Chairman’s Council

The Chairman’s Council is a generous and dedicated group of Cornell Lab of Ornithology leaders who enable the Cornell Lab to pursue excellence and leadership in international scientific discovery, education, citizen science, and conservation.

The true benefits of Chairman’s Council membership come from the broad impact of work at the Cornell Lab, made possible with your help. Membership gifts made by our Chairman’s Council members enable us to direct funds to programs that have the greatest need to make significant strides in understanding and protecting birds and nature.

As a Chairman’s Council member, you will receive a full complement of exclusive benefits and special opportunities such as first-class birding experiences with other Council members, Administrative Board members, and Cornell Lab leaders, including executive director Ian Owens. Past trips have taken Council members to far-flung places in the Western Hemisphere, from Montana to Panama. Future trips include Nebraska and Portugal.

Other Membership Benefits

  • An invitation to exclusive biannual Chairman’s Council birding trips with the Cornell Lab’s director and other Cornell Lab leaders.
  • An invitation to a Weekend at Sapsucker Woods, a three-day exclusive getaway at Sapsucker Woods filled with birder training, field trips, and special activities.
  • An invitation to a birding eco-tour at Little St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, led by Cornell Lab experts.
  • Priority invites to the above and all other Golden-wing Society trips and events.
  • Invitations to special online events and future events in your area. You can also view archived webinars, by visiting the Chairman’s Council Webinar Recordings Page.
  • Access to Cornell Lab speakers for your own events.
  • Direct access to Cornell Lab faculty, staff, and student scientists.
  • Insider access to innovative research findings from the Cornell Lab’s top-notch faculty, staff, and student scientists.
  • Access to Birds of the World, an online resource covering every bird in the world. (Learn more and take a tour of Birds of the World in this online webinar.)
  • A private behind-the-scenes tour for you and up to six guests at the Cornell Lab’s headquarters in beautiful Sapsucker Woods.
  • First to receive the quarterly issues of Living Bird magazine—check out the latest issue of Living Bird online.
  • Complimentary access to a Bird Academy course of your choice—the Cornell Lab’s acclaimed educational program for lifelong learners.
  • An exclusive Chairman’s Council website, featuring news items from around the Cornell Lab, access to publications and multimedia, biographies about Cornell Lab leaders, the staff newsletter “The Clue,” and more.

To inquire about Chairman’s Council, please contact Melissa Walker at 607-254-2118,; or Bramble Klipple at 607-254-1105, We look forward to welcoming you on board.

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library