Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, LLC, based in Chester, Virginia, is sponsoring several programs within the Cornell Lab of Ornithology over the coming year. The company makes binoculars, spotting scopes, and other products used by birders. The Cornell Lab of Ornithologyis a membership-based institution devoted to research and education focused on birds and other wildlife and is located in Ithaca, New York.

“Carl Zeiss feels strongly that the research, conservation, and education work the Cornell Lab is doing around the world is vital,” says Mike Jensen, President of Carl Zeiss Sport Optics USA. “When the opportunity arose to formalize sponsorship, we jumped at the chance! From the highest levels of our company we’re committed to promoting birding and sponsoring the Cornell Lab is one of the best ways we can think of to do that.”

Zeiss sponsorship will include providing optics and covering expenses for the Cornell Lab’s Team Sapsucker when they return to Texas in April in an attempt to top their own North American record for the number of species identified in 24 hours (262 species). This is also the biggest conservation fundraiser for the Lab, with nearly a quarter-million dollars raised through pledges and donations last year. With added support from Zeiss, all of the funds raised this year can go directly into education and conservation programs at the Lab.

Zeiss is also supporting the Lab’s annual Young Birder’s Event aimed at nurturing some of the nation’s top young birders and cultivating future leaders in conservation and ornithology. Zeiss is also supporting Cornell Lab development of a new online bird identification tool and providing spotting scopes for the Lab’s Visitor Center.

“The Cornell Lab expects and demands excellence in everything we do,” says Dr. John Fitzpatrick, the Lab’s executive director, “so we are gratified to have this close relationship with Zeiss, makers of truly top quality optics.” www.birds.cornell.edu

Carl Zeiss has a long history of supporting the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, providing equipment for Ivory-billed Woodpecker expeditions in Louisiana and Arkansas and other field research projects. www.zeiss.com/sports

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