Welcome Blue jay photo by Isidor Jeklin/CLO

Welcome

In two centuries of American ornithology, The Birds of North America (BNA) is only the fourth comprehensive reference covering the life histories of North America’s breeding birds. Following in the footsteps of Wilson, Audubon, and Bent, BNA provides a quantum leap in information beyond what those historic figures were able to assemble. The print version of BNA was completed in 2002 – 18 volumes, 18,000 pages -- a joint 10 year project of the American Ornithologists' Union, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Now as an online project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BNA is becoming a living resource. Account contents are updated frequently, with contributions from researchers, citizen scientists, and designated reviewers and editors. In addition, BNA Online contains image and video galleries showing plumages, behaviors, habitat, nests and eggs, and more. And most online BNA accounts now feature recordings of the songs and calls of their species, recordings selected from the extensive collection of Cornell's Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds. Future work will enhance BNA’s audio and video contributions, speed revisions via efforts coordinated online, and provide a significant boost to the number of photos available to subscribers. Stay tuned!

What's New in BNA

Update - Now Featuring eBird data-- Over the next year, BNA will be sequentially introducing eBird data to the 'Distribution' pages.  See an example here: American Robin.

New Fully Revised Species Maps--
Over the next year, BNA will be sequentially introducing entirely updated species distribution maps. These maps feature up-to-date distribution information and an revised color scheme.  See an example here: Northern Mockingbird.

Update (June) New Fully Revised Species Accounts--
Lazuli Bunting has been revised by BNA staff with help from Peter Lowther. This account's photo, audio, and video galleries have also been updated. Also revised this month is Kirtland's Warbler, one of the rarest songbirds in America.  This endangered species's account was revised by key researchers in the field; Carol Bocetti and Deahn Donner. This account's photo, audio, and video galleries have all been updated. Prairie Warbler has been revised by BNA staff with help from Peter Lowther. This account also includes new material in the photo, audio, and video galleries. Black-and-white Warbler has been revised by BNA staff with help from Peter Lowther. This account's photo, audio, and video galleries have all been updated.

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Update (May) New Fully Revised Species Accounts-- Great Horned Owl has been revised by Christian Artuso and Clarence Stuart Houston. This account's audio, and video galleries have also been updated. Also revised this month is Marsh Wren, revised by BNA staff with help from Peter Lowther. This account's audio, and video galleries have all been updated. Hermit Warbler has been revised by BNA staff. This account also includes new material in the audio, and video galleries. White Wagtail has been revised by BNA staff. This account's audio, and video galleries have all been updated.

Complete Archives of News & Updates


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Explore these free, all-access accounts to see if BNA is right for you. Click on a photo to go to the account.