Kathi Borgmann
Kathi Borgmann, Ph.D. Sound recordist, ornithologist, science communicator

My work focuses on engaging people across the globe in science, birds, and all of the amazing things that the Macaulay Library does. My love of birds and the natural world drives me to share my passions to educate and inspire. I tell the world about cool science that uses media from the Macaulay Library and I talk about Macaulay Library’s resources to encourage people to both use and contribute to our digital archive. In a nutshell, I love writing and talking about all things bird, and I am lucky to be able to do just that every day.

My love of nature blossomed from early camping trips with my family. Those early experiences led me to study conservation biology with a focus on plants as an undergraduate. It wasn’t until I took an ornithology course during my senior year that I became hooked on birds. Since then, I have traveled the world studying, watching, and recording birds from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Chihuahuan Desert, and from the rainforests to the cloud forests in Central and South America.

During my Masters, I examined the effects of non-native plants on nesting success of birds in rural and urban landscapes. This work allowed me to combine my love of plants and birds to examine how human changes to the environment impact songbirds. My Ph.D. took me to the Sierra Nevada mountains where I led a wildlife restoration project. I worked with the U.S. Forest Service to restore mountain meadows and creeks for wildlife. I also examined the effects that seasonal changes in the environment can have on the nesting success of songbirds for my Ph.D.

Throughout it all, studying bird song has been a core love of mine. I eventually found my way to recording bird song thanks to the Macaulay Library. I recorded the vocalizations of birds throughout Central and South America, digging even deeper into bird song. Now I get to share those passions for bird song in my work at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library.

Kathi Borgmann, Ph.D.'s Courses: