Bird Academy provides online courses and access to live events from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Our mission is to serve birders, nature enthusiasts, and budding ornithologists by helping them develop the skills and confidence needed to feed their passion.
Founded in 1915, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Soon after founding the Lab, Arthur “Doc” Allen opened its doors to the public on Monday evenings for seminars created to celebrate the science and beauty of birds.
Bird Academy continues this century-old tradition of sharing the wonder and joy of birds far beyond our walls by creating online courses, providing public access to Monday Night Seminars online, and offering course access to those who need financial assistance through our scholarship program.
The Cornell Lab is a nonprofit organization supported by donations and membership. All courses are backed by our satisfaction guarantee.
Meet the Bird Academy Team
Bird Academy is brought to you by a team of biologists, educators, designers, developers, students, illustrators, photographers, and many others at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Dr. Mya Thompson
Instructional Designer, Expert in Animal Communication and Behavior
I’m the Project Leader for Bird Academy. In this role, I spearhead the growth of the eLearning platform and the creation of innovative educational tools and online… Read full bio
Dr. Kevin McGowan
Professional Ornithologist, World Series of Birding Champion
I educate people about birds. I write online courses about birds, including bird identification, behavior, and biology. I am the instructor for our university-level course,… Read full bio
UX Designer, Front-end Designer/Developer
As a user experience designer, I ensure that the site’s content is both structured in a logical and easily understood manner and accessible to all users, including those… Read full bio
I maintain and develop web applications as a member of the Bird Academy team. This includes maintaining and upgrading our WordPress courses platform and doing the programming… Read full bio
Lee Ann van Leer
Customer Relations Expert
I support the Bird Academy community through customer service on all things technical and bird-related. I’m a certified bird bander and recreational birder, as well as… Read full bio
Content Manager, Multimedia Producer
I produce educational and instructional videos for the Cornell Lab’s eLearning website, Bird Academy. I have the joy of working with knowledgeable instructors and… Read full bio
Dr. Susan Lyons
As a course developer, I get to combine two of my great loves—ornithology and education. I love designing courses that not only teach about birds, but also inspire students… Read full bio
And Special Thanks
We regularly work with Cornell student authors and with scientific illustrators from the Lab’s Bartels Science Illustration Program. Special thanks to the following for their contributions to this site.
Liz Clayton Fuller
Justine Lee Hirten