Annual Report 2012

Annual Report 2012 PDF


A burning passion for discovery drives our scientific research, but innovative technology can push our research even farther. Cornell Lab engineers are inventing and improving technologies that open new possibilities for discovery and conservation.

Evening Grossbeaks by Judith Blakely

Citizen Science

A massive bird-monitoring campaign occurs every day courtesy of the more than 200,000 people in the United States and Canada who power Cornell Lab citizen-science projects at feeders and nests, in schools and out in the wilds. They turn millions of bird sightings into valuable data.

A birder woman looks through binoculars

Global Reach

Protecting our birds means preserving both their breeding and wintering habitats, at home and abroad. In order to be successful long-term, cross-border conservation has to be operationally and culturally sustainable.

Whale breech


The Cornell Lab’s education programs use birds to help people better understand nature and be active citizens and stewards of the earth. And teaching about birds isn’t just for schoolkids. It’s for people of all ages, and all nations. Because birds are everywhere.

bird photos

Your support helps us

  • Advance conservation
  • Improve the understanding of birds and nature
  • Inspire others to learn and care about birds
  • Engage tens of thousands of bird watchers in citizen-science projects

As I look through the pages of this annual report, I have to admit that I feel challenged by our ambition, our continuing mission to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity with an ever-broadening scope toward truly global conservation. But I also have enormous confidence in the talented scientists, staff, and students here at the Lab, and I am bolstered by your unwavering and enthusiastic support as Lab members and donors.


FY12 Revenues (through June 30, 2011)

Revenue Piechart for fiscal year 2011 through June 30;
  • Membership and Gifts
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Program Income
  • Invested Funds and Related Income
  • Gifts Directed to Investment Funds
  • Other

Total Revenue = $22,162,379

FY12 Expenditures

Expenditure Piechart for fiscal year 2012 through June 30;
  • Program
  • Administration
  • Development

Total Expenditures = $21,753,642

Annual Operating Revenue and Expense, 2005–2012


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology takes great care to steward your gifts wisely. The Lab's revenue and expenses have grown consistently during the past seven years as programs have begun to mature and have a greater impact in the world. In addition to record income from grants and contracts, and continued healthy revenue from programs, the Lab continues to have a broad and generous base of financial support from donors through annual, capital, and planned giving. We strive to keep administrative and fundraising expenses as low as possible. Thank you for trusting us. We will continue to work hard so that these gifts result in positive impacts for birds and biodiversity.

Photography credits

From top to bottom, left to right: Yellow Warbler © Glenn Bartley; Paradise Riflebird © Tim Laman; Evening Grosbeak © Judith Blakeley; Stock photo of woman with binoculars; North Atlantic Right Whale © Marianna Hagbloom; King Bird-of-paradise © Tim Laman; Black-capped Petrel © Jim Goetz

Download a printable version of the annual report

Annual Report 2011 | Annual Report 2010 | Annual Report 2009

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