Research Resources for Ornithologists
  • Chicago Academy of Sciences Founded in 1857 and thus has the honor of being Chicago's oldest scientific institution. Over 12000 specimens in its ornithological collection.
  • Cornell Ornithology Collection in Ithaca, NY, currently consists of approximately 37000 skins, 4300 skeletons, 1200 fluid-preserved specimens, 3200 egg sets, 700 nests, and 1000 uncataloged mounts.
  • Cornell Library Rare and manuscript collections of all sorts, amongst which the is L A Fuertes Ornithology Collection. 
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology Library of Natural Sounds is the world leader in bird song recording and analysis for conservation, education, research, and recreation purposes. As the world's largest repository of bird songs, LNS contains 100000 individual recordings representing more than half the world's bird species. These recordings are contributed by researchers and volunteer Lab affiliates from around the world. 
  • Cornell University Bioacoustics Research Program The Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) is one of the world's leading facilities for the study of animal communication, and specializes in developing and applying new techniques for recording and analyzing animal sounds.
  • Borror Laboratory for Bioacoustics, Ohio State University Houses one of the largest collections of recorded animal sounds in the world, approximately 23200 recordings of over 1000 species of animals including an impressive list of passerine and non-passerine bird songs in a variety of habitats. A current catalog is available for browsing. The BLB is also a center of active research on animal sounds. 
  • VIREO The world's most comprehensive collection of bird photographs; includes over 85000 photographs of 5732 species of birds. VIREO was established in 1979 to create a centralized, well curated collection of bird photographs accessible for scientific and public use.
  • Peabody Museum Ornithology Collection Yale University, New Haven, CT. A comprehensive ornithology collection for North America, with international significance in several areas. Includes 100000+ skin, 9000+ skeletal and 13000+ pickled (wet preserves) specimens. Overall, the collection contains material for more than 6500 species, over 70 percent of the birds of the world.
  • Florida Museum of Natural History Pierce Brodkorb Ornithology Collection University of Florida, Gainesville. Represents the collection of fossil birds amassed by the late Professor Pierce Brodkorb and recently acquired, integrated and computer cataloged by FLMNH with support from the National Science Foundation. The catalog consists of nearly 10000 numbers on a database that can be queried by example. 
  • Chicago Academy of Sciences Ornithology Collection A well-known collection consisting of 12000 skins and over 1000 mounted specimens, including 583 species of North American birds. Described by one paragraph in the web site.
  • Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Bird Collection University of California at Berkeley, CA. One of the biggest collections in the US, with 174000+ specimens. Well-illustrated web pages but little data online. 
  • Aves: The Birds University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley. Educational pages about the vertebrate class Aves which includes ... birds. Four sections: Fossil Record, Life History and Ecology, Systematics, More on Morphology. 
  • Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Washington, DC. All about this interesting research center, with a number of fact sheets - for instance on migrant land birds in the Andes. 
  • The Lindsay Wildlife Museum Walnut Creek, California. A wildlife rehabilitation and educational center that focuses on native California wildlife and natural history. Exhibits live, non-releasable native wildlife. Founded in 1955, the museum is the oldest and one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation hospitals in the United States, treating more than 6000 injured or orphaned wild animals each year. 
  • National Library for the Environment A a project of the Committee for the National Institute for the Environment, a national non-profit which seeks to improve the scientific basis for making decisions on environmental issues. The on-line library aims to address the need for objective, scientifically sound information. It will eventually include several on-line components including Congressional Research Service Reports, In Depth Issues in the Environment, Population and Environment Linkages 
  • Slater Museum, University of Puget Sound Tacoma, Washington. Bird Biodiversity - keys, images, specimen lists. Ornithology collection (gopher) - 21500 (15500 skins, 1500 skeletons, 3200 extended wings, and 4500 egg sets)
  • Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences The Ornithology Dept of the Academy's Biodiversity Group jointly publishes (with the American Ornithologists' Union) Birds of North America, the encyclopedic reference series on all the species of birds that breed in North America. Also the source of VIREO, the world's most comprehensive collection of bird photographs. Web pages include info about the department's research in Iwokrama, Guyana and comprehensive bird list. 
