Resources Help File

Birds of North America

To link to this resource use:

Database available to authorized IU Bloomington users (on or off campus) Database available to authorized IU Bloomington users (on or off campus)
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Frequency of Updates:

Cornell Lab of Ornithology produces BNA. Account contents will be updated frequently, with online-coordinated contributions from researchers, citizen scientists, and designated reviewers and editors. In addition, BNA Online will build image and video galleries showing behaviors, habitat, nests, eggs and nestlings, and more. And each online species account will contain recordings of that bird's songs and calls, selected from the extensive collection in Cornell's Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds.

Each BNA species account, written by one or more of 700 leading ornithologists, is fully searchable by topic and key word, and includes: 

- conservation and management issues, including effects of human activity, status of essential habitats, prospects for survival, and more 
- a detailed, up-to-date, color-keyed map indicating the species' breeding and wintering ranges throughout the Americas 
- details of nature, timing, and routes of migration 
- a full description of breeding, migratory habitats 
- detailed accounts of feeding habits, songs and calls, and other behaviors 
- up-to-date treatment and description of subspecies, with a full discussion of systematics of the species 
- details of life at the nest: eggs, young, feeding, predation 
- a comprehensive bibliography for each species - a guide to published research 
- full data on breeding success, life span, mortality and disease, plus demographic and population information 
- gaps in knowledge are highlighted to guide future research

BNA accounts provide an up-to-date, comprehensive list of references for each species. Most accounts include at least 100 references, many 200-300 or more.  In addition, each reference in an account is highlighted and linked to the bibliography, allowing readers to shift easily between the body of an account and the literature cited.

BNA now features sounds and video from The Macaulay Library, the world's largest archive of sounds and associated video. Video is included to illustrate key behaviors and features of habitat, as well as to provide a glimpse of life at the nest. BNA readers can also listen to the songs and calls of each bird, and see these illustrated via spectrograms and waveforms created with Raven software, a new and feature-rich interactive sound analysis program developed by the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

New to BNA, this gallery will feature photo contributions from professional and talented amateur photographers from across the continent, including Artie Morris, Brian Small, Kevin Carlson, and many others. Photos will focus on key aspects of plumage and distinguishing characteristics, as well as on habitat, eggs and nests, and behaviors. The image gallery also contains maps of breeding and wintering range, charts and graphs illustrating key aspects of the biology of a species, and line drawings of the species by some of the best bird artists in N. America, such as David Sibley, Julie Zickefoose, and John Schmitt.

Number of Users:
Interlibrary Loan:
Not Permitted
Resource Advocate:
Beckman, Roger
SFX Source:
Federated Search:

IUB Library Subjects:
  • Biology

Library of Congress Subjects:

Birds -- North America.
Birds -- North America -- Identification.
Birds -- Behavior -- North America.