Cornell University

Sound and Feather: How Media Specimens Are Revolutionizing Modern Ornithology

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 10:00am to 11:00am

Mann Library, Stern Seminar Room (Room 160)
Cornell University Mann Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

For centuries ornithological research has relied on the study of specimens to reveal the ecology, life histories and evolution of birds. Today we can also collect a new type of specimen, the “media specimen”: an audio or video recording of a bird in nature. These recordings capture key aspects of wild bird behavior in ways that traditional physical specimens simply cannot. Drawing from his own work in Australia and North America as well as that of other Cornell scientists and students, Dr. Mike Webster (Dept. of Neurobiology & Behavior / The Macaulay Library, Cornell Lab of Ornithology) will show how media specimens are advancing modern-day research aimed at understanding and conserving birds and how inexpensive new technologies are allowing everyday “citizen scientists” to collect and use media specimens. Efforts such as these are allowing for broader participation in ornithological science, leading to a better understanding of birds at continental and even global scales, and fostering a deeper appreciation of the natural world.

Following Dr. Webster’s talk, please join us for a reception in the Mann Gallery, in celebration of the new exhibit: “Around the World and Back: Building Cornell's Nature Collections Through Exploration.”

Event Type



Mann Library, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University Library, Sustainability, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Neurobiology and Behavior


biology, reunion, Cornell University Library, Mann Library, ornithology, Museum, natural history, birds, expeditions, specimens, vertebrates, fieldwork, audiovisual, media specimens, CALScomm, CUL


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Eveline Ferretti

Contact Phone



Mike Webster

Speaker Affiliation

Dept. of Neurobiology & Behavior/Macaulay Library of Sound, Cornell Lab of Ornithology


11:00 am

Open To

Free and open to the public

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