Welcome to Membership Services!

Our expert team is pleased to offer you the assistance you need as a supporter of the Lab. Please see our FAQs below. If you’d like to reach us directly, call 1-866-989-2473 Monday through Friday, 8 A.M.–4 P.M. Eastern Time, or email and we will respond as soon as we can.

If you have a question about birds, please visit our birds and birding FAQ page.

Membership Benefits and Renewals

What is a membership?

As a member, you help support the Lab’s mission by contributing annual dues at your desired level of membership. With our thanks, you’ll receive a membership card, quarterly Living Bird magazine, member eBulletin, and gift(s) according to your level of membership. As a new member, you’ll receive a packet of birding information to help you get off to a good start. You will also receive discounts on the Lab’s educational programs, publications, and citizen-science project fees. Join or renew as a member today.

What is the difference between membership and donation?

Members pay annual dues at their desired level of Lab membership and receive four issues of Living Bird magazine as well as thank-you gifts according to membership level. Donations may be made singly or at multiple times throughout the year, but they do not confer membership (or membership benefits) to the donor. Membership dues and donations are fully tax deductible. Join as a member or make a donation.

How do I renew my membership?

You can renew online by using our safe and secure renewal form. Or send a check/credit card number to Cornell Lab of Ornithology Membership Services, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850. Be sure to write “membership” on your check. Or call 1-866-989-2473 to renew by phone. Thank you!

How can I give through my IRA or Donor-Advised Fund?

The funds should be made payable to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and identifiable as being from your IRA or DAF so we can generate the correct receipt.  Make sure your name and address are cited on the check or on the accompanying paperwork.  Paper checks should be mailed directly to the Lab at 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca NY 14850. Because the Cornell Lab is a unit of Cornell University and we share the university’s tax ID number, 15-0532082, many donor-advised funds will only make gifts payable to Cornell University. For further instructions on making a gift from your DAF, please visit our planned giving website. For instructions on giving through your IRA, please visit our website here.

Can I renew my membership with funds from my IRA or Donor-Advised Fund?

Yes. Kindly indicate on your paperwork if the funds should be used as payment of membership dues, or if it should be accepted as a donation.

Can I renew for more than one year?

Annual memberships are renewable for just one year at a time. However, becoming a monthly donor is a convenient way to keep your membership up to date and give the Lab a reliable source of income. If you choose to give as a monthly Discovery Partner, your membership does not expire until you stop payments. To change your payment information, see the next FAQ below.

How do I access my Lab membership record online?

Unfortunately, our website currently does not allow Lab members to access their membership accounts online. Please email us at or call 866 989 2473 (M-F, 8am-4pm ET) for assistance. 

Apart from your membership, you may have a Cornell Lab account, which is attached to one of the following programs: Bird Academy, Birds of the World, Celebrate Urban Birds, eBird, Great Backyard Bird Count, Macaulay Library, NestWatch, Project FeederWatch. These Cornell Lab accounts are accessible at:

I am a monthly Discovery Partner. How do I change my credit card information or gift amount?

Please email us or call 866-989-2473. We will cancel your ongoing monthly donation in our secure system. You will then need to return to the monthly giving web page to enter your updated information.

How do I know when my membership expires?

Your expiration date appears on your membership ID card. You can also email or call 866-989-2473 for assistance.

I am starting to receive renewal reminders, and my expiration date is four months away. If I renew early, will it deduct any months from my membership?

No. You will not lose any time by renewing early. Your new expiration date will be set for 12 months beyond your current expiration date.

Why did I receive a dues reminder if I just renewed my membership?

Sometimes it can take up to four weeks for our system to adjust to the update. If more time has passed, please email or call 866-989-2473. We can check our records to investigate (for example, gifts may have been recorded as a donation rather than as membership dues).

What is my membership ID number?

You can find your ID number on your membership card, which we send when you join or renew. The number also appears above your name on your Living Bird address label. You can also email or call 866-989-2473 for assistance.

How can I purchase membership as a gift for someone?

You can purchase a gift membership on our secure website. Your gift recipient will receive a gift card notifying them of your thoughtful gift, plus the quarterly Living Bird magazine, a “thank-you” gift according to membership level, and a membership card. New members will also receive a new member packet welcoming them to the Lab. Please note that we cannot ensure that the gift card will arrive on or by a specific date.

