Birds of the World (BOW) is a rich database of species accounts and is accessible to AOS members free of charge. Each account contains information on distinguishing characteristics, distribution, systematics, behavior, ecology, demography, conservation, and priorities for future research.

Birds of the World is a continuation of Birds of North America, a series that was produced as a collaborative effort of the former American Ornithologists’ Union, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Academy of Natural Sciences. It was first published in print over a period of 10 years, with 18 volumes completed in 2002, before moving online in 2004.


Birds of the World Access Information

BOW website

For AOS Members
Log in to Birds of the World

Member log-in instructions:

  • Follow the link above, then click on “American Ornithological Society.
  • In the upper box, enter your 5- or 6-digit Member ID number. This number can be found on the upper left when you log in to the Member Portal (same as “Customer ID”)
  • In the lower box, enter your last name with only the first letter capitalized (e.g. Brewster).

From the field

Agricultural lands can support bird populations, but agricultural intensification can also cause populations to decline — so what role are changes in American agriculture playing for Mourning Doves? A Mourning Dove’s age can be estimated from the molt pattern of the wing feathers, and the age ratios of birds killed by hunters let the researchers behind a recent paper in The Condor estimate doves’ reproductive output in different regions. They found that although the specifics varied between locations, small changes in land cover were linked to large differences in Mourning Doves' reproductive output. In the eastern U.S., for example, counties with greater proportions of intensive corn and soybean agriculture had much lower ratios of juveniles to adults. Learn more at the press release linked in our profile! Photo by David Muñoz. #agriculture #ornithology #birds #wildlife #conservation #science #ecology #mourningdoveMillions of songbirds that breed across North America converge on a tiny region of Colombia called the Darién during their migration each year, as shown by research recently published in The Condor. This is what the researchers call a migratory Plenty of studies, especially in “birdy” places like shade-grown coffee farms, have shown that birds can provide an economically valuable service to farmers by eating pest insects. But what about in the huge swathes of farmland that cover much of the U.S.? To find out, the researchers behind a recent study in The Condor set up mesh “exclosures” over corn and soybean plants to see how keeping out birds but not insects would affect crops' success. They found that birds had a positive effect on corn crop yield, but a negative effect on soybean crop yield in the adjacent field. For the many farmers that use a corn-corn-soybean rotation schedule, this may suggest economic gain in the long run. Photos by Daryl Coldren and Megan Garfinkel. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #ecology #conservation #science #agriculture #midwestThe sunbirds are a group of nectar-eating songbirds from Africa and Asia that are a sort of Old World counterpart of hummingbirds. A recent paper in The Condor offered a new reason to prioritize sunbird conservation beyond just At Michigan State I teach two courses, Ecology and Tropical Biology. Each fall during the Tropical Biology course we have a “Tropical Thanksgiving.” Each group of students is assigned a plant family with a distribution primarily in the tropics, and students need to uncover a species in the plant family that humans eat. Then they bring in a dish prepared with that species, like pineapple upside down cake, brownies, or banana cream pie. Our Tropical Thanksgivings tend to be heavy on desserts! #ecology #tropicalecology #tropicalbiology #ethnobotany #botany #plantbiology #thanksgiving
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[Thanks, Catherine! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]We have worked in Panama and Costa Rica in areas undergoing forest restoration. Birds play vital roles in restoration systems by consuming insects that can damage young trees. They also disperse seeds of plants and provide pollination services. Tropical birds are also just cool! Photo credits include Sean Williams. #ornithology #wildlife #science #birds #ecology #conservation #restoration #neotropicalbirds
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]We have investigated a number of tactics to deter pest birds in orchards. Inflatable tube-men appear effective in some contexts, if farmers move them around and use enough of them. We have had mixed results with drones; some models and some flight trajectories are likely to be more effective than others in deterring crop-eating birds. Photo credits include Shayna Wiefrich and Ben Hawes. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #agriculture #orchards #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]
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