Teams compete in multiple divisions to raise funds for undergraduate research
ITHACA, N.Y. – For the first time, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is hosting 15 students on 3 birding teams, competing in three divisions at the World Series of Birding in Cape May, New Jersey on Saturday, May 10.
This triple threat of ace birders will attempt to top all other competitors by identifying the greatest number of bird species by sight or sound in a midnight-to-midnight birding blitz. Their ultimate goal is to raise $25,000 that will be matched by a donor and is earmarked for support of undergraduate research in ornithology and conservation.
During this so-called “Big Day” one Cornell Redheads squad will bird the entire state of New Jersey, another will scour the length and breadth of Cape May County and the third will participate in the “Big Stay” category, tallying their birds from a single location within a 17-foot radius.
Past Cornell Lab student teams have been highly successful in the Cape May County division, earning first or second place every year since they began competing in 2007 and earning more than $100,000 in donations for The Redheads Fund.
Grants from the fund have gone toward everything from geo-tracking work on Whimbrels in the Arctic to tropical bird studies in Ecuador and even the discovery of a new species, the Sira Barbet in Peru.
Keep track of all three Redheads teams during scouting and during the race to the finish line on May 10 on the team’s .