouldn't believe how many people showed us bird nests in barbecue grills, garages, garden tools, and signs. We've seen bird nests on statues, windchimes, a cannon, and even on bathroom fixtures. I can't wait to see this year's entries!"

Kathleen Petter of California found a hummingbird nesting in her frog windchime and says she loves that it looks like the frog is cradling the nest.
Prizes include bird feeders, nest boxes, bird sound CDs, guides, posters, and books including Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds That Built Them, by Sharon Beals. The first 50 entrants will receive a copy of the "Bird Silhouette" poster and selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website.

How to enter:

1. Email entries to If you submit a video, post it on YouTube and send the link.
2. Write "FunkyNest_yourfirstname yourlastname yourstate" in the subject line.
3. Include both your mailing address and the location where you saw the bird in your email.
4. Explain why you submitted your entry and what it shows. 
5. One entry per person, please.
6. Read the terms of agreement

Deadline for entries is June 1, 2011

Visit the Celebrate Urban Birds website for more information.


Project Contact: Karen Purcell, Project Leader, (607) 254-2455,

Media Contact: Pat Leonard, (607) 254-2137,

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab's website at

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

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