eBird Data Access
The eBird Reference Dataset is updated annually, and is designed for more rigorous scientific modeling. It contains only effort-based checklists, meaning that all observations were reported and some measure of observer effort was recorded, for the Lower 48 United States. In addition to the bird data, a suite of environmental and spatial covariates has been added to facilitate modeling. This dataset is very large and difficult to manipulate without advanced computing techniques, and it comes bundled as a single package.
, a project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, provides a simple way for birders to keep track of the birds they see anywhere in North America. You can retrieve information on your bird observations, from your backyard to your neighborhood to your favorite bird-watching locations, at any time for your personal use. You can also access the entire historical database to find out what other eBirders are reporting from around the world. In addition, the cumulative eBird database is used by birdwatchers, scientists, and conservationists who want to know more about the distributions and movement patterns of birds across the continent.
eBird's goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence.
The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. In time these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.
eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A simple and intuitive web-interface engages tens of thousands of participants to submit their observations or view results via interactive queries into the eBird database. eBird encourages users to participate by providing Internet tools that maintain their personal bird records and enable them to visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. All these features are available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
A birder enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. eBird provides various options for data gathering including point counts, transects, and area searches. Automated data quality filters developed by regional bird experts review all submissions before they enter the database. Local experts review unusual records that are flagged by the filters.
eBird collects observations from birders through portals managed and maintained by local partner conservation organizations. In this way eBird targets specific audiences with the highest level of local expertise, promotion, and project ownership. Portals may have a regional focus (aVerAves, eBird Puerto Rico, eBird Chile) or they may have more specific goals and/or specific methodologies (Louisiana Winter Bird Atlas, Bird Conservation Network eBird). Each eBird portal is fully integrated within the eBird database and application infrastructure so that data can be analyzed across political and geographic boundaries. For example, observers entering observations of Cape May Warbler from Puerto Rico can view those data separately, or with the entire Cape May Warbler data set gathered by eBird across the western hemisphere.
eBird 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. In turn, the AKN feeds eBird data to international biodiversity data systems, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). In this way any contribution made to eBird increases our understanding of the distribution, richness, and uniqueness of the biodiversity of our planet.
Recommended Citation Format
Data Provider. Year Accessed. Project Name. Avian Knowledge Network. Ithaca, NY. <www.avianknowledge.net>. (Accessed: Date [e.g., February 2, 2008 ]).
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2012. eBird. Avian Knowledge Network. Ithaca, NY. www.avianknowledge.net. (Accessed: 1 November 2012).
eBird Primary References:
Sullivan, B.L., C.L. Wood, M.J. Iliff, R.E. Bonney, D. Fink, and S. Kelling. 2009. eBird: a citizen-based bird observation network in the biological sciences. Biological Conservation 142: 2282-2292.
Wood, C., B. Sullivan, M. Iliff, D. Fink, S. Kelling. 2011. eBird: Engaging Birders in Science and Conservation. PLoS Biol 9(12): e1001220. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001220
Building and managing the systems that enable the collection and careful management of data in eBird requires ongoing time, effort, and expense for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Thousands of participants freely provide the data to eBird, and in this same spirit we make these data freely available for non-commercial use.
THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE (the "Terms") ARE A LEGAL AND BINDING AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND CORNELL UNIVERSITY ON BEHALF OF THE CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY (hereinafter "Cornell Lab of Ornithology") governing your use of eBird data:
• eBird data are supplied only for applied and basic research and education.
• The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will update the eBird data available at any time.
• The users of eBird data will provide a full and appropriate acknowledgement and citation in any materials or publications derived in part or in whole from the data; relevant citation details are provided with each dataset. For any publication making substantial use of the eBird data, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology welcomes opportunities for commenting on the work prior to publication, for collaboration, and for co-authorship if we contribute substantial intellectual input in a publication. Expressions of interest can be sent to email@example.com.
• The recipient will only use the eBird data provided for the purpose for which it was requested. If subsequent or different use is required the recipient must contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology again for written approval.
• The recipient will not pass the original datasets on to any third parties and will direct all such thirds parties' requests for use of eBird data back to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
• The recipient will not publish or publicly distribute eBird data in their original format, either whole or in part, in any media, including but not limited to on a website, FTP site, CD, memory stick. The recipient should provide a link to the original data source location on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website where appropriate.
• Your use of any eBird data does not constitute endorsement by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology of any derived products, reports, or analyses. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and eBird logos must not be used on any derived products, reports, or analyses, or supporting materials, without express written permission.
• All eBird data are provided with additional supporting metadata sufficient to make sensible and informed decisions about data use. The recipient must read all supporting metadata prior to any analysis and agree to abide by any stipulations contained therein. Where appropriate, Cornell Lab of Ornithology staff can provide additional guidance on request to aid in the correct use and interpretation of the data.
• The Cornell Lab of Ornithology endeavors to maintain accurate and up-to-date data at all times, but can accept no responsibility for the consequences of errors or omissions in the data, for misuse of the data by any organization or individual, or for any damage done to computing systems into which the data are entered (see Disclaimer below).
• User agrees to send, free of charge, an electronic copy of all products published using eBird data supplied by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to Christopher Wood at: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 158 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA; or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, with regard to the correctness, reliability, or accuracy of any eBird data, or otherwise. All eBird data is provided "as-is." The material and geographic designations in eBird data do not imply the expressions of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, nor concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Neither the Cornell Lab of Ornithology nor its affiliated or related entities or its content providers shall be responsible or liable to any person, firm, or corporation for any loss, damage, injury, claim, or liability of any kind or character based on or resulting from any use of any eBird data.
Indemnification and Limitation of Liability
You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Cornell University, its trustees, officers, employees, and agents, from and against all losses, expenses, damages, and costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, resulting from your violation of these Terms. You expressly understand and agree Cornell University shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses (even if Cornell has been advised of the possibility of such damages), resulting from your use of any eBird data.
Errors and Omissions
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology endeavors to maintain accurate and
up-to-date data at all times. However, if errors or omissions are
identified, the user should notify the Cornell Lab of Ornithology so
that they can be corrected in future releases of the data. Users can
contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology using the details below. Please
mark all correspondence: "Information Science--Data Request".
Postal Address: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850.
- Brian Sullivan (Western US): email@example.com
- Chris Wood (Central US, Latin America): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marshall Iliff (Eastern US): email@example.com