National Geographic : 1962 Apr
we ran a unique film about the bald eagle, produced by Bayard Read of our Advisory Council under the auspices of the Cornell laboratory and distributed by the National Audubon Society. At the start of the program, I customarily call "the roll of the birds"-reading the list of all 300 species that have ever been seen in the Cayuga Lake Basin and checking off those reported. Thus we take an informal census of the birds seen each week throughout the year. The information provides interesting material for our Saturday morning radio talks, as well as a permanent file of the birds occurring in central New York State. Sanctuary Combines Beauty and Science As I write, a downy woodpecker insists on driving the bugs out of the microphone at the corner of the building. The sound is like an air hammer. Now it stops, and I turn to see the rosy clouds deepen to lavender. The trees are starkly silhouetted. RTHUR A. ALLEN © NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Father brings home the bacon-a throat ful of ants dug out of a tree. Eighteen-inch long pileated woodpecker meets hungry offspring at his doorstep beside a trail. He hollowed his nest hole two feet deep. Bird walk on a catwalk. Cornell faculty wives, members of the Campus Club, ram ble through the swamps of Sapsucker Woods, led by Doctor Sally Hoyt (left) of the lab oratory staff. Boardwalks save their shoes on wet trails. Eighty-four bird species have been found nesting in the sanctuary. A flock of mallards sets its wings to land on the freshly frozen pond. Some slide five feet, some twenty. I never tire of watching ducks-so graceful in the water and in the air, so clumsy on the land they weren't made for, so cheerfully flatfooted on the ice. I shall watch them until it is quite dark. This is the story of Sapsucker Woods and the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University, a rare combination of science and art, of research and popular education where the professional and the layman work side by side to produce a place of charm and relaxation, as well as of study and discovery. It is our hope that similar projects will spring up the country over to attest the value of natural areas where the beauty, the grace, and the freedom of wild birds relax the mind and enrich the spirit.