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Bird Cams Chat Guidelines

Big Red image by Cornell Lab Bird Cams
Big Red image by Cornell Lab Bird Cams.

We welcome everyone to participate in the live chat. Our chat is managed by volunteer moderators who help to answer questions and who keep the chat a safe, welcoming, and educational place to share information about birds in real time. We ask that all moderators and participants follow the guidelines below. Thank you!

How to log in to the chat

To participate in Cornell Hawks chat, you will need to create a Google Account if you don’t have one already.

You do not need to log in to read the chat. In order to comment in the chat, you will need sign into YouTube with your Google Account and be subscribed to the Cornell Lab Bird Cams YouTube channel.

To access chat, open the chat window by clicking the “Chat” button above the Cornell Hawks cam live stream. If you’re not logged in/subscribed and the chat is currently open, you’ll see a message stating, “Subscribers-only mode. Messages that appear are from people who subscribe to this channel.”

Be aware that the chat may be closed during parts of the day, and you won’t be able to type in the chat unless it’s during the scheduled chat hours. If you have difficulty signing in, check out this YouTube Help troubleshooting guide.

Cornell Hawks Chat Hours

In 2024, the Cornell Hawks live chat is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Starting April 27, join us on the chat on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. ET; Tuesday from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. ET; and Thursday from 12:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. ET, pending availability of moderators and staff.

How to Chat

  1. Click the “Chat” icon located next to the “Updates” icon above the live stream, which will open a window next to the live cam.
  2. You may also pop out the chat window using the “popout” setting on the bottom of the window.
  3. To move the chat window, click and drag the grey bar at the top. You can place it anywhere you like.

Guiding Principles of Bird Cams Chat

Please keep these standards of behavior in mind at all times.

Respect at all times

People of all ages and backgrounds watch our cams, including schoolchildren. Please use language that is appropriate for children to read, and be kind and respectful at all times, during the day and at night. Avoid personal attacks and sensitive or divisive comments on topics such as religion, politics, race, and orientation. We’re here to talk about the birds!

We’re here for the birds

Please keep the chat on-topic, especially during busy times when the chat flows quickly. Share observations and ideas about the birds and other wildlife. Please keep personal statements to a minimum. When the chat volume is manageable, we encourage you to share favorite resources and links to information about birds, but please ask the moderator on duty if it is OK to post a link before doing so. We also ask that you do not promote goods and services. Please do not chat in ALL CAPS since this can make the chat harder to follow and may come across to others as “yelling.”

Moderators have a challenging job

Our volunteer moderators do their very best to answer questions, but it’s impossible for them to answer them all, especially when the chat is very busy. Please be patient and understanding. Moderators are people, too! It’s not easy to moderate a real-time chat. Please thank the moderators for giving us all the opportunity to chat.

Please do not give out personal information

Remember that there are thousands of people watching the chat. Please do not give out personally identifiable information such as names, email and postal addresses, and phone numbers.

Teachers and classrooms in the chat

We often get visits from K-12 classrooms in our Bird Cams chat. When classrooms are involved in the chat, please also allow time for teachers to ask questions and moderators to reply. Thank you!

Your feedback is important to us

You can help us provide the best possible service by letting us know what is working well in the chat, or how we can improve. To send your comments, email us at We read all messages, although we regret that when the volume is high, we may not be able to respond personally to each one. Thank you for your understanding.

Enjoy the birds

Thank you for joining us to watch the birds, and for contributing your questions, observations, and ideas in the Bird Cams chat.

The Cornell Lab

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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library