Last updated

Logo ebird.png
Type of site
Wildlife database
Available in14 languages (but see Features, below)
Created by Cornell Lab of Ornithology
URL ebird.org
Current statusActive

eBird is an online database of bird observations providing scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with real-time data about bird distribution and abundance. Originally restricted to sightings from the Western Hemisphere, the project expanded to include New Zealand in 2008, [1] and again expanded to cover the whole world in June 2010. [2] eBird has been described as an ambitious example of enlisting amateurs to gather data on biodiversity for use in science. [3]


eBird is an example of crowdsourcing, [4] and has been hailed as an example of democratizing science, treating citizens as scientists, allowing the public to access and use their own data and the collective data generated by others. [5]

History and purpose

Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University and the National Audubon Society, [6] eBird gathers basic data on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. It was mainly inspired by the ÉPOQ database, created by Jacques Larivée in 1975. [7] As of May 12, 2021, there were over one billion bird observations recorded through this global database. [8] In recent years, there have been over 100 million bird observations recorded each year. [9]

eBird's goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional birders. The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network. [10] Due to the variability in the observations the volunteers make, AI filters observations through collected historical data to improve accuracy. [10] The data are then available via internet queries in a variety of formats.

Use of Database Information

The eBird Database has been used by scientists to determine the connection between bird migrations and monsoon rains in India validating traditional knowledge. [11] It has also been used to notice bird distribution changes due to climate change and help to define migration routes. [12] A study conducted found that eBird lists were accurate at determining population trends and distribution if there were 10,000 checklists for a given area. [13]


eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A web interface allows participants to submit their observations or view results via interactive queries of the database. Internet tools maintain personal bird records and enable users to visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. As of 2022, the eBird website is fully available in 14 languages (with different dialect options for three of them) and eBird supports common names for birds in 55 languages with 39 regional versions, for a total of 95 regional sets of common names. [14]

eBird is a free service. Data are stored in a secure facility and archived daily, and are accessible to anyone via the eBird web site and other applications developed by the global biodiversity information community. For example, eBird data are part of the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN), which integrates observational data on bird populations across the western hemisphere and is a data source for the digital ornithological reference Birds of North America. In turn, the AKN feeds eBird data to international biodiversity data systems, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Electronic kiosks

In addition to accepting records submitted from users' personal computers and mobile devices, eBird has placed electronic kiosks in prime birding locations, including one in the education center at the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in Florida. [15]

Integration in cars

eBird is a part of Starlink on the 2019 Subaru Ascent. It allows eBird to be integrated into the touch screen of the car. [16]

Extent of information

Bird checklists

eBird collects information worldwide, but the vast majority of checklists are submitted from North America. The numbers of checklists listed in the table below include only complete checklists, where observers report all of the species that they can identify throughout the duration of the checklist.

LocationNumber of Bird ChecklistsPercentage of Total
World 70,938,090 [17] 100.00%
Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere 60,100,565 [18] 84.72%
Central America 1,419,740 [19] 2.00%
North America 57,439,418 [20] 80.97%
South America 2,375,588 [21] 3.35%
West Indies 394,196 [22] 0.56%
Eastern Hemisphere
Eastern Hemisphere 10,819,438 [23] 15.25%
Africa 491,089 [24] 0.69%
Asia 3,776,530 [25] 5.32%
Australia and Territories 1,833,318 [26] 2.58%
Europe 4,192,928 [27] 5.91%
South Polar
South Polar 13,759 [28] 0.02%
As of 21 September 2022

Regional portals

eBird involves a number of regional portals for different parts of the world, managed by local partners. These portals include the following, separated by region. [29]

United States

  • Alaska eBird
  • Arkansas eBird
  • eBird Northwest
  • Mass Audubon eBird
  • Maine eBird
  • eBird Missouri
  • NJ Audubon eBird
  • New Hampshire eBird
  • Minnesota eBird
  • Montana eBird
  • Pennsylvania eBird
  • Texas eBird
  • Virginia eBird
  • Vermont eBird
  • Wisconsin eBird


