Common name display preferences

The Cornell Lab offers bird common names in 43 languages plus 35 regional dialects – that’s 78 variations in all, including at least 15 versions for English, 15 for Spanish, and 6 for French!

Recent additions include Arabic, Asturian, Catalan, Azerbaijani, Gallegan, Slovak, plus two regional versions of Spanish (for Peru and Paraguay). We also have complete global namesets for German, Turkish, Slovak, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Norwegian as of 2020 August.

While the body of each Birds of the World species profile will remain in English, this feature displays your preferred common name at the top of each profile and allows you to search by this common name in the search bar and in the Taxonomy Explorer.

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, in this case French, 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 in French. For example:

Species search

Common Name Display

Taxonomy Explorer


When common name preferences are set but translations are incomplete (meaning not all 10,000+ species have translations), 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. 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.