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Updated: 5 hours 9 min ago

FAQ: Facebook Fundraisers

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 12:43

How do I set up my own Facebook fundraiser to support the Cornell Lab?

Please see these step-by-step instructions. Thank you for your support!

Are donations made on Facebook tax-deductible?

Donations made through Facebook to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are tax-deductible, though tax laws vary by state and by country. You should consult a tax professional or review the laws for your area to determine whether a donation is tax-deductible.

If I create a Facebook Fundraiser will my donors get a tax receipt?

Once a donor makes a donation, a confirmation will be sent to their primary email listed on their Facebook account. This confirmation shows that they’ve made the donation as a charitable contribution and that they’re not receiving any goods or services in return.

What percentage does Facebook take from fundraisers?

None! 100% of the donations that you raise for the Cornell Lab—even if you don’t reach your goal—will go directly to our organization. Donations made on Facebook to charitable organizations using the Facebook payments platform aren’t charged fees.

Will the Cornell Lab of Ornithology receive my information or the information of those who contribute to my fundraiser?

When you set up a Facebook Fundraiser, your name and the amount of money raised will be shared with us. You—and any contributor to your fundraiser—will also have the option to share your email with us to receive updates.

Will my friends’ donation amounts be shared on Facebook?

When your friends donate to your fundraiser, the charitable organization to which they are donating (the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and the creator of the fundraiser (you) will be able to see donations. However, the amount they donate will never be shared on Facebook.

If someone donates through a fundraiser, will they become a member of the Lab?

Due to Facebook’s information-sharing restrictions, we are currently unable to offer Lab memberships to those who donate via its fundraising tools. If you or contributors to your fundraiser would like to learn more about the benefits associated with being a Lab member, we encourage donors to share their email address when making a donation so we can provide those details!

Visit Facebook for more answers to your FAQs. Please feel free to contact us directly at 866-989-BIRD for questions about setting up a fundraiser for the Cornell Lab.

A Galaxy of Falcons [video]

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 19:30
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Each autumn, more than a million Amur Falcons congregate in India’s remote northeast state of Nagaland, pausing on a 9,000-mile migration from Asia to southern Africa. Until 2012, no one in the outside world knew this great gathering existed—or that the local villagers were killing hundreds of thousands of the birds for food. What happened next was one of the most remarkable conservation success stories in recent years, but also poses thorny questions about what happens when a poor community does the right but difficult thing. Join author and researcher Scott Weidensaul as he discusses his 2017 expedition to Nagaland, and the future of this galaxy of falcons.

The talk took place on November 5, 2018. It is part of the Cornell Lab’s long-running Monday Night Seminar series, a tradition established decades ago by Lab founder Dr. Arthur Allen. If you enjoyed this seminar, check this page for our list of future speakers—we’ll note which upcoming talks will be livestreamed—or come visit us in person!

See our index of archived livestreamed seminars to enjoy more talks from the Cornell Lab.

This Could Be the Winter You Get Evening Grosbeaks at Your Feeder

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 16:05
Evening Grosbeaks at a feeder in Quebec, Canada. Photo by Josée Rousseau/Macaulay Library.

At the end of September, three birders in Cape May, New Jersey, got a preview of what’s shaping up to be one of this winter’s birding highlights. It took the form of 1,570 Red-breasted Nuthatches flying past the group during a single day—the highest single count for the little cinnamon-and-gray acrobats ever reported to eBird.

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“I think we’re in store for our best widespread multi-finch invasion in several years” in eastern North America, says Matt Young, a finch expert and the collections management leader at the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library. (Young knows nuthatches aren’t finches, but says their movement patterns are so similar that he considers them “honorary finches.”)

“We’re already seeing Pine Siskins in a few spots along the Gulf Coast, and Red-breasted Nuthatches all the way into Florida,” he says. That’s well south of these two species’ typical ranges. Elsewhere, a birder in Long Island counted nearly 2,700 Pine Siskins and more than 2,200 Purple Finches on the move in a single morning in late October.

