Our mission is to interpret and conserve the Earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds and nature.

A Welcome from
Executive Director Ian Owens

How did birds first enter your life? When I was just 15 years old, I experienced an electrifying moment with a Eurasian Marsh Harrier. Ever since, I’ve never stopped looking for birds, or finding joy and inspiration in watching them.

Birds spark a deep wonder, and they help us understand the living world. When birds disappear, they’re signaling that we’ve stressed our landscapes and oceans. When we make changes and they rebound, it signals hope that we can find ways to flourish and protect the natural world.

Your support of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helps by enabling discovery of new knowledge to understand and protect nature, innovation of new technologies to reveal that knowledge, teaching to foster new leaders, inspiration to motivate change, and transformation of science to action to make a difference on the ground.

I hope you’ll join us on your own journey to experience the joy of birds and to learn along with us about the extraordinary feats they accomplish in their lives across the hemispheres. Thank you for being a part of our vibrant community helping to create a sustainable, thriving world for birds and people.

Your support means so much for the future of birds and our planet. Thank you!

Welcome to the Cornell Lab

Show Transcript

[upbeat music] What bird is that? How much do they eat? Why are they so colorful? What’s that bird doing? Curiosity gives rise to questions. Where do migratory birds go? What do birds tell us about our changing world? How can I help? Will they be here when I grow up? We are dedicated to finding answers together. Revealing how nature works. Linking a global community. Opening doors to the natural world. Transforming science into action. We are working together… to better understand our connections… to life on earth. [LOGO] The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, join us. [music resolves]

End of Transcript

we can make a difference!

Our Work

Colorful Red-necked Tanager on Brazilian plant
Red-necked Tanager by Jorge Gabriel Campos / Macaulay Library

Discovering New Knowledge

We transform data into knowledge by pioneering new techniques at the interface of citizen science, machine learning, and data visualizations. Our field and lab studies explore the earth’s biodiversity, the processes that have generated it, and ways to conserve this abundance of life. Key partners in much of this research are the many thousands of people who volunteer for our citizen-science projects.

Students learning at the Cornell Lab, one has their hand raised
Students learn at the Cornell Lab

Changing Hearts and Minds

We open the doors to inquiry and learning about the natural world, starting with the earliest ages and lasting a lifetime. Whether you’re a bird lover, an educator, or a student, our curricula, interactive courses, and professional development opportunities will empower you to explore the fascinating lives of birds and ignite a lifelong passion for nature.

View of islets surrounded by deep blue water
Aerial view of limestone islets, deep blue lagoons, and shallow reefs in Hidden Bay, Gam Island, Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua, Indonesia

Protecting the Natural World

Conserving birds and biodiversity in the 21st century is a complex endeavor that requires innovative science and technology, a detailed understanding of ecological and social systems, and the ability to implement sustainable solutions at global and local scales.

Join Our Email List

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Sign up for email and don’t miss a thing!

Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library