Cornell Lab Birding Teams Finish First
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s competitive birding teams made history at two spring migration events. Team Sapsucker—the Cornell Lab’s ace birding team—set a new single-day North American birding record in Texas on April 25, tallying 294 species in 24 hours. Read more about their historic run by clicking here. Two weeks later, the Cornell Lab’s student birding team—The Redheads—took first place in the Cape May County Division at the World Series of Birding in New Jersey. Read more about The Redheads’ victory here.
Cross-Atlantic Avian Partnership
In March the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) signed a historic agreement to begin creating the first truly global bird observation database. The memorandum of understanding marks the official launch of an effort to begin merging data from the Cornell Lab’s eBird and BTO’s BirdTrack, more than 250 million bird observations in all. When completed, the new database—named Tringa, after a genus of shorebirds found around the world—will be one of the largest collections of global biodiversity information in existence. Both organizations hope Tringa will continue to grow and add data from other countries, enabling researchers around the world to analyze and uncover trends in bird movements and abundance across political boundaries.
Ridgely Honored with Allen Award
Robert Ridgely, one of the world’s foremost experts on the birds of South America, is the recipient of this year’s prestigious Arthur A. Allen Award. The Cornell Lab presents this award, named for Lab founder Arthur “Doc” Allen, to someone with extraordinary lifetime achievements in ornithology. In 1997, Ridgely discovered a new species of antpitta in Ecuador, the endangered Jocotoco Antpitta, which was subsequently given the scientific name Grallaria ridgelyi. Ridgely is also the cofounder and president of the Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco, which runs 10 nature reserves in Ecuador. He is currently Honorary President of the World Land Trust-United States.
The State of the Birds
Roughly 60 percent of the land area of the United States is privately owned, and those 1.43 billion acres include farmlands, ranchlands, and timberlands that harbor some of our nation’s most important bird habitat, particularly for grassland, wetland, and eastern forest birds. So says the State of the Birds 2013 report—published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and partners and delivered to the U.S. Department of Interior—in a 46-page analysis of bird distribution and conservation opportunities on private lands. The report cites several examples where working lands are also accommodating the needs of breeding, migrating, and wintering birds, and explains why habitat on private lands will become even more crucial as food, fiber, and energy production pressures increase sharply to supply a global population of 9 billion people by 2050.