  • eBird Canada
  • eBird Québec


  • eBird Caribbean
  • eBird Puerto Rico


  • eBird Mexico (aVerAves)

Central America

  • eBird Central America

South America

  • eBird Argentina
  • eBird Brasil
  • eBird Chile
  • eBird Colombia
  • eBird Paraguay
  • eBird Peru


  • eBird España
  • PortugalAves
  • eKuşbank (eBird Turkey)


  • eBird Rwanda
  • eBird Zambia


  • eBird India
  • eBird Israel
  • eBird Japan
  • eBird Malaysia
  • eBird Singapore
  • eBird Taiwan

Australia and New Zealand

  • eBird Australia
  • New Zealand eBird


  1. eBird New Zealand (2008). "About eBird". Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  2. eBird (2010). "Global eBird almost there! -- 3 June update". Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Archived from the original on June 3, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  3. "The Role of Information Science in Gathering Biodiversity and Neuroscience Data" Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine , Geoffrey A. Levin and Melissa H. Cragin, ASIST Bulletin, Vol. 30, No. 1, Oct. 2003
  4. Robbins, Jim (August 19, 2013). "Crowdsourcing, for the Birds". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  5. Cooper, Caren; Dickinson, Janis; Phillips, Tina; Bonney, Rick (November 20, 2008). "Science Explicitly for Nonscientists". Ecology and Society. 13 (2). doi:10.5751/ES-02602-1302r01. ISSN   1708-3087.
  6. Sullivan, Brian; Wood, Christopher; Iliff, Marshall; Bonney, Rick. "eBird: A citizen-based bird observation network in the biological sciences". Research Gate. Retrieved July 18, 2020. One such effort is eBird, a program launched by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) and the National Audubon Society in 2002, which engages a vast network of human observers (citizen-scientists) to report bird observations using standardized protocols.
  7. "Étude des populations d'oiseaux du Québec". www.oiseauxqc.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  8. eBird, Team. "eBird passes 1 billion bird observations - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  9. "About eBird". eBird. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  10. 1 2 "Saving the Earth with Artificial Intelligence (AI)". Santa Monica Daily Press. June 25, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  11. "Meet the Cuckoo That Brings Monsoon Rain Across India, and How Tech Confirmed Its Magical Power". June 20, 2018.
  12. "España encabeza la lista europea en registros de observaciones de aves" (in Spanish). July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  13. "Citizen science birding data passes scientific muster". Science Daily. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  14. "Bird Names in eBird". Help Center. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  15. "eBirding, citizen science topic of 'Ding' presentation". capecoralbreeze.com. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  16. "Four Stand-Out Tech Features of the 2019 Subaru Ascent Limited". Forbes .
  17. https://ebird.org/region/world [ bare URL ]
  18. "Western Hemisphere - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  19. "Central America - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  20. "North America - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  21. "South America - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  22. "West Indies - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  23. "Eastern Hemisphere - eBird" . Retrieved January 18, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. "Africa - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  25. "Asia - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  26. "Australia and Territories - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  27. "Europe - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  28. "South Polar - eBird" . Retrieved January 18, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. "Regional portals & collaborators - eBird". ebird.org. Retrieved September 25, 2022.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Great egret</span> Species of bird

The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret, or great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe, recently also spreading to more northern areas of Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, it builds tree nests in colonies close to water.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Evening grosbeak</span> Species of bird

The evening grosbeak is a passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae found in North America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Citizen science</span> Scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists

