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Photograph courtesy of  USFWS

Lab Scientist Wins Leadership Award

Cornell Lab conservation scientist Ken Rosenberg was honored with the Partners in Flight Award for Leadership in March. The award recognizes Rosenberg’s more than two decades of “excellence and outstanding achievement in using science to inform conservation action and policy,” particularly his work on the declining Cerulean and Golden-winged warblers and leading roles on the group’s International Science Committee and Landbird Conservation Plan. Partners in Flight is a conservation partnership among government, industry, nonprofits, and academia.

The Hidden Danger of Open-Topped Pipes

People use vertical, open-topped pipes for many purposes including as vents and as site markers. But the narrow, smooth-sided, and very deep interiors can be deadly to birds that fall in. Recent work by Audubon California and the American Bird Conservancy has shown that single pipes can contain more than 200 dead birds, and even pipes placed against a wall for just a few days inadvertently lured birds to their deaths. In all, 45 species have been found trapped in pipes. The state of Nevada recently outlawed open PVC pipes as mining claim markers in response to this problem. The groups suggest removing any pipes that are not essential, covering vents with wire mesh, and capping pipes when possible. For more information, download the fact sheet.

Spring Into NestWatch

With the return of May flowers—and May birds—yards are filling with dozens of species: bluebirds, chickadees, doves, phoebes, catbirds, cardinals, and more. Our NestWatch project offers a structured, supportive way to follow nests and contribute data, with tons of advice on attracting nesters and safely monitoring nests. Learn more at www.nestwatch.org.

Sound Sizzles at Recording Workshop

Many researchers at the Cornell Lab listen to, analyze, and archive wild sounds in their work. At our annual Sound Recording Workshop, we also train people in the fine art of field recording. Each year, 20 students, ranging from seasoned researchers to enthusiasts just learning the basics, spend a week in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains learning from the pros in our Macaulay Library. The next workshop is June 16–23; register by May 15. Find out more at the website.

Snowy Owl Wins in Fan Tournament

To cap off a memorable winter, the Snowy Owl took top honors in March Migration Madness, our Facebook alternative to the nation’s annual case of basketball mania. Along the way, the Snowy Owl bested both the Bald Eagle and last year’s powerhouse, the Black-capped Chickadee. In the finals, the owl sneaked past Pileated Woodpecker by just 44 votes out of more than 3,500 cast. We hope you’ll join the conversation on our facebook page.