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]

Type of site
Wildlife database
Available in14 languages (but see Features, below)
Created byCornell Lab of Ornithology
Current statusActive

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.

Location Number of Bird Checklists Percentage 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. "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
  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.


  • Horns, Joshua J.; Adler, Frederick R.; Şekercioğlu, Çağan H. (2018), "Using opportunistic citizen science data to estimate avian population trends.", Biological Conservation, 221: 151–159, doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.027
  • Wiggins, Andrea (2011), "eBirding: technology adoption and the transformation of leisure into science", Proceedings of the 2011 IConference: 798–799, doi:10.1145/1940761.1940910, S2CID 19598222
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