Citizen science (CS) is scientific research conducted with participation from the public. There are variations in the exact definition of citizen science, with different individuals and organizations having their own specific interpretations of what citizen science encompasses. Citizen science is used in a wide range of areas of study, with most citizen science research publications being in the fields of biology and conservation. There are different applications and functions of citizen science in research projects. Citizen science can be used as a methodology where public volunteers help in collecting and classifying data, improving the scientific community's capacity. Citizen science can also involve more direct involvement from the public, with communities initiating projects researching environment and health hazards in their own communities. Participation in citizen science projects also educates the public about the scientific process and increases awareness about different topics. Some schools have students participate in citizen science projects for this purpose as a part of the teaching curriculums.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a member-supported unit of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, which studies birds and other wildlife. It is housed in the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary. Approximately 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 focused on birds. Work at the Lab is supported primarily by its 75,000 members. The Cornell Lab publishes books under the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, a quarterly publication, Living Bird magazine, and a monthly electronic newsletter. It manages numerous citizen science projects and websites, including the Webby Award-winning All About Birds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">White-throated mountaingem</span> Species of hummingbird

The white-throated mountaingem or white-throated mountain-gem is a species of hummingbird in tribe Lampornithini of subfamily Trochilinae. It is endemic to Panama.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frank Gill (ornithologist)</span> American ornithologist

Frank Bennington Gill is an American ornithologist with worldwide research interests and birding experience. He is perhaps best known as the author of the textbook Ornithology, the leading textbook in the field.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Green mango</span> Species of hummingbird

The green mango is a large species of hummingbird in the subfamily Polytminae. It is endemic to the main island of Puerto Rico.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gorgeted puffleg</span> Species of hummingbird

The gorgeted puffleg is a Critically Endangered species of hummingbird in the "brilliants", tribe Heliantheini in subfamily Lesbiinae. It is endemic to Colombia. It was discovered in 2005 and confirmed as a species new to science in 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Western emerald</span> Species of hummingbird

The western emerald is a species of hummingbird in the "emeralds", tribe Trochilini of subfamily Trochilinae. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Purple-throated sunangel</span> Species of hummingbird

The purple-throated sunangel is a species of hummingbird in the "coquettes", tribe Lesbiini of subfamily Lesbiinae. It is found in Ecuador and Peru.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Central American pygmy owl</span> Species of owl

The Central American pygmy owl is a species of owl in the family Strigidae. It is found in Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rufous potoo</span> Species of bird

The rufous potoo is a species of bird in the family Nyctibiidae. It is the only member of the genus Phyllaemulor. It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Colombian crake</span> Species of bird

The Colombian crake is a species of bird in the subfamily Rallinae of the rail, crake, and coot family Rallidae. It is found in Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.

The Abyssinian catbird or juniper babbler is a species of bird in the family Sylviidae.. It is endemic to Ethiopia where it is found in highland forest and scrub. The Abyssinian catbird is a fairly small, mostly grey bird with black lores, whitish forehead and chestnut vent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John W. Fitzpatrick</span> American ornithologist

John Weaver Fitzpatrick is an American ornithologist primarily known for his research work on the South American avifauna and for the conservation of the Florida scrub jay. He is currently the Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cinnamon-sided hummingbird</span>

The cinnamon-sided hummingbird is a species of hummingbird in the "emeralds", tribe Trochilini of subfamily Trochilinae. It is endemic to the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a community science project in ornithology. It is conducted annually in mid February. The event is supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. During this four-day event birdwatchers all around the world are invited to count and report details of birds in the area in which they live. Data is submitted online via a web interface, and compiled for use in scientific research. The GBBC was the first community science project to collect bird sightings online and display results in near real-time.

eButterfly is a real-time, online database and photo storage program. It provides a way for the butterfly community to report, organize, and access information about butterflies in Central and North America and the Caribbean. eButterfly provides detailed sources for basic data on butterfly abundance, distribution, and phenology at a variety of spatial and temporal scales across the region. eButterfly is maximizing the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of butterfly observations, photographs, and collections made each year by recreational and professional butterfly enthusiasts. Observations can be entered directly to the eButterfly website. As of March 2021, eButterfly users have contributed over 429,000 observations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diamantina sabrewing</span> Species of hummingbird

The Diamantina sabrewing is a Near-threatened species of hummingbird in the "emeralds", tribe Trochilini of subfamily Trochilinae. It is endemic to southeastern Brazil.