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2010-01-14 digital edition

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2010-01-14 / General Stories

Winter Bird Survival Challenge

How are feathered friends surviving the season?

European Starling by Evelyne Samson © Cornell Lab of Ornithology European Starling by Evelyne Samson © Cornell Lab of Ornithology How do birds withstand wicked winter weather and other daily threats to survival, even in warmer climates? A new environmental challenge from the Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology invites participants to show how birds are surviving in their neighborhoods this winter. It can be a photo, artwork, video, even a story or a poem describing how birds are finding the food, water, and shelter they need. People of all ages can participate as well as groups such as schools, libraries, clubs, and businesses. Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

“It’s unbelievable how even tiny birds can survive being outdoors 24/7 in places where winter is cold and snowy,” says project leader Karen Purcell. “We want to see how they’re getting along. It might be a crow huddling near a chimney to get warm, visits to bird feeders, a berry bush that birds raid for food, a fountain birds use for water, or maybe even one of the lucky birds soaking up the sun in a warm, southern state.”

Prizes include a pair of Eagle Optics binoculars, bird feeders, a birdsong calendar, books, posters, cards and more. The first 50 entrants will receive a copy of the “Little Green Places” poster and selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website.

How to enter:

1. Email entries to urbanbirds@cornell.edu . If you submit a video, post it on YouTube and send us the link.

2. Write “Survival_yourfirstname yourlastname yourstate” in the subject line.

3. Include your mailing address in your email

4. Explain why you submitted your entry—describe your winter conditions and what you observe the birds doing during winter.

5. One entry per person, please.

Deadline for entries is February 15, 2010 Visit the Celebrate Urban Birds for more information, to see entries for past challenges, and to read the terms of agreement for all entries.

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