Birds + Kids = Inspiration

February 6, 2015

“Professors, scientists, college students are real people…and that could be me!”

So said an inner-city teenager who never thought if herself as a potential scientist, until she attended a workshop on birds and science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology through the Celebrate Urban Birds program. Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

The project tackles the problem of under-representation by inner-city youth in the sciences, and it does so through a one-on-one, personal approach that opens the door to a world they might not have experienced otherwise.

Celebrate Urban Birds teaches the process of science through the study and citizen-science monitoring of birds, with a focus on the species most frequently seen in cities. The project also doubles as a citizen-science project on urban bird populations.

For most of the kids involved, Celebrate Urban Birds is their first exposure to birds. But the result is more than a crash course in ornithology—it’s a young person’s realization of their scientific potential.

Celebrate Urban Birds—By the Numbers

  • 1,767 organizations worked with Celebrate Urban Birds in the past year to reach 143,781 participants.
  • 130+ underrepresented youth and educators were brought to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y., for intensive science and career workshops.
  • 39 CUBs mini-grants were awarded to organizations throughout the continent that worked with 4,500 underrepresented participants.
  • 10+ regional workshops were conducted across the country to reach out to underserved youth in at-risk communities.

Sign up for the Celebrate Urban Birds eNews and get up-to-date information on great ideas for urban bird watching, grants available for community projects, and more.

Sign up for CUBs news!

For More on Celebrate Urban Birds:


  • Excellent program to keep young, bright and innocent mind’s connected with Nature.
    Much Regard’s
    And success!

  • What a wonderful project for these kids to be involved in. I could see the change in their faces when they were releasing the birds. Loved it.

  • Polly Lee

    What a fine program ! And I was delighted to see your photo of the cedar wax wing in your collection. The yearly migration through our neighborhood, when a huge flock of these beautiful birds spend the day in our yard, eating each and every red berry on our jaupon tree, just took place last Thursday, the 5th of February. We live in an urban setting, northeast of Fort Worth, Texas. Our jaupon is the only one on our block, yet these birds find it every year!

  • Murray Brown

    A wonderful project. Just think of all the potential young ornithologists that up until now have been overlooked.

  • To the lady narrating .May God Bless you .And may God Bless your
    work.Thank you for what your doing.

Birds + Kids = Inspiration