We will send you—the gift giver—a reminder approximately four months prior to the gift membership expiration date. If you choose to not renew the gift membership, we will send a renewal notice to the gift recipient after one month.

Can I give a gift in tribute of someone?

Yes. Please visit our web page for gifts in honor/in memory of. Please select “In Honor” for a living person and “In Memoriam” for someone who has passed away. The Lab will notify the recipient of the “In Honor” tribute, or a family member that you designate in the case of an “In Memoriam” tribute. Please provide the name and address for the person to be notified.

How can I secure an employer matching gift for my donation to the Lab?

Please follow your company’s instructions for matching gifts. Use Cornell University’s tax ID number 15-0532082 and enter a note designating the gift specifically for the Lab of Ornithology.

How can I conserve resources and allow for as much of my gift to go to the birds as possible?

You can choose to receive Living Bird magazine in digital format only. You can also ask us to limit the amount of mail we send or choose to forgo your “thank-you” gifts. Please email or call 866-989-2473.

How can I learn about member discounts?

Member benefits and discounts are described in your Welcome packet if you are a new member and in your monthly Member Benefits email, which you will receive if we have your email address.

How can I get back issues of Living Bird magazine?

If you are a member, we will send you a back issue upon request at no cost if the issue is in stock. Please consider making a small donation if multiple issues are requested. Email or call 866-989-2473. See the Living Bird archives.

Tax Deductibility

Is my gift tax deductible?

Donations and membership dues are fully tax deductible. The gift amount will appear on your official tax receipt, which you will receive by mail after you make your gift. Make a donation.

Will I receive a tax receipt for my gift?

We will mail you a receipt approximately 4–6 weeks after we have processed your donation or membership dues. Members receive a member card showing their membership ID and expiration date with their receipt. Note: If you are a monthly donor, we will mail you just one receipt each January to reflect all of your donations received the previous calendar year.

What is the Lab’s tax ID number? Is the Lab a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization?

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, reliant on contributions from supporters. The tax ID number is Cornell University number 15-0532082.

Updating My Information

How can I update my home or email address?

You can update your contact information at any time using our online form. If the fields are already pre-filled with information, simply make the correction and click “Submit.”

Can you accommodate a seasonal address change so I don’t miss my Living Bird magazines?

Yes. Please email or call 866-989-2473. Let us know the seasonal address and the dates that you arrive and leave your seasonal address each year.

I am receiving too much mail or email from the Lab. What should I do?

Please email or call 866-989-2473, and we will be happy to accommodate your preferences.

How do I remove my name from your mailing list?

Please email or call 866-989-2473. The Data Marketing Association (DMA) also provides a service to individuals who would like to receive less marketing material at home in general. If you’re interested, visit

How do I subscribe or manage my preferences for your online newsletters?

The Cornell Lab eNews is our free monthly newsletter with information about birds, tips, information, stories, and videos. We also offer eNewsletters for members, and project-specific eNewsletters for citizen-science participants and lifelong learning students.

To change subscriptions or unsubscribe from Cornell Lab eNewsletters: First you’ll need to open a recent eNews you’ve received from us. This step helps to make sure we’re working with the correct email address.

At the very bottom of the email, look for two links: “Update your information” or “Unsubscribe”

  • To change your eNews subscriptions, click on Update your information. You’ll go to a page that allows you to select or turn off subscriptions to any of our eNewsletters. You can also change your email address or unsubscribe from all newsletters here.
  • To unsubscribe from all email from us, click on Unsubscribe from all Cornell Lab eNewsletters. You’ll be taken to a confirmation page and we’ll send you a confirmation email.
  • Please be aware that if you have signed up for our eNewsletters using more than one email address, you may still receive email from us. If that’s the case, just go through this process again.

Participation in Lab Projects and Courses

For questions about logging in or participating in Lab projects and courses, please email the appropriate project team. See the list below or search our directory.

Questions About Birds

If you have a question about birds, please visit our birds and birding FAQ page. Once there, you can also use the search bar to look up any topic.

Other Questions

If you are a Lab supporter, please always feel free to call Membership Services at 1-866-989-2473 Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. Eastern Time, or email email and we will respond as soon as we can.

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