It’s official: The AOU (American Ornithologists’ Union) and the COS (Cooper Ornithological Society), which both date back to the late 19th century, have merged. (Could this be the most meta “lump” of all?)

After pursuing parallel missions and collaborating on everything from conferences to scientific publications, the two groups recently finalized their merger. The new organization, the American Ornithological Society (AOS), has its Web home at

The resulting organization “will advance ornithology by combining our assets—human, financial, and intellectual,” according to AOS President Steven Beissinger.

In addition to its efforts to advance scientific research and support conservation efforts, as the largest ornithological society in the Western hemisphere, the AOS also plans to grow the next generation of ornithologists and encourage diversity in the profession.

And listers, fear not—the AOS will carry on the AOU’s work of publishing its all-important checklists to North American birds. (You just may want to take a little White-out to the logo.)

Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.