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 inBulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, English, Faroese, Finnish, French, Creole, Hebrew, Indonesian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Malayalam, Mongolian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian
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, 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. As of November 2016, over 330,000 unique users have submitted over 100 million checklists,[6] from more than 250 countries and data for over 10,300 species to the program.[7][8] As of June 2018 there are now over 500 million bird observations recorded through this global database.[9] In recent years there have been over 100 million bird observations recorded each year.[10]

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.[11] Due to the variability in the observations the volunteers make, AI filters observations through collected historical data to improve accuracy.[12] 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.[13] It has also been used to notice bird distribution changes due to climate change and help to define migration routes.[14] 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.[15]


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. All these features are available in 27 languages, including: Bulgarian, Chinese (Both Traditional and Simplified), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, English (A variety of 11 English dialects), Faroese, Finnish, French (4 French dialects), Creole, Hebrew, Indonesian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Malayalam, Mongolian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese (Both Portugal and Brazilian Portuguese), Russian, Serbian, Spanish (10 Spanish dialects), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian.[16]

It is a free service. Data are stored in a secure facility and archived daily, and is 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.[17]

Integration in Cars

eBird is a part of Starlink on the new 2019 Subaru Ascent. It allows eBird to be integrated into the touch screen of the car.[18]

Extent of Information

eBird collects information throughout the globe.

Location Number of Bird Checklists
World 36,456,135[19]
Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere 32,227,905[20]
Central America 624,168[21]
North America 31,200,478[22]
South America 870,841[23]
West Indies 224,768[24]
Eastern Hemisphere
Eastern Hemisphere 4,224,227[25]
Africa 224,066[26]
Asia 1,560,406[27]
Australia and Territories 880,969[28]
Europe 1,394,823[29]


  1. eBird New Zealand (2008). "About eBird". Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  2. eBird (2010). "Global eBird almost there! -- 3 June update". Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 5 June 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. nytcrowdsource Robbins, Jim (19 Aug 2013). "Crowdsourcing, for the Birds". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-04-18. Retrieved 11 Dec 2013.
  5. "Science Explicitly for Nonscientists" Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine, Caren B. Cooper, Janis L. Dickinson, Tina Phillips, Rick Bonney, Ecology and Society, Vol. 13, No. 2, r1, 2008
  6. https://www.cope.es/noticias/biodiversidad/espana-encabeza-lista-europea-registros-observaciones-aves_240778
  7. "How many people eBird around the world and per country". ebird.org. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  8. eBird, Team. "eBird Top100 goes global! - eBird". ebird.org. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  9. http://smdp.com/saving-the-earth-with-artificial-intelligence-ai/167047
  10. https://ebird.org/about
  11. http://smdp.com/saving-the-earth-with-artificial-intelligence-ai/167047
  12. http://smdp.com/saving-the-earth-with-artificial-intelligence-ai/167047
  13. https://www.indiatimes.com/technology/news/how-pied-cuckoos-signal-monsoon-rains-in-india-tech-that-demystifies-its-ancient-folklore-347733.html
  14. https://www.cope.es/noticias/biodiversidad/espana-encabeza-lista-europea-registros-observaciones-aves_240778
  15. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180312085117.htm
  16. https://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1596582-common-name-translations-in-ebird
  17. "eBirding, citizen science topic of ‘Ding’ presentation" Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, Cape Coral Daily Breeze Community News, Mar. 9, 2009
  18. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougnewcomb/2018/07/30/four-stand-out-tech-features-of-the-2019-subaru-ascent-limited/#224299e67225
  19. https://ebird.org/region/world
  20. https://ebird.org/region/wh
  21. https://ebird.org/region/ca
  22. https://ebird.org/region/na
  23. https://ebird.org/region/sa
  24. https://ebird.org/region/caribbean
  25. https://ebird.org/region/eh
  26. https://ebird.org/region/af
  27. https://ebird.org/region/as
  28. https://ebird.org/region/aut
  29. https://ebird.org/region/eu


Research using eBird data

Below is an incomplete list of research that used the eBird data. A more complete list can be found here: eBird Publication [1]

Fink, Daniel; et al. (2010). "Spatiotemporal exploratory models for broad-scale survey data". Ecological Applications. 20 (8): 2131–2147. doi:10.1890/09-1340.1.

Hurlbert, Allen H.; Liang, Zhongei (February 2012), "Spatiotemporal Variation in Avian Migration Phenology: Citizen Science Reveals Effects of Climate Change", PLoS ONE, 7 (2): e31662, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031662, PMC 3285173, PMID 22384050

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