Birds of the World Takes Flight

This March, our database Birds of North America is expanding its range worldwide as it becomes Birds of the World. Now, you can use its powerful database to explore 10,721 species from 249 bird families. Whether you are interested in the birds you see outside your window or are curious about feathered fowl half a world away, Birds of the World can give you the observations, video & sound recordings, and images to let you learn as much as you wish. 

Even the seemingly most ordinary birds have intriguing stories. More than 200 million common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) - medium-sized dark-feathered birds with speckled plumage - live in North America, and, according to Birds of the World, they’re all believed to be descended from approximately 100 European starlings that were released in Central Park in 1890 and 1891.

Looking further afield, as its name implies, the Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) isn’t a bird you’ll usually find in Virginia. A lovely snow-white creature with a black cap, its American breeding grounds are much further north, with the farthest southern range (for breeding) being near Cape Code, Massachusetts. A champion traveler, its yearly offshore migrations go much further south, beyond the limits of North America and into Central America, averaging a round trip of 40,000 kilometers (nearly 25,000 miles). That’s quite an amazing odyssey!

Birds of the World’s coverage, too, is nothing short of amazing, as it features:

  • Comprehensive life histories for all bird species and families
  • Search for species or family
  • Information on 10,721 species from 249 bird families
  • 700+ million eBird observations – and you can contribute your own!
  • 100,000+ research citations
  • 21,000 color illustrations of every species - and many subspecies
  • Tens of thousands of media assets (photos, videos, and sound recordings) 

Birds of the World also gives its explorers the conservation status for each kind of bird (Least Concern - Near Threatened - Vulnerable - Endangered - Critically Endangered - Extinct in the Wild - Extinct), along with range maps, eBird abundance maps, and animated migration maps.

This database comes to us from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in collaboration with the American Ornithological Society. You can use it from home or anywhere there’s an internet connection, but you will need your CRRL card number to enter its portal.