What To Do: Indoors

The sound lab by Dimitri Ponirakis A young visitor listens to sounds in the Macaulay Library. Photo by Dimitri Ponirakis.

Watch birds, rain or shine. Our Visitor Center offers great views of Sapsucker Woods pond and a well-stocked feeder garden. Our observatory looks straight out onto the pond, with plenty of chairs and spotting scopes available for watching all the activity in the surrounding trees, water, and sky. Binoculars are available to borrow at our front desk.

Plan Your Visit

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.

Ithaca, NY 14850 (map)

1-800-843-BIRD

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 25 to Jan. 1.

Trails: Open daily, dawn to dusk. No dogs or bicycles please.

Admission: Free. Please make a reservation for groups of 10 or more.

Sound studio. Explore natural sounds the way researchers at the Cornell Lab do. Listen to more than 150 sounds and compare what you hear to colorful spectrograms that uncover hidden details of the sounds by presenting them in visual form.

Bartels Theater. Watch beautiful, high-definition videos from our Conservation Media program on a large screen in a dedicated room.

Adelson Library. Located on the second floor, this is a library dedicated to books about birds, with a commanding view of the Sapsucker Woods pond and surrounding forest. More about Adelson Library.

Sound Ring sculpture. Maya Lin’s Sound Ring is an elegant oval of American walnut that stands taller than a person. From it emanate the sounds of woodcock, nighthawks, loons, lemurs, and other animals. It’s a part of Lin’s sprawling memorial, What Is Missing?, a moving tribute to the losses in nature that go on every day.

From So Simple a Beginning. Also called the Wall of Birds, this mural highlights the 350-million-year evolution of birds and highlights 1 member of all 243 extant bird families. It’s the work of Jane Kim of Ink Dwell studio. You can also use our online interactive feature to explore the Wall of Birds in detail.

Wall of Silhouettes. This mural by James Prosek nods to the classic silhouettes in the endpapers of the first Peterson guides—but expands the range to include habitats and birds from across the world. The mural also pays notice to how distinctive and varied the world’s birds are, and how much about them can be revealed from a simple study of shape and posture.

Wild Birds Unlimited Store. Located in our Visitor Center, the store carries books, cards, sound recordings, Cornell Lab apparel, and gifts, as well as a wide variety of premium binoculars and spotting scopes.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours. Guided tours offer visitors an overview of the history of the Lab. Admire the exhibits and world-class art in the Visitor Center; peek into the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates; and explore the various departments and sciences we study at the Lab. More about tours.

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