Common name display preferences

All BOW species accounts feature both the common name and scientific name of the species.

The common bird names are based on the eBird/Clements taxonomy, which is maintained in English. But common bird names are also available in more than 55 languages as well as 39 regional versions of English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, for a total of 95 regional sets of bird names.

Adjusting preferences to use your preferred common names will allow you to more easily find and recognize the species. While the body of each Birds of the World species profile will remain in English, this feature displays your preferred common name in the large banner image at the top of each profile and allows you to search by this common name in the search bar and in the Taxonomy Explorer.

Some of the common names datasets are partial (there may not be a common name for all 10,824 species in a certain language or we do not have access to them). When this is the case, English common names are displayed by default. There are some places in BOW where the species common name is not yet translated, such as in the media, maps, and main body of the text.

Navigate to the BOW/eBird preferences to update your common name language. The default Common Names in eBird appear under eBird Preferences as “English (United States)”.

Learn more about these common name datasets and search for your preference here:

Follow the instructions below to set your common name preference:

Click the icon in upper part of screen and select Preferences.

Then toggle to your preferred language and click SAVE at bottom of page.

Then navigate back to Birds of the World. There is no ‘one click’ option to get back to BOW from eBird preferences at the moment, so just put the URL in the address bar.

Now you can see as well as search for common names. For example:

Species search

Common Name Display

Taxonomy Explorer


We will be working in the future to make the display of common name preferences function more broadly across the site.

Want to work with us on a set of translations? If your language is missing from this list, contact us.