New Features in Birds of the World - April 2020

Team BOW April 9, 2020
Livingstone's TuracoTauraco livingstonii

We just released three new features for Birds of the World including:

  • access to the “Ornithological Notes,” as formerly published in HBW Alive
  • tools for seeing species common names in additional languages
  • ‘Surprise me’ – a fun way to explore the species available in Birds of the World.

And of course, we regularly release revised species accounts, several per week. Check out the home page (when logged in) for those accounts and stay tuned for our “Account revisions” blog series.

Ornithological Notes

‘Ornithological Notes’ was a feature, first began on HBW Alive, that allowed authors to contribute and publish avian natural history notes. Many of these notes provided research and analysis of vocal differences in birds that supported the taxonomic decision-making of the BirdLife team. Others touched on a broad array of life history topics. Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2018, 454 Ornithological Notes were published in HBW Alive. These Ornithological Notes are now available on Birds of the World, including their original references, media links, supporting PDF documents, and recommended citations; we have also generated DOI links for each note. Explore these Ornithological Notes here.

ornithological notes

Common Names in Different Languages

Species ‘Common Names’ are now visible in more than 50 languages. eBird allows users to enter data using an array of different common names, and we have tapped into those translations by offering BOW users the ability to see alternative common names: just click the ‘Names‘ link below the common name on any species account. If a translation is available, it is displayed in this list. Further work is underway that will allow users more control over how BOW displays species accounts and at some point users will be able to search search based on these common name preferences. Below, see the variety of common names available for Dark-eyed Junco.

Surprise me! A random species selector

If the idea of exploring 10,721 species of birds leaves you scratching your head as to where to start every day, try the new ‘Surprise me’ feature – find it on the home page below the main species search box. This fun option puts you on a randomly selected species account–a great way to learn about a species you might never have otherwise seen!

BOW home page Surprise me