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Ornithology: Web Resources

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  • Databases A-Z - Oxford University's complete list of databases.

Bird Population Trends and Data

Databases & Web Resources in Ornithology

Search these databases to find references to print and online information sources.

Those marked * below can also be accessed and cross-searched through Databases A-Z the complete list of Oxford's databases, and online reference works.

General Science Databases

  • Web of Science *: (including Science Citation Index).1945- present. 12,000 key journals across science, medicine, social science and humanities.
  • Scopus *: Elsevier’s abstract and citation database which covers both literature and web sources. Covers 18,000 journals across science and medicine, incorporating journal artciles, conference proceedings and patent records.


Specialist Databases

  • List of online resources maintained by BTO:  links to open access web resources and ejournals.
  • All About Birds: online guide to birds and bird watching maintained by Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  • Avibase: database containing over 12 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages and more.
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library *: a consortium of 12 natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections through open access principles. In partnership with the Internet Archive and through local digitization efforts the BHL has digitized millions of pages of taxonomic literature, representing nearly 100,000 titles.
  • BIRDNET: provides information for and about the scientific study of birds. BIRDNET also provides selected links to other sites concerning other aspects about birds. Topics for these sites include birding, bird-related ecotourism, and conservation issues broader than those applying primarily to birds. It is maintained by the Ornithological Council as a service to ornithologists and the general public.
  • Birds and Mammals of Africa: The Birds of Africa - An 8 volume reference work with encyclopaedic species text and detailed paintings and drawings of the birds. Each volume contains an Introduction with the latest developments in African ornithology, including the evolution and biogeography of African birds, diagnoses of the families and genera, descriptions of range and status, field characters, voice, general habits, food, and breeding habits. Full bibliographies, acoustic references, and indexes complete this scholarly work of reference. Mammals of Africa - A 6 volume reference work describing, in detail and with colour illustrations, every currently recognized species of African land mammals. Each volume follows the same format, with detailed profiles of every species and higher taxa, and includes latest information and detailed discussion of the morphology, distribution, biology and evolution (including reference to fossil and molecular data) of Africa's mammals. Every species also includes a detailed distribution map. Extensive references alert readers to more detailed information.
  • Birds of the World: Birds of the World is a powerful research database that brings together deep, scholarly content from four celebrated works of ornithology, Birds of North America, Handbook of Birds of the World, Neotropical Birds and Bird Families of the World, with millions of bird observations from eBird and multimedia from the Macaulay Library into a single platform where biologists and birders can explore comprehensive life history information on birds. An in-depth overview of Birds of the World features can be found here.
  • The Feather Atlas : Flight Feathers of North American Birds: Feather atlas and identification tool providing high-resolution scans of the flight feathers of North American birds. Maintained by the US. Fish & Wildlife Service.
  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world's governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth.
  • Global Invasive Species Database: Produced by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN, the Global Invasive Species Database is a free, online searchable source of information about alien and invasive species that negatively impact biodiversity. It focuses on invasive alien species that threaten native biodiversity and natural areas and covers all taxonomic groups from micro-organisms to animals and plants.
  • Global Raptor Information Network Bibliography and Peregrine Fund Library: GRIN contains 48,800+ records on diurnal raptors. PDF copies of many of these references, plus copies of reprints, articles, book chapters, or reports from the Peregrine Fund Library, may be obtained for single-use academic, non-commercial use free of charge by contacting
  • Internet Bird Collection (IBC): A free online media library, consisting of videos, photos and audio clips of birds from around the world.
  • IOC World Bird Names: This site updates and virtually replaces "BIRDS OF THE WORLD Recommended English Names" By Frank Gill and Minturn Wright Princeton University Press, 2006. Our goal on behalf of the International Ornithologists' Union, formerly International Ornithological Congress (IOC), is to facilitate worldwide communication in ornithology and conservation through the consistent use of English names linked to current species taxonomy. The IOC list provides English names for Wikipedia (English) and species taxonomy for Wikipedia (French), Wikipedia Commons, and the Tree of Life project as well as many online databases and regional works worldwide. 5000-6000 colleagues visit the site each month.
  • New Zealand Birds Online:  New Zealand Birds Online is a searchable encyclopaedia of New Zealand birds. You can find detailed information about all 457 species of New Zealand birds, including all living, extinct, fossil, vagrant and introduced bird species. The database is searchable by name, conservation status, and geographical distribution. Explore the site to read expert-written texts, listen to sound files of bird calls, and browse more than 6,500 photographs.
  • Neotropical Bird Online: an authoritative, online resource for life histories of Neotropical birds. These accounts are intended primarily for ornithologists, especially those based in the Neotropics, but also will prove useful to wildlife biologists, conservationists, amateur ornithologists with strong interests in avian natural history, and biology teachers and students. Neotropical Birds Online is available free of charge. The scope of Neotropical Birds Online is all bird species that regularly occur in the Neotropics, from Mexico and the Caribbean south to southernmost South America. The emphasis is on species that breed within this region, but the eventual goal is to provide accounts for all species that regularly occur within this region.Each account on Neotropical Birds Online is an online publication.
  • Thames and Chiltern Bird Atlas: a new internet based bird atlas covering the counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire. For the first time it is possible to view in one place the breeding and wintering distributions and abundance for all bird species at the tetrad scale for a large tract of southern England as well as the changes since the 1980s, and for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, since the late 1960s. The area covered comprises 9276 sq km of inland southern England. From north to south it encompasses part of the southern Cotswolds, the vales of White Horse and Aylesbury, the chalk hills of the Chilterns and Berkshire Downs and valleys of the Thames and some of its southern tributaries. It includes substantial urban areas, such as Reading, Oxford, Luton and Milton Keynes; the outer metropolitan suburbs and a variety of habitat types. It is an area which has seen substantial changes in the 20th Century, in both rural and urban areas and these changes continue.
  • xeno-cantowebsite dedicated to sharing sound recordings of wild birds from across the world. XC aims to set up a collection of all bird sounds, representing
    • all taxa (rather than all species),
    • their complete repertoire,
    • all of the geographic variability,
    • at all stages of development.

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Relevant Guides

Guide: Online and Remote Access