This is one of the more than 1,500 Red-breasted Nuthatches that flew past Cape May, New Jersey, on a day in late September. Photo by Doug Gochfeld/Macualay Library.

Following in the wake of these waves of early migrants could come Common Redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks, Bohemian Waxwings, and possibly even Pine Grosbeaks, according to Ontario-based ornithologist Ron Pittaway. For the last two decades, Pittaway has painstakingly compiled notes on crops of conifer seeds and berry-producing trees from around the boreal forest to produce a “winter finch forecast.” By surveying the food supplies in these birds’ normal winter range, he can detect years when food crops in eastern Canada fail (like this year) causing those northerly denizens to flood into forests farther south in a movement known as an irruption. Read Pittaway’s 2018-2019 Winter Finch Forecast. (Pittaway’s forecasts don’t apply to western North America, where many finch species have regular breeding and wintering populations.)

Next Up: Evening Grosbeaks This eBird sightings map shows Evening Grosbeaks moving well south of their typical winter range during fall 2018. Red pins are sightings from October and early November, indicating recent arrivals. Finch forecasters expect the movements to continue and extend farther south as winter arrives. See the latest eBird map.

Siskins, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Purple Finches are among the earliest movers of the winter, according to Young. He says that pulses of these species often show in early fall or even late summer—with more southerly breeding ranges, they don’t have as far to travel. But Young is also picking up signals from birds that breed farther north, and that normally don’t show up until late fall. For example, he says early eBird observations are hinting at the largest movement of Evening Grosbeaks in the Northeast in more than a decade.

“Evening Grosbeaks have a fascinating history,” says Young. “From the 1960s through much of the 1990s, they were one of the most common species seen at bird feeders across much of eastern North America in the winter. But in the past two-plus decades they’ve shown up less often and in fewer numbers. They are even listed as a species of special concern in Canada.”

As of the end of October, Evening Grosbeaks have already shown up in many spots in New York and southern New England, with a smattering of reports from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even Maryland. Young says the Carolinas or even Georgia could see one this year. Reports of the striking birds—males sporting the colors of summer sunflowers highlighted by a bold golden eyebrow, females a dusky gray with tinges of gold—have been lighting up online discussion groups of late, as birders in the East are eager catch a glimpse.

Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls at our live Ontario FeederWatch cam in the winter of 2018. Screenshot by marijke20 via Cornell Lab Bird Cams.

Common Redpolls are on their way too, in their biggest numbers since the “superflight” winter of 2012–13. Young says this could be one of the rare years where they travel as far south as the Carolinas. And as far south as Pennsylvania and southern New England, birders might even see a few Pine Grosbeaks—generally the rarest winter finch to reach the U.S. That sort of movement hasn’t happened since at least 2007-08 in the Northeast.

One species that Young doesn’t expect to make much of an appearance are crossbills. Last year, Red Crossbills in particular came south into coniferous forests in the Northeast, but he and Pittaway say good cone crops across Canada and the western U.S this year will keep many of them within their typical range.

How to Get Winter Finches Into Your Backyard More on Winter Bird Feeding

Perhaps the best news is that it’s quite possible this year’s finch irruption could play out in your backyard (particularly if you live in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic). Finches and Evening Grosbeaks flock to black-oil sunflower seeds. To attract grosbeaks, go big: while these large birds may be able to squeeze onto a tube feeder, you’ll have better results offering the seeds on a platform feeder. Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins also take sunflower seeds, but they frequent nyjer feeders too. These smaller species will feed from a variety of feeder types. Red-breasted Nuthatches are even more versatile, comfortable plucking a seed out of a hopper or hanging upside-down to work on a suet block.

If you’re lucky enough to have Pine Grosbeaks visit your area, you may need to get out of your backyard to see them. These birds are regulars at the platform feeder on our live Ontario FeederWatch Cam—but farther south, according to Young, they don’t often visit feeders. Instead, look for them in residential areas with fruiting trees such as mountain-ash and crabapple (which are also good places to try for Bohemian Waxwings), and in forests with spruce trees, where they feed on the buds.

