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Take the winter bird survival challenge

How do birds withstand wicked winter weather and other daily threats to survival, even in warmer climates? There is a new environmental challenge for you from the Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They invite you to show how birds are surviving in your neighborhood 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. You can take part no matter what your age or skill level. Groups such as schools, libraries, clubs, and businesses are also more than welcome.

The black-capped chickadee is one of Michigan’s winter birds.

The black-capped chickadee is one of Michigan’s winter birds.

Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

“I find it unbelievable how even tiny birds can survive being outdoors 24/7 in places where winter is cold and snowy!” said Karen Purcell, Project Leader for Celebrate Urban Birds.

She said an entry for this challenge could show a crow huddling near a chimney to get warm, birds visiting feeders or raiding a berry bush for food, birds dabbling in a fountain for water, or maybe even one of the lucky birds soaking up the sun in a warm, southern state.

There are great prizes including a pair of Eagle Optics binoculars, bird feeders, a birdsong calendar, books, posters, cards and more. The first 50 people who enter will receive a copy of the “Little Green Places” poster and selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website.

Here’s 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 http://www.birds.cornell.edu/NetCommunity page for more information, to see entries for past challenges, and to read the terms of agreement for all entries. Then take the challenge!

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