Annual Report 2018

Annual Report 2016 PDF

"You are helping the Cornell Lab of Ornithology lead the way on the most important conservation issues around the world."—Cornell Lab director John W. Fitzpatrick

Coastal Solutions for a Global Challenge

Shorebirds exemplify the connectedness and complexity of nature. It's up to us to protect and restore the many coastal habitats that they connect like dots on their epic migrations.

Shedding New Light on Dark Skies

Thanks to the BirdCast project, anyone can access, interpret, and use radar data to look for, learn about, and help birds.

The Bird Classroom of Tomorrow, Today

Discovering the wonder of birds can be the first step in a lifetime of conservation. We're always seeking new ways to help learners of all backgrounds deepen their connections.

Our feature story on the global decline of shorebirds, written by acclaimed author Scott Weidensaul, cast a spotlight on one of the Cornell Lab's highest conservation priorities. Read Losing Ground in the Autumn 2018 issue of our member magazine, Living Bird.


FY18 Revenues (through June 30, 2018)

Revenue Piechart for fiscal year 2018 through June 30

Total Revenue = $30,219,081

FY18 Expenditures

Expenditure Piechart for fiscal year 2018 through June 30

Total Expenditures = $29,748,524

Annual Operating Revenue and Expense, 2009–2018


Thanks to friends like you, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a healthy and effective organization. Nested within the fabric of Cornell University, the Lab’s strength lies in its unique institutional model that weaves together research and academics with outreach and conservation programs, and in the support of thousands of members and donors. As you can see from the pie charts, membership revenues and gifts are the single largest source of support for our programs and projects. Our members and friends provided 56.9% of our annual revenue, a total of $17.2 million that fuels innovation, growth, and scientific excellence. The bar chart depicts healthy growth over the past 10 years with revenues exceeding expenditures, allowing the Lab to continually expand and strengthen our vital research, education, and conservation efforts.

We are deeply grateful to our more than 100,000 members and donors at every level, all of whom make it possible for the Cornell Lab to advance the understanding of nature and engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet. We're pleased to include a downloadable list of our leadership supporters here.

Photography credits

From top to bottom: Verdin by Gordon Karre/Macaulay Library, Bar-tailed Godwits by Gerrit Vyn; Earth image by NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring.

Download a printable version of the annual report

Annual Report 2017 | Annual Report 2016 | Annual Report 2015 | Annual Report 2014 | Annual Report 2013 | Annual Report 2012 | Annual Report 2011 | Annual Report 2010 | Annual Report 2009


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