While you’re at it, why not join Project FeederWatch and keep track of visits from your winter birds? The data you record will help scientists keep track of bird populations, and most people find they start to notice more at their feeders than they ever did before.

How to Create Your Own Facebook Fundraiser to Help the Cornell Lab

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:27
Piping Plover and chick by B.N. Singh via Birdshare.

If you’re looking for a way to help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and spread awareness of our work among your friends, here’s a great way to do it: Facebook.

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You can now create your own Facebook Fundraiser on behalf of organizations like the Cornell Lab. The benefits of doing this are far-reaching: you can inspire your friends to support us while also increasing their awareness of our work. Your friends are also encouraged to share with their Facebook communities, which means you may receive gifts from people you don’t even know who connect with your story!

Facebook makes raising funds easy, fun, and secure. As a fundraiser, you can set donation goals and track your progress. It’s also safe: donors can enter their payment information securely and easily through Facebook.

Have a birthday coming up? Celebrating a milestone? Want to mark a meaningful occasion like, say, International Migratory Bird Day or Rachel Carson’s birthday? Whatever the reason, Facebook Fundraisers are a great way to raise funds for the Cornell Lab—and we deeply appreciate your help in spreading the word.

Learn how in 5 simple steps

(Tip: It’s possible to set up a fundraiser on your phone, but you may find it easier on a tablet or laptop as you’ll be doing a little bit of typing):

Step 1: Select the “Fundraisers” option. Step 1. Go To Your Newsfeed

Desktop users: Go to your Facebook newsfeed and select the “Fundraisers” option on the left toolbar under explore. You may have to hit “see more” for the fundraisers option to appear.

Mobile users: Open up Facebook and tap the three vertical lines either on the bottom or top right-hand side of your screen (locations vary among devices). Select “fundraisers” in the options that appear. You may have to hit “see more” for the fundraisers option to appear.

Step 2: Choose Raise money > Nonprofit > Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Step 2. Tell Your Story

Desktop and mobile users: The Facebook Fundraiser main page will appear. Hit “Raise money” and select the option for Nonprofit. You will be prompted to search for a nonprofit to support. Type in Cornell Lab of Ornithology and select our organization. A form will appear once you have selected our Facebook page. Fill in the form with your goal amount and the additional fields that appear. You will also be asked to tell your story about why you are connected to the Cornell Lab. This will be the story that appears when you are sharing with your network, so make sure to personalize your message!

Step 3: Choose a photo to pair with your fundraiser. Step 3: Add A Cover Photo

Desktop and mobile users: Next, pick the cover photo that you want to be paired with your fundraiser page. By clicking the edit icon on the suggested photo you have the ability to select or upload alternate photos. If you choose to select a new photo, scroll through the image options and select the one you want.

Step 4: Publish and share your fundraiser. Step 4: Publish Your Fundraiser

Desktop and mobile users: Click “Create” and your Facebook Fundraiser for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will be published. Now you can share your personalized fundraiser with your social network in honor of your connection to our cause.

Step 5: Reach Your Goal

Lastly, don’t be shy! Post your fundraiser to your timeline a few times before your end date approaches. You can follow up by opening your fundraiser page and clicking the share button.

Here are some ideas for following up with your friends:

  • Reposting about the progress made towards your goal so far. If you are 50% towards your goal, thank those that donated and ask the rest of your network to help you raise the remaining amount.
  • Sharing again on the final day of your fundraiser to promote urgency. You can say something along the lines of “This is the last day to donate, please help me meet my goal!”

Thank you for your interest in raising awareness and donations for the Cornell Lab. We love having you as part of our community!

If you have any questions please contact 866-989-BIRD for assistance. In the meantime, here’s a list of frequently asked questions — and some helpful answers about Facebook Fundraisers:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are donations made on Facebook tax-deductible?

