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.

February 2020


Imagine if a birder had a magic video camera that could be aimed at the night sky and would show the bird migration patterns all across the country every evening. Imagine also that the images could be enlarged so that a single group of states could fill a screen, and that playback could be sped up, slowed down, or even set to repeat. Clever Cornell Ornithology Labs programmers have imagined these possibilities, and have taken advantage of the weather radar feeds from the US NEXRAD surveillance network to create BirdCast[1].

Then imagine that decades of such weather radar observations could be utilized to inform not only daily live Migration Maps[2] (a Favorite), but even 3-day forecasts during the main migration seasons. As explained in a comprehensive Cornell Labs tutorial[3], that's what we've been given. What is perhaps most amazing is that the radar signals are sufficently nuanced to allow analytic discrimination between storm clouds, flocks of birds, and even swarms of insects. While all of these move through the air, they all behave and respond to radar impulses in distinct ways, which BirdCast researchers can distinguish, and the interpretations of which are described in the Scientific Discussions[4] postings on the site.

One set of those Discussions, called Species on The Move[5] seasonally offers migration maps for particular birds in different regions of the country. With graphical mapping techniques similar to those available through eBird's Status and Trends[6] pages, the BirdCast images, when available, are far more detailed. Unlike eBird, which has been developing and expanding since its public release in 2002, BirdCast is very much a work-in-progress, as it was only launched in 2012. The site is in flux, with variable links, and inconsistent, unpredictable resources. But it's well worth exploring. A good place to start is the Review and Interpretation[7] portion of the Research pages, which explains in greater detail how all this information is presented.


January 2020:

Naming That Song III - Bird Lanquage

Moving beyond song recognition to learning what the birds are saying.

December 2019:

BirdsEye II - The Website

Extensive archive of crowd-sourced photos of global species, of unparalleled ID usefulness.

November 2019:

BirdsEye I - The App

Description of full-featured "bird-finding" app with free version.

October 2019:

Bird Videos

Entertaining and informative videos both about and featuring birds and birding.

September 2019:

eBird II - The Checklists

Exploration of some of the subtleties of the eBird mission(s) and implications for checklists.

August 2019:

eBird I

Introduction to the easily searchable data which eBird offers, including species, range maps, photos, sound samples, and much more.

July 2019:

"Bird-friendly" Products

Description of online products which truly help birds in often unexpected ways.

June 2019:

Birding eBooks

Free eBooks on bird topics, where to get them, and how to read them.

May 2019:

ID Guides

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

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

Recent Favorites:

January 2020


December 2019


November 2019


October 2019


September 2019


August 2019


July 2019


June 2019


May 2019


See the full Collection