BIRD SPECIES, BIRDING AND NATURE
This website is about birds, nature, conservation and the passion for nature. But before I continue, let me tell you a bit about myself.
On this website, you can find the bird checklists of all countries of the world: Just go to http://www.birdlist.org/site/regions.htm. In many of them you can find the bird names in its native language as well. But there is much more. There are pictures of nature, great tools for conservation, information on national parks and other nature reserves, an on-line book on ecology and nature conservation, free software for downloading, technical reports for those who want it. In order to find your way through the 2000 interlinked web pages on nature and conservation, please go to the site map. On this page we help you find the way to the worldwide list of birds and the bird names in other languages.
How many bird species?
We have composed a list of bird species originally based on the bird list of Sibley and Monroe of 9702, 1993. Since then, some new species have been discovered and a larger number of subspecies have been given the species status. Some claim as many as 13 000 bird species and several numbers in between. Why is that? The answer is that there are several "species concepts" and those who adhere to one typically fight vigorously against those who adhere to another, and there is no real end in sight to the argument. In this issue there is no real right of wrong.
However, what matters to you, the birdwatcher is what you find in the field at the place where you are birding. Let's say you are birding in Kenya. Recently, the scientific community has decided to raise two bird subspecies to the bird species level, and gave each a different scientific name. However, your bird guide does not list those names, nor has the country's bird species committee yet listed those names. If we were to list the new bird names in stead of the old bird names, you would not be able to check it off on our bird checklist, simply because the old bird name is no longer listed. So we are rather conservative with listing new bird names, because being progressive would only confuse you, the real user. We only add a bird species when it appears on the list of a national bird species committee. That way, we gradually will expand the number of bird species, as they are actually being used by active birding communities. When that happens, we will also compose a new name in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and German. Currently our list has 10 031 bird species.
If you want to read a bit more about the species concept, you may find some conceptual discussions here:
Another discussion is at: http://research.amnh.org/ornithology/crossbills/species.html
After all, we're trying to fit millions of years of evolution into a series of nice, tidily organized list of bird species, and the world is not now nor has it ever been nice or tidy. So, if you find a longer or shorter list elsewhere, those lists are just slightly different from our bird list, but not better or worse.
There are some major international taxonomic platforms with powerful databases on species that collaborate on the "Catalogue of Life", which you may want to look at:
NON-ENGLISH BIRD NAMES
We are providing non-English bird names for 20 languages.
For lists that by far exceed national bird names, we offer lists in this section:
For your convenience and rapid page loading, they are cut up into ten pages each.
We have the following native language bird lists for the relevant language region only:
Non-English bird names used to be available from a variety of European websites, but recent testing of links revealed that the majority has disappeared. Most bird names are either for the country or for palearctic birds.
Multilingual North European Bird Dictionary
Babel Birdy - Bird Name Translation (Western Palearctic and World)