Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

NestWatch is designed to gather and disseminate information about avian nesting success around the world. This policy applies to the NestWatch website and mobile app administered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Cornell Lab). The site operates under the domain name The Cornell Lab and NestWatch are committed to protecting the privacy of those who visit this website. This privacy policy explains what kind of information is collected when a visitor comes to the site and how our organization uses, shares, and protects that information. If you do not agree with this privacy policy, please do not use the website.

This privacy policy applies to personally identifiable information such as name, postal address, email address, and phone number. If a visitor leaves the NestWatch website via links to other sites, other and different privacy policies will apply. No financial transactions are handled via the NestWatch site and no third-party advertising is used or tracked from the site.

Submitted Information

Personal Information Collected and How it is Used

There are many features on this website for which no registration is required. However, if you are interested in obtaining information, products or services from NestWatch, or in participating in certain activities on this website (subscribing to our newsletter, becoming a NestWatch participant, obtaining data from NestWatch, participating in sweepstakes, contests, surveys, or certain special initiatives), you may need to provide us with information about yourself. For example, if you participate in a contest, we may ask for your name, postal address, email address, telephone number, or other information necessary to send you a prize. If you respond to any of our promotions, offers, contests or certain special initiatives, you have opted into consent communication regarding those promotions, offers, contests, etc.

Nest observations are the most important pieces of information that we collect. All details of an observation and its associated data (species, clutch size, etc.) are available to all users registered with NestWatch. However, only information pertaining to nest observations is available to NestWatch users; no personal contact information is ever made public.

NestWatch and the Cornell Lab do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 13. If you are 13 years or younger, do not submit personal information to this site without parental consent.

Non-personally Identifiable Information Collected and How It Is Used

Non-personally identifiable information is also gathered when visitors use the NestWatch website and app. An Internet Protocol (“IP”) address is often associated with the portal through which a visitor enters the Internet, such as an Internet service provider (ISP). Standing alone, an IP address is not personally identifiable. IP addresses may be used to collect information about which NestWatch web pages visitors use most and where they spend the most time. This is an effort to improve what is offered on the website.

Cookies are pieces of data that we store on your device to tie your information to the NestWatch program. Cookies allow you to store your login information, so that you will not be required to login each time you visit the NestWatch website or app.

Internet browsers allow you to determine whether or not to accept cookies (check under the preferences or options in the browser menu). If you decide not to accept cookies, you can still use the NestWatch site and app, but you will need to re-enter login information each time you visit.

Sensitive Species

Because a primary goal of NestWatch is to maintain a universally accessible, centralized database of nest observations, the observations you submit are available to all NestWatch users (NestWatchers), scientists, and others who are interested in examining the distribution, reproductive success, and trends of North American bird species.

NestWatchers are able to view their personal observations and the observations of others, so please be aware that your observations of sensitive species and their locations will be available to other NestWatch users. However, latitude and longitude of nests is not available in public data downloads or the data map; exact geographic coordinates are only available to those who formally request data. If you are interested in using NestWatch data as part of a formal research or management project and require latitude and longitude, please email us and include “NestWatch Data Sharing Program” in the subject line.

As a conservation organization, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology seeks to limit disturbance to birds especially at sensitive locations such as a nest. If you are not familiar with the American Birding Association’s Principles of Birding Ethics, we encourage you to review them.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may occasionally update or amend this Privacy Statement. If we make changes, we will post the changes here.


If you have questions or wish to send comments about this privacy policy, please write to:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology