Carnegie Museum of Natural History

For more information, contact: Leigh Kish
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
412.622.3361 (0), 412.526.8587 (C)

August 24, 2011


Laurel Foundation sets $20,000 matching grant challenge for Adopt-a-Bird-Band program at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Adopt-A-Bird-Band program has received a $20,000 matching gift from a major regional foundation that makes grants in areas including education and the environment. Laurel Foundation, which since 1951 has supported programs that foster individual responsibility and long-term benefits for participants and the community, issued its matching grant to the museum’s Adopt-A-Bird-Band program. The Adopt-A-Bird-Band program launched quietly in May 2011 when Powdermill Nature Reserve, the museum’s environmental research center, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its bird migration programs. The museum must raise at least $20,000 from individuals through this program before June 3, 2012, for Laurel Foundation to provide a matching gift of $20,000. The Adopt-A-Bird-Band program will launch fully this fall in time for the holiday gift giving season.

             “Mrs. Cordelia Scaife May has been a generous supporter of bird banding at Powdermill ever since she established Laurel Foundation in 1951,” says Foundation president, Elizabeth Tata. “The Foundation is pleased to continue Mrs. May’s legacy with a pledge for a cause she greatly believed in—bird banding—to advance solutions to priority bird conservation issues. We are confident that the community will come together and meet the challenge amount of $20,000 to support the museum’s migratory bird research.”

            Adoptions are priced between $25 and $100 so that children, families, and even school classrooms can participate and support bird migration research at Powdermill Nature Reserve. The museum fully expects to meet the goal: more than $1,000 in adoptions were made in the first month of the program, and the museum has approximately one year to generate the remaining $19,000 in adoptions necessary to achieve the matching grant.

            The Adopt-A-Bird-Band program is a project of the Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems.  

How the program works         

Those interested in adopting may visit the Adopt-A-Bird-Band Web site at to browse available birds and program benefits. Adopters may explore the online catalog to choose their birds and provide their gifts of support. Adoption contributions range from $25 for frequently banded species such as the ruby-crowned kinglet, to $100 for threatened species such as the golden-winged warbler. Additional species commonly seen in winter weather, such as the northern cardinal and winter wren, will be added for the 2011 Holiday season. Adoptions may be given as gifts.

            Each adopter receives a personalized certificate of adoption bearing the hand-written band number of their bird, and information about the species including a full-color image of the species, and information about bird banding at Powdermill Nature Reserve. In addition to the certificate, all adopters also receive an engraved replica bird band on a satin ribbon, email updates about bird migration research at Powdermill and the Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems, and an invitation to special behind-the-scenes tours of the bird banding facility. Adopters at giving levels $50 and above will receive free admission passes to Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Admission to Powdermill Nature Reserve is always free.

 Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems 

Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems engages scientists from partner institutions worldwide to collaborate to understand, manage, and sustain the health of local and global ecosystems. It utilizes the field research station Powdermill Nature Reserve as a living laboratory for ecological research and as a site for visiting researchers and educators studying the mid-Appalachian ecosystem. The Center creates interdisciplinary research and educational projects that address some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time: questions regarding changes to the environment—past, present, and future—and how these changes affect life on Earth. The Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems launched in January 2011 and is under the direction of John Wenzel.


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,