Event Details

For Cornell Cares Day 2021, the Cornell Club of Pittsburgh is partnering with Cornell’s world-renowned Lab of Ornithology. The Lab has recently launched the Merlin Bird ID App, a smartphone application featuring a “bird ID wizard” that asks a few basic questions to help identify birds that you observe, and can also identify a bird based on photographs you take of birds. The app is based on and connected to the “eBird” citizen-science project database. The eBird project collects information submitted by birdwatchers of all experience levels, archives the information, and freely shares it to power data-driven approaches to science, conservation, and education. Submitted birdsightings contribute to peer-reviewed papers, student projects, and conservation decisions, as well as providing information for bird research worldwide. The Lab of Ornithology needs volunteers to simply use the app; such use will help train the app. Also, the Lab would appreciate feedback on any issues encountered when using the app.

For our Cornell Cares Day event, you will need to download the Merlin Bird ID App. Please birdwatch and use the app for at least an hour. You can birdwatch at any location–a park, a trail, or your backyard. We just ask that you social distance and otherwise keep yourself safe as you are looking for and watching birds!

On February 3, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET, the Club will host a 30 to 45 minute Zoom session where everyone can discuss what they found and talk about any problems encountered. The Club will then relay any comments or information about issues to the Lab of Ornithology.

We and other regional Cornell clubs are also hoping to have a program later in 2021 featuring a speaker from the Lab of Ornithology. We will provide information in the future if such an event is possible.

Besides our Cornell Cares Day 2021 event, we point out that many non-profit organizations face financial challenges given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to facing problems with holding normal programs (such as volunteer events) to serve their underlying missions. Please consider making a donation to a non-profit organization of your choice. Some organizations that the Cornell Club of Pittsburgh has partnered with in the past for Cornell Cares Day events include Brother’s Brother Foundation, Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Propel Schools, Computer Reach, and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Brad Kitlowski ’05