The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has recently launched their drastically updated All About Birds portion of their website. Here are just a few of the highlights of this amazing online resource that every birder can benefit from.
First off, the visual appeal of All About Birds (AAB) is an improvement over the old look, easily fitting in the design of Web 2.0. But despite an eye-catching layout, the functionality is efficient and easy to use.
The search function is excellent, making it simple to get to the bird in question. All you need to do is type a simple word and you get a list of birds. You can also search by letter or by silhouette to narrow down the results.
Each bird has a nearly overwhelming amount of data with tabbed browsing that includes photos, range map, habitat details, nesting, and more. There is also a direct link to a fast-loading audio clip of the bird and for some birds, videos.
The “life history” tab leads to direct link to habitat, food, nesting, behavior, and conservation, each with icons detailing the attribute.
These attributes lead to more information and some birds have multiple photos and links to similar species.
We have barely had time to scratch the surface on another great feature of All About Birds: Building Skills. Here you will find an incredible variety of information that can increase the skills of practically ANY birder. There is so much here that we will give this part of AAB it’s own extensive review in the near future.
Overall, the improvements made in this update are fantastic and we know they will continue to advance. Many of the photos found for each individual species were gleaned from Birdshare, the Lab’s photo-sharing group on Flickr. We’ll continue to review the wonderful changes and additions of this and other amazing changes on the web in what is definitely an exciting time to be a birder!