Donations made through Facebook to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are tax-deductible, though tax laws vary by state and by country. You should consult a tax professional or review the laws for your area to determine whether a donation is tax-deductible.

If I create a Facebook Fundraiser will my donors get a tax receipt?

Once a donor makes a donation, a confirmation will be sent to their primary email listed on their Facebook account. This confirmation shows that they’ve made the donation as a charitable contribution and that they’re not receiving any goods or services in return.

What percentage does Facebook take from fundraisers?

None! 100% of the donations that you raise for the Cornell Lab—even if you don’t reach your goal—will go directly to our organization. Donations made on Facebook to charitable organizations using the Facebook payments platform aren’t charged fees.

Will the Cornell Lab of Ornithology receive my information or the information of those who contribute to my fundraiser?

When you set up a Facebook Fundraiser, your name and the amount of money raised will be shared with us. You—and any contributor to your fundraiser—will also have the option to share your email with us to receive updates.

Will my friends’ donation amounts be shared on Facebook?

When your friends donate to your fundraiser, the charitable organization to which they are donating (the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and the creator of the fundraiser (you) will be able to see donations. However, the amount they donate will never be shared on Facebook.

If someone donates through a fundraiser, will they become a member of the Lab?

Due to Facebook’s information-sharing restrictions, we are currently unable to offer Lab memberships to those who donate via its fundraising tools. If you or contributors to your fundraiser would like to learn more about the benefits associated with being a Lab member, we encourage donors to share their email address when making a donation so we can provide those details!

Visit Facebook for more answers to your FAQs.

Help Us Track Sick Birds With Project FeederWatch

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 15:04

House Finches may be found at feeders across much of North America, and if you see these little birds, we’d like to know about it. Specifically, our scientists want to know if the birds you see appear healthy or if they have redness and swelling around the eyes—signs of a bacterial disease (Mycoplasma gallisepticum) that first appeared in 1994 and is now found in House Finch populations from coast to coast.

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This special push to track both sick and healthy House Finches is being carried out through the Cornell Lab’s Project FeederWatch, an annual winter survey of feeder birds that runs from November through April. New participants are invited to sign up to help on the Project FeederWatch website. Making the correct ID is important, so there’s additional help provided in distinguishing among similar species, such as the Purple Finch, House Finch, and Cassin’s Finch.

“House finches are providing a unique window into disease dynamics,” says Wesley Hochachka, Assistant Director of Bird Populations Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “We want to understand how this disease is spreading, if cases are more or less severe than they used to be, and how the birds’ immune systems are adapting to fight this threat.” Though this disease does not affect people, understanding how it’s transmitted provides insight into how human diseases are spread.

House Finch eye disease first appeared in the eastern United States and arrived in parts of the West in 2003. There is evidence suggesting that western bacteria could cause more severe disease now than in the past.

The eyes of this female House Finch are swollen by disease. Photo by Dan Fleming.

“Collecting reports from western states is especially important because the disease is still spreading there,” says FeederWatch project leader Emma Greig. “We hope to encourage participation in states such as Utah, Colorado, and Nevada, because the data they provide are extremely valuable.”

Learn more about FeederWatch and sign up online or call the Cornell Lab toll-free at (866) 989-2473. In return for a small fee, participants receive the FeederWatcher Handbook and Instructions with tips on how to attract birds to your feeders, an identification poster of common feeder birds, and a calendar. Participants also receive Winter Bird Highlights, an annual summary of FeederWatch findings.

Project FeederWatch is a joint research and education project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.
  
More About House finch Eye Disease

Join Project FeederWatch

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 14:20

HOW TO PARTICIPATE
© Craig Hurst
Instruction summary
Important Dates
Your Research Kit
Why is There a Fee?
Signup to receive your kit! Join Now!
COUNTING BIRDS IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3

INSTALL A FEEDER
1

COUNT THE BIRDS THAT VISIT
2

ENTER THE DATA FOR OUR SCIENTISTS
3
INSTRUCTION SUMMARY
Please refer to our Handbook & Instructions, mailed to all new participants, before submitting any data. Detailed instructions can also be found here.

