eBird has all kinds of ways for you to explore and learn about birds, whether you want to know when you can expect migratory birds to arrive in your area, where to find your next lifer, or you simply want to find about different birds around the world. Checklist data from eBird, media from the Macaulay Library, and identification tips from Merlin all combine here to place an unparalleled resource about the spectacular diversity of birds at your fingertips.
You can explore all the world’s bird species through Explore Species in eBird! Each profile includes live observation maps, stats, media, and a short description of the species. Type in a bird's common or scientific name under "Explore Species" to get started or use the “Surprise Me!” button to jump to a random species and learn about birds you’ve never heard of before! You can also access the Explore Species page for any species from anywhere in eBird by clicking on the species name in blue.
Above is an example of an Explore Species page. eBird shows if you’ve reported that species for your life and year lists, plus whether you’ve photographed or recorded it. In the gallery to the right, you can see different ages, sexes, and subspecies. Below the photos, there’s a description of the bird and its field marks, provided by Merlin Bird ID.
Explore Species pages are displayed in taxonomic order, so you can use the arrows in the top right to quickly jump to the closest relatives of a species.
Species Maps and Statistics
The "Statistics" section displays both your personal statistics and the eBird community's combined stats. To the right of that is the species' range on the Species Map for the same region as the statistics. The dropdown menu in the top left of the page lets you change the region for which stats and map are generated. Click “Large Map” on the top right to see a more detailed map with individual points and the ability to filter by date.
Search Photos and Sounds
If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll find a gallery of photos and recordings of that species. Use the arrows in the top right to browse top-rated media, click “View all” to jump to all media, or click “My media” to see your personal media for that species in Search Photos and Sounds.
Note: non-species taxa are not searchable in Explore Species. You can still view sightings and media of non-species taxa using Species Maps and Search Photos and Sounds. This also includes birds not yet formally described to science like “San Pedro Tanager” and “Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (Grant’s).” How cool is that?!
Explore Region provides one of the most powerful tools in eBird, allowing you to view data summarized across political regions from local counties to entire countries in a near instant. Just type the name of a county, state, province, or country into the search bar under "Explore Regions" to get started!
You can also view certain larger regions like continents and hemispheres using the Major Regions dropdown menu (these regions will not appear in the search box), and you can view sightings from anywhere in the United States National Wildlife Refuge System, which includes over 560 refuges across all 50 states. Unlike other regions in eBird, refuge borders sometimes cross county or state lines.
The default display on the Overview for any region is “Last Seen, by Date”, which shows the most recent record for any species. You can examine sightings by “First Seen,” “High Counts,” or access the Bar Charts of observation frequency from the Overview tab, and you can sort any of these displays by Species Name (taxonomic order), Count, or Date.
NOTE: the default display, "Last Seen", is a constantly changing list that shows only the most recent record of that species for that region. If your sighting isn't showing up there, it probably means that someone submitted those birds more recently! Check out the Recent Visits tab if you’d like to see your sightings on the Explore Region outputs
States/Provinces & Counties
Explore pages for larger regions like provinces or countries will have a tab next to Overview listing either the states/provinces within a country, or all of the counties within a state/province. These lists are automatically organized by species totals, but you can also view them by checklist totals or even by the fewest species or checklists. This is a great way to find under-birded counties to visit!
This tab displays a list of the top 100 hotspots within a region, sorted by number of species reported. This is a great way to find the most diverse locations and the most under-birded patches alike! Click the map in the top right to jump to see the region in Hotspot Explorer (also accessible from the main “Explore” page).
Check the "Recent Visits" tab to see the most recent checklists submitted to an area, as well as who submitted them. Note only the 200 most recent checklists are displayed. For heavily birded regions, 200 lists may only cover the last day or two. For less heavily-birded areas, the 200 most recent checklist may span several months! You can hide your data from appearing in Recent Visits for privacy output by going to your My eBird Preferences and under “Data Privacy” selecting “Hide my data from Recent Visits.”
The Illustrated Checklist combines eBird Bar Charts with the natural history media archived by eBirders in the Macaulay Library to display an enhanced visualization of species occurrence in a region. The highest-rated media asset from the region will be displayed for each species entry on the Illustrated Checklist. You can search for any species on the list, view which species have photos and audio recordings, and which species lack them. Can you help fill in these frequency and media gaps?
The “Change Location” button will take you back to the main Explore page so you can type in another region you’d like to search. You can use the “All Years” dropdown menu to switch to just the data for the current year, or to view any of the Global Big Day and October Big Day summaries for any region. Since these Big Days cover a single date, the “Date” column will display the checklist start time rather than the calendar day.