Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Academy

Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy offers a collection of free and fee-based resources to help bird lovers at all levels improve their understanding of bird biology and conservation, gain confidence in their birding skills, and pursue their passion for birds.

Course Catalog

Their self-paced on-line courses cover bird identification and biology as well as art and technical skills and nature appreciation. They range from a free 3-hour course on birding essentials and courses focused on identifying specific groups of birds, such as raptors, warblers or sparrows, to a comprehensive 100-hour college-level course in bird biology.

Other than the Birding Essentials, there is a fee for the courses. There are also community discussion groups. Some of these are public and some of them are restricted to students enrolled in a particular course.


Most of the 100+ free videos in this curated collection are 10 minutes or under. Topics include:

  • Anatomy
  • Behavior
  • Bird ID
  • Brains + Senses
  • Conservation
  • Evolution
  • Feathers
  • Food + Foraging
  • Habitat
  • Migration
  • Nesting
  • Songs + Calls

Learning Games

Quizzes and interactive tutorials to explore anatomy, behavior, songs, and calls, as well as a couple of games for children and young teens.

Also includes links to STEM-based K-12 activity guides and lesson plans.


Longer, free videos (generally 1 – 1 1/2 hours) from Cornell Lab’s┬álong-running Seminar Series, a tradition established decades ago by Lab founder Dr. Arthur Allen. Speakers include Cornell Lab staff, book authors, and distinguished scientists from around the world.

Lectures generally focus on:

  • Behavior
  • Biology
  • Bird Identification
  • Conservation
  • Evolution
  • Migration
  • Songs + Calls


In-depth articles and interactive features provide more information about some of the topics explored in the videos.

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