Sign up – If you have not yet signed up, join today! During the season, it takes a few weeks from when you sign up for your kit to arrive with your ID number and for your ID number to be activated in Your Data.
Select your count site – Choose a portion of your yard that is easy to monitor, typically an area with feeders that is visible from one vantage point.
Choose your count days – Select two consecutive days as often as once a week (less often is fine). Leave at least five days when you do not count between each of your two-day counts.
How to count – Watch your feeders as much or a little as you want over your selected count days. Record the maximum number of each species visible at any one time during your two-day count. Keep one tally across both days. Do not add your counts together!
What to count – Please count
all of the individuals of each species in view at any one time
birds attracted to food or water you provided
birds attracted to fruits or ornamental plantings
hawks and other predatory birds that are attracted by the birds at your feeders
But do not count

birds that simply fly over the count site, such as Canada Geese or Sandhill Cranes.
birds seen on non-count days
Report your counts – Submit counts through the Your Data section of our website.
ALL COUNTS ARE IMPORTANT

FeederWatch participants often stop counting their birds because they believe that their counts are not important. Typically they are seeing the same birds every week, or they are seeing very few or no birds. While some FeederWatchers see amazing birds, a wide variety of species, or large numbers of birds, most FeederWatchers see low numbers of what might be characterized as “predictable” birds. These counts are the heart of FeederWatch. Focusing on the extreme cases would provide a biased view of bird populations, and ignoring the common birds could be a major mistake. While we are all thrilled by unusual sightings and high counts, it’s the everyday observations of common birds that are so important for monitoring bird populations. Learn more about why every count matters.

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IMPORTANT DATES
The 2016-2017 FeederWatch season runs from Saturday, November 12 to Friday, April 7. Online data entry will open for new participants on November 1. The last day to start a two-day count is Thursday, April 6.

The project always starts on the second Saturday of November and runs for 21 weeks.

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YOUR RESEARCH KIT
All new Project FeederWatch participants receive a research kit in the mail. Renewing participants can choose not to receive a kit.

NEW PARTICIPANT KIT

Welcome Letter
FeederWatch Handbook & Instructions, with bird feeding information and complete project instructions
Full-color poster of common feeder birds with paintings by noted bird artist, Larry McQueen (see pdf of mini version)
Bird Watching Days Calendar, to help you keep track of your FeederWatch count days
Resource Download:

Handbook
Download
RENEWING PARTICIPANT KIT

Welcome letter
Bird Watching Days Calendar, to help you keep track of your FeederWatch count days
NO KIT OPTION

Choose this option when you renew if you would rather not receive a kit or a print copy of Winter Bird Highlights (this option is only available to renewing participants). Please note that you will receive no project updates or reminders unless you subscribe to our electronic newsletter. Be sure to keep track of your ID number, which can be found near your mailing address on any mailing from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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WHY IS THERE A FEE?
WHY IS THERE A FEE TO PARTICIPATE IN PROJECT FEEDERWATCH?

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada are non-profit organizations supported primarily by participant and membership fees. Project FeederWatch would not be possible without the support of our participants—scientifically and financially. FeederWatch’s participant fees pay for website and database maintenance, data analysis, participant support, printing and shipping project materials, and dissemination of information learned from FeederWatch data. The fees also help cover the cost of publishing a year-end report, Winter Bird Highlights. While FeederWatch staff constantly seek other sources of funding, the reality is that without participant fees, the project would have to shut down.