  • University of Alaska Museum Ornithology Collection Database With emphasis on the birds of northwestern-most North America, including those endemic to Beringia and those of the circumpolar North, the Ornithology Collection is the broadest synoptic series in existence of avian material from Alaska. 6700 study skins, 500+ skeletons and 300 avian genetic samples in the Alaska Frozen Tissue Collection. A summary database is available for interrogation.
  • Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois. Website has a gopher menu listing its collections.
Bird / Wildlife Research Centers
  • Fundação Tropical de Pesquisas e Tecnologia, Brazil. A not-for-profit private research organization, founded in 1971. Awarded the status of Federal Public Utility Institution in recognition of its valuable services to the development of science and technology in Brazil. The main objective of the Foundation is to promote and disseminate scientific and technological knowledge by carrying out research activities, acting as a documentation centre, and promoting training activities.
  • George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center A private, non-profit organization dedicated to finding cooperative conservation solutions for birds and the natural world through science and education. The scope of projects ranges from the reintroduction of Southern Bald Eagles to the use of NASA thermo-imaging cameras to study incubation temperatures.
  • Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Located near Jamestown, North Dakota; one of many science centers operated by the Biological Resources Division of the US Geological Survey, a bureau of the US Department of the Interior. Website is information-rich, and includes a large number of technical reports and research papers on waterfowl and other plains species, and maps for the ranges of many North American breeding birds. The maps, based on data collected by the USFWS/CWS Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), show changes in the distribution and abundance patterns for the last 20 years, with four maps for each species, representing the average distribution and abundance pattern over five-year periods.
  • Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Another science center operated by the Biological Resources Division of the US Geological Survey, carrying out a wide range of research projects; themes include Status and Trends of Biological Resources and Management and Transfer of Natural Resources Information and Technology. Another information-rich web site with details of research projects, including Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey results.
  • Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Founded as the environmental outreach arm of Northland College in 1972. Located on the south shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin, its purpose is to increase public understanding of the complex relationships between natural and cultural environments in the Lake Superior basin and to assist in developing workable solutions to regional environmental problems.
  • Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Dedicated to fostering greater understanding, appreciation, and protection of the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Website includes a number of fact sheets, bird of the month, publication list and news.
  • Wildlife Spatial Analysis Lab, University of Montana, Missoula. Established in 1991 to apply GIS and remote sensing technologies to a variety of biological, ecological, and environmental projects throughout the West - includes maps/posters of some data/info on Bald Eagle in Montana.
Bird Observatories / Research or Field Stations 
/ Viewing Stations / Nature Centers
  • Canada Delta Marsh Bird Banding Station Manitoba. Established in 1994, it is one of five working banding stations in Canada and part of the Canadian Wildlife Service's "Canadian Landbird Monitoring.
  • Canada Holiday Beach Migration Observatory Ontario, Southwestern Essex County. Conducts long-term migration monitoring program. World class hawk migration site. Need volunteers. Web page contains postings from Observatory President, Bob Pettit.
  • Canada Last Mountain Bird Observatory Near Govan, Saskatchewan. Part of a nation-wide network of observatories that have been established to keep track of Canada's forest birds. Information from a banding program is forwarded to the Bird Banding Office in Ottawa.
  • Canada Redberry Pelican Project Research Station Near Hafford, Saskatchewan. More than 1000 American White Pelicans nest on New Tern Island at Redberry Lake, one of the 14 colonies in Saskatchewan.
  • Denmark Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre Bird Ringing Data Collection of the Zoological Museum with data from Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, for c 2.5 million birds. Website gives last annual ringing report, list of publications, and list of European ringing centres.
  • Italy La Vela Marsh Near Taranto in the south. A WWF Italy "oasis". Website gives lists of resident, migratory, breeding and wintering birds, and inludes a photo gallery with some 60 bird pics. The Italian version includes a Guide to Apulia for nature lovers, covering woods, canyons, heaths, and damp environments, with maps, bird, mammal, and plant (trees) lists with scientific names.
  • Finland Hanko Bird Observatory Run by Tringa RY, a bird society in Helsinki. Situated at the tip of Hanko penisula in the extreme south west point of Finland. Website gives information on ringing activity, migratory bird observations, and a publications list.
