What is Ivy Expeditions?

This expedition is supported by the Ivy Expedition Fund in honor of the Ivy family, which is part of a larger Cornell Expeditions in Field Ornithology (CEFO) project.

We have two main goals: to observe and collect data on poorly known Bornean birds, especially those in the group known as the “Old-World Suboscines” (see the “Science” page for more on that) and to train Cornell students in valuable field research techniques that will help them throughout their careers.

Throughout the past semester, we have met at weekly seminars to learn about Bornean birds and their life histories, comparative biology and evolutionary biology, field techniques, and other topics that will help us in the field.  Now, we’re off to Tawau Hills  Park in Sabah, Borneo (a part of Malaysia), where we will spend about five weeks in the rainforest observing birds, practicing field skills, avoiding mosquitos, and having a lot of fun!

CEFO is not entirely made up of people on the Tawau Hills expedition – another significant part of our group is staying back in Tompkins County, New York (which we  affectionately call “Toco”) to study Cardinalids (the family of birds that includes Cardinals, Scarlet Tanagers, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks).  Their goals are exactly the same as the Borneo group’s, only they’re working with birds that need to be studied here in the U.S. – which just goes to show that for all of the poorly known tropical birds there are, there’s also a lot we don’t know about the birds in our own backyards! They have their own blog, and there is a link to it on the menu bar.

Many thanks to an anonymous donor from the Lab of Ornithology who is supporting many of our foreign expeditions in honor of the Ivy family.  In addition to the donor who contributed the Ivy Expedition fund, we would like to thank Kevin and Elizabeth McMahon and Tom Wickenden for their special contributions to the CEFO expedition fund.

Thanks also to the staff of the Macaulay Library and the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates for their expert help, support, and contributions.  We would especially like to thank Irby Lovette, Scott Sutcliffe, Kim Bostwick, Charles Dardia, Ed Scholes, Matt Medler, Martha Fischer, John Bowman, and Cindy Marquis.

Thanks to CamelBak for donating hydration and water purification equipment!


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