About the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

October 15, 2019
Female Northern Cardinal by Ryan Schain/Macaulay LibraryNorthern Cardinal by Ryan Schain/Macaulay Library.

All About Birds is a free resource created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and made possible by our more than 100,000 members, donors, and supporters. Here you’ll find detailed information on more than 600 North American bird species, tips on how to attract and enjoy birds, an extensive section on FAQs and answers to common problems, as well as news and feature stories from our award-winning Living Bird magazine. You can also use our search box to find pages from any other Cornell Lab websites including eBird, Project FeederWatch, NestWatch, Macaulay Library, and others.

An All About Birds Cool Fact

Leading up to the site’s launch, All About Birds’ working title was “Ornithopolis,” evoking the site’s mission to present the field of ornithology as a bustling city of information and advice.  Shortly before launch, a staff member suggested, “Why not just call it All About Birds?”—and just like that, the site had a name.

All About Birds began in 2003 with the idea to use the relatively new medium of the World Wide Web to provide the public with basic information about North American birds. Our staff collated basic ID and life history details from our authoritative Birds of North America accounts, added a handful of cool facts for each species, supplied photos and sounds, and our Online Bird Guide was born.

In the years since, we’ve expanded our offerings. We’ve incorporated the extensive archives of eBird and the Macaulay Library to add maps, sounds, images, and video. We’ve created a Web-based “instant” version of our popular Merlin Bird ID app. Our writers and editors have added ID tips, life history detail, and conservation information. And we’ve expanded our coverage of birding basics, binocular advice, bird-friendly gardening, latest news and features, and more.

Throughout, we’ve always stuck to the idea that as one of the world’s leaders in the science of ornithology, we’re perfectly positioned to answer your questions and to inspire your love of birds and bird watching. It’s right there in our mission statement: to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Thanks for visiting us.

More About the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

“If there’s one basic thing that the Lab stands for, it’s the idea that we have an opportunity to make a difference.” Watch the Welcome Video from John Fitzpatrick.

Our planet is alive with birds, and there is nothing more fulfilling and potentially life-changing than observing birds and nature. As we watch and listen, birds help us understand the living world.

The challenges to the natural world are bigger than they’ve ever been before. Birds have the power to help us inform and inspire the global changes needed for humans and nature to live side by side.

Your support enables discovery of new knowledge, innovation of new technologies to reveal that knowledge, teaching to foster new leaders, inspiration to motivate change, and transforming science to action to make a difference on the ground.

I hope you’ll join us in a lifelong quest to enjoy, understand, and protect birds and the natural world.

signature of Cornell Lab director

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