Common name display preferences

The Birds of the World team is working to enable DeepL reading and writing language translator into the full text of each species account. Meanwhile, you can change the common names of each species by enabling a simple preference option. Read on.

As you know, 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 96 languages as well as customized versions of bird names so you can always use the bird names you prefer. This includes regional variations of English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, and more.

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 11,000 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.

under Species Name Display, 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


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

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