Continuing the theme, our thanks to our friends at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and especially its director, for this message. It came in an email, but click the image above to go to the Lab’s website where the message continues with the resources you will also find below:
A Message from Our Director
March is normally the month when my wife Molly and I head to central Florida where, every year since 1972, I have studied Florida Scrub-Jays. Things are quite different this year, with the entire world hunkering down for an extended fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Even though I’m sticking close to home for now, I am comforted to know the scrub-jays are there, pairing up under the bright Florida sun, lining new nests with palmetto fibers, unperturbed by the tremendous human ordeal around them.
I often talk about the power of birds, but this year they take on an even more powerful meaning. They enliven our days, brighten the trees, serenade in our backyards and city parks, and bestow us with so much joy and hope, all bundled together in feathers and lively personalities.
Like everyone around the world, we at the Cornell Lab are adjusting to new routines. We’ve also spent recent days scouring our brains and our servers for ways to help—in some small way—people who find their daily lives upended.
If you’re a teacher prepping for a new kind of remote class, we’ll send you ideas. A parent or grandparent whose kids are on an unexpected “spring vacation”? They can play our games and learn. Are you a bird watcher with extra time on your hands—or an inveterate traveler now homebound? We can bring birds and bird song into your home—or let you explore the farthest reaches of the world in sounds and images.
A core part of our mission is to help people celebrate the wonder of birds. We do it because you (and we) love birds, are amazed by their powers, and even gain solace from them and a deep, clean breath of hope.
Together we’ll all get through this. In the meantime, whenever you may need a moment of respite, we invite you to explore, enjoy, wonder, replenish, and spark hope with the resources we have to share.
With my best wishes
John W. Fitzpatrick, Director
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Virtual Birding: Around The World With Videos, Quizzes, And Sounds
- Beautiful videos: Our YouTube channel has more than 400 captivating videos from some of the world’s most special places. From transcendent birds-of-paradise to ethereal loons to arguably the fanciest bird in the world, it’s all on our YouTube channel.
- Quiz yourself on birds from anywhere in the world. Our eBird Photos and Sounds quiz will create a multiple-choice quiz based on any location and time of year—for a quiz that’s different every time you play it. It’s addictive.
- Find any bird on the planet (almost): search our Macaulay Library archive for sounds, images, and video of more than 10,000 species. Pro tip: filter by “Best Quality” to jump straight to top-rated submissions, or log in and rate media yourself.
- Living Bird magazine has been delighting homebound travelers with stories and photos for more than 30 years. Some recent favorites cover the cutest owl in North America, amazing ways birds survive winter, and how feeder birds stack up in head to head competition.
- Is it dark where you live? It’s probably light in New Zealand and you can watch this albatross chick grow up.
Things To Do: Teachers And Families, We’ve Got You
Teachers and parents are hurriedly making a wholesale shift to online and at-home learning. We can help with free resources and good ideas to keep students interested. In fact, our K–12 Education group has created a special weekly email full of science- and nature-focused ideas and activities for the duration. Click the link to sign up for the email, and get a fresh batch of new ideas each Friday.
Our Bird Academy project has a catalog of free learning games—amazing explorations of bird song, breathtaking artwork of bird families, the magic of feathers, and more. There’s even a video game that explores evolution and the hypnotic BeastBox, where you can use natural sounds to create your own hip-hop sound loops.
Bird Academy has a full set of deeper courses, from better birding tips to nature journaling to a full-scale ornithology course—and you can test drive each of them with a free lesson.