Dear Cayugabirds community —

When you encounter birds in New York State that have died of natural causes and 
that are in good condition, please consider donating them to become specimens 
in the Cornell Museum of Vertebrates, which is located in the same building as 
the Lab of Ornithology. At the CUMV we largely rely on these ’salvage’ 
specimens to keep our collection current, as there are all kinds of things one 
can do with a modern specimen that can’t so easily be done with older specimens.

We maintain all New York and federal permits for this purpose. We do not 
maintain state permits for most other states, so please do not donate birds 
from farther afield. 

The major exception pertains to Bald and Golden Eagles: special federal laws 
cover eagles and we are not allowed to accept eagle materials.

When preparing to bring us a bird carcass:

1. Place it in a ziplock-type bag, one bird per bag.
2. Inside the bag include a slip of paper that notes the date the bird was 
found, the location, and your name. Specimens without date and location have 
little research value.
3. Put the bag in your freezer if you must, but then bring it to us as soon as 
possible (technically, you are allowed to possess these birds only if you are 
actively bringing them to a designated museum like the CUMV).
4. On arrival at the Lab during open visitor hours, just let the person at the 
front reception desk know that you want to drop off a specimen.

Please be sure to consider your own personal health and safety when handling 
dead birds. If you can use a ziplock like a ‘glove’ and never touch the bird, 
so much the better. If you need to touch it, wash your hands immediately and 
thoroughly. As you probably know, this is an avian flu outbreak year, so being 
especially cautious is wise (though there have been no human cases thus far). 
Personally I would not hesitate to bring in a bird that died of a known trauma 
like a window-strike, cat kill, or car-strike, but I would think twice about 
handling without PPE a dead bird found with no known cause of death.

Best to all,

Irby Lovette
Director, CUMV

> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Andrew David Miller <>
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Lawrence's warbler - mortality
> Date: May 16, 2022 at 9:12:34 AM EDT
> Reply-To: Andrew David Miller <>
> Due to the rarity of this warbler, I thought that some might be interested in 
> the following.  I found a window mortality Lawrence’s warbler outside of the 
> Veterinary Research Tower on Cornell’s campus this morning.  Bird mortalities 
> have decreased here since they put new glass in about 6 years ago, but every 
> spring and fall there are still a few dead birds that I find. In case anyone 
> wants the bird for study, I have saved it in my lab freezer.
> -Andrew Miller
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