Migration Celebration 2022

A festival of free online events Sept. 12–22, plus a day of in-person events at our headquarters on Sept. 17

Each fall we host a Migration Celebration to mark the billions of birds streaming through the air on their far-flung journeys. Watch the recorded webinars from this year’s event. Plus, we share ideas and resources for your own migration activities.

Recorded Webinars

  • three images: a smiling man holding binoculars; a flying goose with white and black wings; a flock of white geese flying toward the viewer
    Ask an Ornithologist: Mysteries of Migration

    Watch the recorded webinar
    Have you ever wondered what triggers migration, how birds navigate, or what hazards they face? Watch the recorded open Q&A session all about bird migration, with renowned ornithologist Dr. Kevin J. McGowan. Learn the answers to your questions, right in the midst of migration season!

  • montage: closeup of a Barn Swallow in flight against a map projection of the Americas, with the swallow
    Migratory Journeys Mapped: The Magic of eBird

    Watch the recorded webinar
    eBird’s massive citizen-science database allows both scientists and birdwatchers to better understand where birds go during their migrations. Learn the method behind eBird’s magic, explore eBird’s breathtakingly detailed Status and Trends maps, and find out how to use these tools to know when a particular species is most likely to show up near you this migration season.

  • a gray and white seabird flies low over calm gray waves
    Miracles of Bird Migration: An Exploration with Birds of the World

    Watch the recorded webinar
    Discover fascinating migration facts and meet some birds with truly remarkable migration stories. We tour some of the Earth’s most remarkable birds and see stunning photos through Birds of the World, an online database with information on more than 10,800 species of birds. Use code MIGRATION30 and receive 30% off a subscription to Birds of the World.

  • overhead view of a whale and her calf swimming side by side
    Migrations Great and Small: Whales and Plankton

    Watch the recorded webinar
    Let’s look beyond the bird world and explore two very different kinds of migration that come together in the ocean. Although the word migration often brings to mind animals like birds or caribou crossing continents, this webinar with the Lab’s K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics explores the “vertical migration” of tiny plankton called copepods from the seafloor to the ocean surface and back again. During their time near the surface, these abundant creatures are a key food of endangered North Atlantic right whales during their own migrations.

  • a tiny brown bird with a red cap hangs from the end of a dry plant
    Practical Ways to Help Birds During Migration

    Watch the recorded webinar
    Migration season is a precarious time for birds, but we can make their journeys easier through a variety of simple actions. Our expert panel of Cornell Lab staff share their tips to help migrating birds this fall. Discover what’s helpful (and in some cases what’s not so helpful) for birds visiting your gardens and outdoor spaces; hear advice on setting up winter roost boxes, and understand how to make human activities and structures safer for birds.

  • book cover: Ruby
    Virtual Storytime with “Ruby’s Birds”

    Watch the recorded storytime
    During this virtual storytime K-12 staff read “Ruby’s Birds” by Mya Thompson and illustrated by Claudia Dávila. Meet Ruby, a plucky young girl who uncovers the wild side of her city neighborhood with the help of a grown-up friend. When Ruby realizes there are amazing birds right in her neighborhood, her imagination takes flight. After we’ve met Ruby, get out of our seats and flap our own wings at different speeds just like different birds do.

Enjoy Migration With These Free Resources

In addition to watching our webinars and attending events, use these resources to keep up with migration in your own neighborhood. Right now is the peak of fall migration for many species, so don’t miss it! Here are some tools we think you’ll find useful for planning when to go birdwatching, knowing what you’re seeing, and keeping kids fascinated.

Discover Migrating Birds Near You

  • Merlin Bird ID: Our free Merlin Bird ID app can help you identify birds, tell you which birds to expect in your area today, and can even identify bird calls. Here’s more on how to get the most out of Merlin.
  • BirdCast: Each fall billions of birds make their way to the tropics—and our BirdCast project can let you know when pulses of heavy migration will be coming through your area. Learn how it all works in our recorded webinar with BirdCast project staff—then check the BirdCast migration forecasts and real-time reports!
  • eBird Status and Trends: Using bird observations from hundreds of thousands of eBird users, the eBird Status and Trends maps indicate species abundance and movements of birds across the globe. Use these maps to learn when specific bird species migrate through your area.

Migration Made Fun for Kids and Families

Go outside or explore online and discover more with these interactive ideas.

View the Flight & Migration slideshow
  • Slideshow and Activity Guide: Millions of birds are on their fall migration right now! What do you know about flight and migration? Follow along with this slideshow and activity guide and discover different aspects of flight and why migration is so cool. Craft and game ideas included for the whole family.
  • Paper Airplane Olympics: Create and test a variety of airplanes. Give awards for the plane that flies the farthest, straightest, and craziest! Discuss how wing shape affects flight.
  • Count Migrating Birds by Moonlight: Go outside with binoculars, a spotting scope, or a small telescope and count how many birds pass in front of the moon. Pro tip: Full moons this migration season will happen Sept. 10 and Oct. 9!
  • Make a Pledge to turn off your outdoor lights during migration. Read more from the Lights Out project and learn how light pollution harms migrating birds.
  • Family Bird Migration Obstacle Course: Set up a course and race each other through it! What natural and human-made obstacles might migrating birds encounter?

More to Read

A collection of articles to help you learn about migration, including fun facts and advances in research.

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