Upland Goose
Upland Goose (Bar-breasted) Chloephaga picta

FAQ for Birds of North America institutional subscribers

Cornell Lab of Ornithology (the Cornell Lab) is delighted to offer Birds of the World to academic libraries, government agencies, public schools and academies, nonprofit institutions, consulting firms, wildlife rehabilitators, and other organizations.

Birds of North America (BNA) will undergo a major expansion and rebranding to become the new Birds of the World. This dynamic platform is made possible by merging two of the Cornell Lab’s flagship publications (Birds of North America and Neotropical Birds) with content from the renowned Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW Alive) and Bird Families of the World, originally published by Lynx Edicions. Birds of the World will be supported with real-time data from eBird and multimedia from the renowned Macaulay Library.

Built with scientists and amateur ornithologists in mind, Birds of the World will feature in-depth, comprehensive, and authoritative species accounts that will allow researchers, biologists, naturalists, and birders a deep dive into the remarkable life of birds.

How will Birds of the World be different from Birds of North America?

First of all, it will be MUCH bigger in scale, covering all the world’s species and families, rather than 760 North American species. But the enhancements go far beyond that. We think you will love the way our platform brings together definitive content on birds and blends it with real-time distribution and abundance data as well as an ever-evolving library of multimedia content.

Why the change?

For the past 25 years, the Cornell Lab has invested heavily in leveraging the power of the internet and rapidly advancing technologies to share authoritative information about birds with the world’s scientists and with public audiences. In so doing, the Lab has developed revolutionary tools for birders such as eBird and Merlin, gathered and archived the world’s natural history media at the Macaulay Library, and served the professional ornithological community through scholarly digital publications such as Birds of North America and Neotropical Birds. The opportunity to expand this model to cover ALL the birds of the world and offer it to our subscribers is a great privilege and fitting extension of the Lab’s mission.

When will Birds of the World be launched?

The new Birds of the World platform will launch in early 2020. Until then, access to the existing Birds of North America will continue as normal.  

What will happen to my BNA account?

As long as your institutional subscription is current at the time of launch, your BNA subscription account will simply transition into a Birds of the World account and you, your patrons, and staff will be able to access Birds of the World.

What if our renewal date is prior to the launch of Birds of the World?

Until you hear otherwise, all renewals and new contracts will remain under the Birds of North America banner. After the platform is launched in 2020, renewals and contracts will be established for the new Birds of the World.

Will this change require a new license?

Yes, you will be asked to sign a new license agreement with the Cornell Lab at the time of your next renewal. Your Cornell Lab sales manager will work with you to draft a new license agreement and enrollment form. Your renewal dates will stay the same, unless you’d like to take this time to adjust them to a more convenient time of year. Check back here and stay tuned for emails.

Can new customers subscribe to Birds of the World now?

We invite you into the fold by subscribing to Birds of North America with the understanding that the resource will transition to Birds of the World in 2020.

Will there be a price increase?

We aim to make this new product available to the widest possible audience while retaining our ability to keep it accurate, useful, and state-of-the-art. Some customers may see a modest price increase, but not immediately. Everyone will be able to enjoy Birds of the World before any price changes take effect. We know some university library resource budgets are being squeezed and you have to plan far in advance. We will do our best to work with you one-on-one to ensure you maintain access to Birds of the World for your students and patrons. Feel free to reach out to us with any special circumstances you’d like us to consider during the renewal process.

How do I stay informed?

Current institutional customers may already be on our notification list, but this is a great time to update our contact records. Feel free to send a note to birds@birdsoftheworld.org to make sure you’re on the list.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology sales contact:

  • Laura Kammermeier
  • Cornell Lab Sales & Marketing Manager
  • Email
  • Office: +1-607-254-1143