Birding at Cornell: Clubs and Events

Some students arrive at Cornell with an intense passion for birding. Others become interested in birds after they arrive. We have a rich local birding community to match your birding interests at your level of experience.


Cornell Birding Club

With around 150 student members, the Cornell Birding Club gives students a chance to meet other students interested in birds, connect with local birding opportunities, and go on occasional club birding trips. Join their listserv by sending an email to “” with the word “join” in the subject and nothing in the body of the message. You can also connect with their Facebook page. By Cornell rules this official student club is restricted to Cornell students.

Martha Fisher helps a student. Photo by Susan Spear.
Photo by Susan Spear.

Cayuga Bird Club

The Cayuga Bird Club hosts the most extensive local birding website. Open to all members of the community, many Cornell students join this club and/or participate in its many activities, which include field trips, seminars, and social events.

The Redheads

The Redheads, a Cornell student birding team, consistently fields multiple teams in the World Series of Birding, a daylong competition held in New Jersey in May. The event is also a fundraiser, and pledges directed towards the Redheads help to support student research and conservation activities, including small grants for independent research projects and travel support for students attending scientific conferences.

Cornell Outdoor Education

Cornell Outdoor Education, or COE, is a nexus for the University’s thriving community of outdoor enthusiasts. Students can take classes such as rock climbing, canoeing, tree climbing, hiking, trail running, and outdoor photography.

Related Student Clubs

Other student clubs include the Cornell Herpetological Society and the Wildlife Society Cornell Student Chapter.


Monday Night Seminar

Once a month on Mondays at 7:30 during the academic year. The Lab of Ornithology Monday Night Seminar has been a tradition for decades and is open to the general public. Speakers from Cornell and around the world give presentations on a great variety of topics related to birds and conservation. Find the schedule in the Visit section of the Lab’s website. Seminars are also live streamed.

Ornithology Seminar

Tuesdays at 5:30 during the academic year. Held in the Morrison Room in Corson-Mudd Hall, followed by free pizza and social or networking time in the adjacent atrium. If you are a participating undergrad or grad student, please register for BioEE7800 or NTRES7800. Contact professor Irby Lovette if you are not a student and would like to be added to the seminar email list. Everyone interested in avian biology is very welcome, including undergrads, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff.

Other Cornell University seminar series:


Montezuma Muckrace

The Montezuma Muckrace is a popular local Big Day competition, usually held in September, that raises funds for the conservation of wetlands near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge at the north end of Cayuga Lake. Cornell student teams annually participate.

World Series of Birding

The World Series of Birding is a daylong competition and fundraiser that has been held in New Jersey in May for more than 30 years. Cornell’s student birding team, the Redheads, traditionally competes, typically placing well.