The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, research, conservation and appreciation of birds and other wildlife. Roughly 250 scientists, professors, staff, and students work in a variety of programs devoted to the Lab’s mission: interpreting and conserving the Earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science. Live streaming BirdCams is a virtual window into the natural world of birds and Sanmita was proud to be a part of the project which resulted in awards and continued success.


    Live-streaming Technology Enhancements, Strategic Marketing, Software Development,
    Site Support, Content Management System Migration, Consultation


Business Need

Sanmita engaged in many Cornell’s projects and Cornell’s Ornothology Lab had multiple projects, including redesigning and launching the main site ( ) as well as a special interest/hobbyist site, which is where the magic ended up happening.

Then the lab began a new project; an idea that was conceived from taking existing interest from the general public and turning that into an enhanced end-user experience. The traction needed to be gained through LiveCam enhanced capabilities and processes.

The live stream BirdCam technology needed to be updated with a better way to push this unique offering out to the captive audience. The need to increase social media presence, creating a more robust following was a top priority. New marketing strategies were created along with updated technology that ultimately resulted in increased members, donations, and larger gifts.

The main website needed a content-rich platform to showcase their research, science, developments, and educational programs. The other site, AllAboutBirds, needed new branding, upgrades, and advertising software to increase and measure user engagement.

Key Challenges

  • Live Birdcam needed updating, more features and an expanded footprint
  • Data capture needed to be created for website and Birdcam
  • Increase social media presence/followers
  • Implement advertising software on both the website and Birdcam
  • Develop digital marketing strategies, including robust email marketing campaign and other means of expanding reach and frequency


Sanmita’s Founder, Sanjeev Shukla, had previous experience as Cornell University’s Director of  Digital Marketing. Having the rich background of overseeing all of Cornell’s web properties by setting up the underlying foundation for such properties, he understood the goals expressed when approached for expert consultation and project management.

The BirdCam always had the potential to become the star of this organization’s interest and main attraction. This feature examines birds in the lab and natural habitats and has a marvelous effect as it inspires a greater understanding of how birds help the living world.

At the time of Sanmita’s initial engagement on this special project in 2008, the solutions were forward-thinking and advanced for its time. Sanmita developed a unique feature for that time that connected the BirdCam’s webpage with the user’s Facebook page– a very big step in marketing that helped boost, stay connected to end-users, and foster that valuable communication we enjoy regularly today.

Sanmita incorporated integrating web services into the mix by using the same advertising software for both the website and the Birdcam, thereby tracking and monitoring advertising clicks and impressions that helped the overall marketing plans and implementation, also advanced for its time.


  • National Geographic ended up buying the rights to BirdCam; it was that successful.
  • The website was such a success internally and externally, the client was pleased and the website won the prestigious Webby Award in 2010.
  • Sanmita used WordPress for the BirdCams web page, added unique features that enhanced member engagement and that also helped gain new members.
  • Implemented software to generate and receive donations on the website.
  • Linked live stream Birdcam to FaceBook page – a savvy move for its time.
  • Created advertising software on the new website and Birdcam which helped marketing strategies and provided measured results.
  • Improvements made ultimately increased membership and donations.
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