  • Sweden Latnjajaure Field Station Bird banding program re-started in 1990. Website describes the bird life in Latnjajaure valley - typical of middle and high alpine zones.
  • Sweden Ottenby Bird Observatory At southern point of Öland. Research and ringing conducted here since 1946. Annually about 20000 birds are ringed. Website gives information about the observatory, species accounts, migration.
  • UK Dungeness Bird Observatory Kent. Near the Old Lighthouse in Dungeness. Has two sea-watching hides. Hostel-type accommodation available.
  • UK Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Kent. On east coast, between River Stour estuary and Deal. Main work is to watch, record and ring the birds of Sandwich Bay. Hostel accommodation available.
  • UK Fair Isle Bird Observatory Scotland, Shetland Islands. Established in 1948. Dense and diverse seabird populations found here. Lodge and bird observatory open to visitors from late April to the end of October. Accommodation available.
  • UK North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory Scotland, on a small island at the northernmost end of the Orkney islands. Warden and staff are trained bird-ringers.
  • UK Skokholm Island Nature Reserve Wales, off the south west coast of Pembrokeshire. Along with neighbouring Skomer and Grassholm islands, it forms one of the most important seabird breeding sites in Europe. 
  • USA Alaska Bird Observatory Founded in 1991 to promote the conservation and monitoring of Alaska's birds through research and education. Specializes in long term studies of migrant and resident birds of the arctic, subarctic and temperate regions of northwestern North America. Website includes info on education, research, and training programs, volunteer opps, jobs, bird quiz, and visiting.
  • USA Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory Arizona. "Dedicated to the conservation of the birds of southeastern Arizona, their habitats and the diversity of species which share those habitats through research, monitoring and public education."
  • USA Point Reyes Bird Observatory California. Palomarin Field Station, located on the Point Reyes National Seashore, is the headquarters of PRBO's Terrestrial Program, which conducts research on landbirds throughout California and the western US. Website includes info on research, projects, internship and career opportunities, ringing scheme and results, education programs, visiting.
  • USA Irvine Natural Science Center Maryland, Stevenson. Educates Marylanders about environmental issues, conducts bird walks, hosts birding excursions, and operates a banding station. Website includes info about events, volunteer opportunities, eco-tips.
  • USA Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve Minnesota, east Duluth. Standardized count of migrating hawks is conducted annually from August into November. Website includes info on getting there, programs, some count data.
  • USA Bridger Mountains Birds of Prey Montana. 17 species of birds of prey can be seen each autumn, concentrating along the Bridgers during their migration south. Web page provides site guide with maps.
  • USA Cape May Bird Observatory New Jersey. Founded in 1975 by the New Jersey Audubon Society. Cape May Peninsula funnels millions of birds as they move south during autumn and is invaluable to migrants seeking safe foraging and resting sites. Web page includes info on research and education programs, and birding activities.
  • USA Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Pennsylvania. 2,380-acre nature preserve straddling the Kittatinny Ridge. Established in 1934 as the world's first refuge devoted to the protection of birds of prey. Website includes info about visiting, events, programs, kids' page.
  • USA Austin Ornithological Research Station Texas. Founded in 1929 / 1930 on 600 acres bordering on Cape Cod Bay. Large-scale, nearly continuous bird-banding operation from 1927 until 1957. Bird Banding Data Computerization Project underway since 1994.
  • USA Gulf Coast Bird Observatory Texas. Mission is "the conservation of birds and their habitats along the Gulf of Mexico." Plans to build an Interpretive Center at High Island, internationally known for its diversity and abundance of springtime migrants. 
  • USA Rio Grande Valley Bird Observatory Texas. Conducts research and education programs, bird-banding, works with other organizations in the preservation of bird habitats. Website includes info on programs, acitivities, field trips, birding hotspots, online newsletter, links.
  • USA Washington Monument State Park Hawk Watch Just outside Washington, DC. Watch, identify, count migrating raptors in spring and fall. Data sent to Hawk Migration Association of North America. Web page includes some count data and directions to get there. 

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