Birds, birds, birds: resources for ornithologists

Published on
March 31, 2021

Thanks to your positive response to the trial, we’ve decided to acquire the resource Birds of the World. Birds of the World contains life history information on more than 10,000 bird species. We also offer access to more databases on ornithology. Please check Databases & Collections for more information.

Birds of the World

Besides millions of birds observations, a taxonomy explorer, videos and sound recordings from eBird and images from the Macaulay Library, Birds of the World contains four ornithological works:

  • Birds of North America (Cornell Lab)
  • Neotropical Birds (Cornell Lab)
  • Handbook of Birds of the World Alive (originally published by Lynx Edicions)
  • Bird Families of the World (originally published by Lynx Edicions)
To have access to Birds of the World would be very valuable for researchers working with ecosystems involving birds! Information on Wikipedia or other Internet sources is not always sufficient. And who knows – coming across information about bird species which would not otherwise have been sought out could feed new research questions.
Ulrika Beier, Wageningen Marine Research

Birds of the World is a continuously updated resource in both functionality and content.


Avibase is an extensive database about all birds of the world. It contains over 1.4 million records on 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages and more. Each entry links to subspecies, images, and distribution maps. The site also includes species checklists for each continent and region and is searchable and browsable by Latin family name.

IOC World Bird List

The IOC World Bird List is a new open access resource of the international community of ornithologists. The list aims to facilitate global communication in ornithology and conservation based on an up-to-date evolutionary classification of world birds and a set of English names that follow explicit guidelines for spelling and construction. To keep up with the current industry of taxonomic revisions, the IOC editorial team and advisors update the web-based list each January and June/July. The updates include changes of recommended names or classification, additions of newly described species, corrections of nomenclature, and updates of species taxonomy.

Databases & Collections

In Databases & Collections we recommend interesting resources on research fields for staff and students of Wageningen University & Research. You can search using keywords, such as ‘ornithology’, ‘aves’ or ‘birds’ or filter by subject on the left side. Because we’re still working on this overview we could use your help. If you know encyclopedias or databases from WUR Library Search that are not in the selection of Databases & Collections yet, please contact us.