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HOMEABOUT LEARN COMMUNITY EXPLORE YOUR DATA
Embrace the Winter. Count Feeder Birds for Science!
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FROM OUR BLOG

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October 12, 2017

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October 09, 2017

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October 02, 2017

The Not-so-usual Suspects: Judges’ Choice Award Winner
February 27, 2017

The Not-so-usual Suspects: People’s Choice Award Winner
February 24, 2017

Where Do Painted Buntings Spend the Winter?
February 20, 2017

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Free Merlin Bird ID App for 3000+ North American Birds—Now With Photo ID

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 13:48
Download the Free Merlin Bird ID App

Free, Instant Bird ID Help for 400 North American birds

Bird ID Wizard—Step-by-step

Answer five simple questions about a bird you are trying to identify and Merlin will come up with a list of possible matches. Merlin offers quick identification help for beginning and intermediate bird watchers to learn about North America’s most common birds!

Results based on millions of eBird sightings

Merlin draws upon more than 70 million observations from the eBird citizen-science project.

It customizes your list to the species you are most likely to have seen at your location and time of year.

World-Class Content Professional bird photos, ID text, sounds, range maps

Browse more than 2.000 stunning images taken by top photographers. Merlin also includes more than 1,000 audio recordings from the Macaulay Library, identification tips from experts, and range maps from the Birds of North America Online.

Learn All About eBird with eBird Essentials Course

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 11:45

eBird Essentials

Show Transcript+
Birder, bird watcher, bird lover, doesn’t matter—this course is for you. Whether you watch birds at your feeder, on the way to work, or travel miles for that one bird you can’t wait to see, eBird can help. Discover how eBird can enhance your passion for birds and how your participation is helping us better understand them.

This free course guides you through how to get the most out of your eBirding experiences and invites you to become a part of this worldwide project.

Sandhill Cranes
Sandhill Cranes by Ian Davies/Macaulay Library

Your How-To Guide
Explore how eBird can help spark new birding adventures.

Discover tools that help you find birds wherever you go
Gain confidence submitting your sightings
Get expert tips for using eBird and joining the community
What is eBird?
Cerulean WarblereBird is the largest biological citizen-science program in the world. The eBird community gathers more than 100 million bird sightings each year from people like you. Providing a powerful tool for motivated bird enthusiasts everywhere, eBird helps you find more birds and keep track of your sightings. Collectively, these sightings are now empowering a global scientific community and helping answer pressing conservation questions.

Cerulean Warbler by Andrew Simon/Macaulay Library
Course Overview
Lesson 1: What is eBird?
Discover how eBird can help jump-start your birding and how your sightings contribute to science and conservation on a global level.

Lesson 2: Find Birds Near You
Learn how to use eBird to find birds and birding locations.

Lesson 3: Share Your Sightings
Use this step-by-step guide to contribute your sightings to eBird.

Lesson 4: My eBird
Explore your own birding story: your lists, photos, custom alerts for target species, and much more.

Lesson 5: Ready to eBird
Take the Ready to eBird quiz and get inspired to spot more birds.

Meet the Course Authors
Lindsay Glasner

Lindsay Glasner
Lindsay is the Outreach Coordinator with the Cornell Lab’s K-12 Education program where she leads workshops, manages the ambassador program, designs curricula, and creates online courses. Drawing from her graduate-level training in environmental education, Lindsay inspires teachers and their students to tune in to birds and ask their own scientific questions. Lindsay caught the birding bug while working at the Cornell Lab and is now a full-fledged birder and a passionate spokesperson for citizen science. Lindsay’s eBird profile

Ian Davies

Ian Davies
Ian is the eBird Project Coordinator at the Cornell Lab where he leads outreach and engagement efforts, and helps coordinate day-to-day project management. His interest in birds started when he was 12 and has taken him to more than 40 countries in the pursuit of the amazing natural treasures that this world has to offer—particularly shorebirds! One of Ian’s passions is sharing the wonder of birds with the wider world through photography, writing, and working at the Cornell Lab. Ian’s eBird profile

The eBird Essentials course is provided free of charge to anyone with an eBird or Bird Academy account. Good news! You can use the same account to sign in for both.

You need to be signed in to take this course.

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