Happy Thanksgiving From the Cornell Lab

November 22, 2011

Here at the Cornell Lab we have a lot to be thankful for—most of all to our friends, supporters, members, Facebook fans, and citizen-science participants. You’re a group that’s now more than 200,000 strong.

New self-paced course: Learn How to Identify Bird Songs, Click to Learn More

This fall, you even helped us design your own holiday card. During a three-week campaign on Facebook, our fans submitted photos, voted on winners, and spread the word among their friends. We received 632 photo entries in a single week. After thousands of votes, the five photos above were chosen as the winners, which we incorporated into our holiday eCard (see below for the card and lists of finalists).

The response is characteristic of the amazing activity on our Facebook page. Just a year old, our page now has more than 55,000 fans. Everyday we see birders of all levels and ages participating. From posting pictures of feeder birds, to gorgeous photos of unusual species, to asking and answering questions and helping others with identifications, our fans are online 24 hours a day, catching up with each other and finding out what’s new at the Cornell Lab.

As we look forward to 2012, your participation on Facebook and elsewhere on our site—FeederWatch, Nest Cams, eBird, on our Macaulay Library archive, at All About Birds, on our YouTube channel just to mention a few—we are grateful for you, the people who keep us going. Thank you for your continued support—and see you on Facebook!

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the card:

2011 Happy Thanksgiving eCard small

Click through to the larger version, then feel free to copy the link and send it to your own friends. Or visit us on Facebook and share the card from there.

We don’t have room to acknowledge each of our 632 photographers individually, but we are grateful for everyone’s participation. And we’d like to recognize the winners, finalists, and the 20 others who made our shortlist:

1. Anne Elliott
2. Donna Salko
3. Kim Taylor
4. Barbara Blaisdell
5. Graham McGeorge

Finalists: Eva Creel, Zach Heaton, Bill Heban, Pete Larkins, Jack Saunders.
Shortlist: Ryan Ankeny, Cissy Beasley, Heidi Betts, Charlotte England, Scott Evans, Jenny Gandert, Lana Gramlich, Rebecca Holberton, Jim Jackson, Mindy Jost, Martin Keus, Ron Kube, Melissa Penta, Becky Potmesil, Eric Reuter, Bev Short, J.C. Stormer, Yvonne Sufrunco, Judy Turner, Kathleen Turner.


  • andrea vaughan


  • You have done a great job picking the photos for this Thanksgiving card. Thank you so much. Happy Thanksgiving to all at Cornell Lab.

  • David L. Hyman

    The winners deserved their win. I am particularly drawn to the turkey photo by Donna Salko. The vibrant color of grey and white in the birds with the soft complementary winter backgroud just does it for me. It is worthy of a U. S. postage stamp.

  • Bonnie Noehr

    What a wonderful gateway for giving thanks. I have happily shared this link and appreciate both the composite and a close-up view of the excellent winning photos.

  • Tom Rielly

    Would it be possibleto get a copy of the Donna Salko- “Wild Turkeys” image.
    Use is non- commercial reproduction for a Turkey crazed Gradchild..

    All the pictures were wonderful

  • cp volle

    Something to be said about celebration featuring the deliciousness of the Ornithological Dinner Dish. Yumm…

  • Hugh

    Hi Tom, the copyright for that photo is still held by Donna Salko and we don’t have the ability to grant permission for its use. Sorry, but I hope your grandchild has many turkeys to celebrate anyway!

  • Lanie Wilmarth

    Is there a way I can contact Donna Salko to purchase a copy of her turkey print? If you have her contact information, rather than giving it out…could you send my email to her?

  • Andrws

    1ºgracias por esta pagina esta buenisima.
    2ºMe gustaría participar ¿cómo lo hacer? 3º me gusta mucho la naturaleza,además tengo imagenes de aves en pleno vuelo,animales varios como caballos etc.

  • Danny Ingellis

    Congratulations to all the winner. Happy Thanksgiving to all and their families as well…..Ciao, Danny

  • Danny Ingellis

    Congratulations to all the winners. I particularly loved the Owl Photo.

  • Anne Elliot, is the sweetish! I’m very partial to Owls. They say so much with their body and the eyes. I enjoy being part of a bird project at Wild Wings of California. Keep photographing Anne :)

  • We have so much to be thankful for this year. What a wonderful thanksgiving card.
    It has brought smiles to many faces.Have a very happy and blessed thanksgiving.

  • Thanks for the opportunity! The winners are lovely. :)

  • Herbie Rochet

    What a beautiful way to share Thanksgiving cheer with these lovely images. Congratulations to the photographers, and best wishes to all at the CORNELL LAB! ‘Thank you!

  • Carolyn Plaxton

    All very lovely great photographs and photography! Keep up the good work and God bless you all. Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving From the Cornell Lab