The Bird Wide Web™ is an independent, objective survey of birding resources available to anyone with an internet connection and an up-to-date web browser. Sites, apps, downloads, and other online offerings described here are all tested for the broadest compatibility with different devices and operating systems. Nothing on the web is perfect or guaranteed, but due diligence has been done, and suggestions for improvement to this site are always welcome.

June 2019

Birding eBooks

Many birdwatchers have purchased and downloaded ebooks for reading on a Kindle, an iPad, or another type of ebook reader. But they may not know of the free birding ebooks which can be borrowed online. Other birders may have never used an ebook, and may not realize that using browser and app-based text readers can be easy and convenient. And that ebooks on birding are available through their public library or through vast free collections of scanned and digitized print material.

One free mobile app which is affiliated with many public libraries in the U.S. was developed by OverDrive[1] and is called Libby[2]). This article was written on an iPad while reading Mozart's Starling (a Favorite) by Lyanda Haupt, downloaded on a 3 week loan. Ample, clear directions explaining how to get the app, search your library's catalog for ebooks, and obtain free loans are given on both the Libby and Overdrive websites.

The most extensive and varied resource, however, is the Open Library project[3] provided by the Internet Archive[4], which is affiliated with several global attempts to preserve printed material and make it freely accessible online. Want to read Chancellor's classic biography of John James Audubon[5] on your next cross-country flight? It's there. Same with Volumes 1-2 of the Audubon Magazine[6] from 1887-89.

And, finally, if you're curious why it is that Haupt (see above) might blame the great playwright for the Central Park release of European Starlings that she describes in her book, the Open Library also offers Shakespeare's Birds[7] for your enjoyment, or, at least, your edification.


May 2019:

ID Guides

Printable, downloadable pages and charts with bird species and families illustrated.

April 2019:

Bird Cams

Description of available online live streaming video of birds on feeders, nests and roosts around the world.

March 2019:

Naming That Song - II

Apps and online tutorials for learning bird songs at your own pace.

February 2019:

Naming That Song - I

Bird song recognition, using websites, mobile apps and searchable online audio collections.

January 2019:

Lists and "Listers"

Explanation of how birding email lists work, and how text-based "alerts" give more rapid notice of rarities.

November 2018:

Birding Blogs

A survey of useful, entertaining, and regularly updated online commentary about birding and the birdwatching world.

The Bird Wide Web™ will be publishing a new article each month.

Recent Favorites:

May 2019


April 2019


March 2019


February 2019


January 2019


November 2018


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