The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Celebrate Urban Birds project has put out another call for avian-observing art. Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

How do birds withstand wicked winter weather and other daily threats to survival, even in warmer climates? The lab invites participants to show how birds are surviving in their neighborhoods this winter.

Submissions can be a photo, art work, video, even a story or a poem describing how birds are finding the food, water and shelter they need. People of all ages can participate, as well as groups such as schools, libraries, clubs and businesses.

“It’s unbelievable how even tiny birds can survive being outdoors 24/7 in places where winter is cold and snowy,” said project leader Karen Purcell.

“We want to see how they’re getting along. It might be a crow huddling near a chimney to get warm, visits to bird feeders, a berry bush that birds raid for food, a fountain birds use for water or maybe even one of the lucky birds soaking up the sun in a warm, southern state,” she said.

Prizes include a pair of Eagle Optics binoculars, bird feeders, a birdsong calendar, books, posters, cards and more. The first 50 entrants will receive a copy of the “Little Green Places” poster and selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds Web site.

Entries should be e-mailed to Those submitting a video should post it first on YouTube and send the link. The subject line should read “Survival_yourfirstname yourlastname yourstate.” Entries should include mailing address and an explanation why it was submitted; i.e., describe the winter conditions and bird behavior therein.

One entry per person. Deadline is Feb. 15. For more information, to see entries for past challenges and to read the terms of agreement for all entries, visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to