eBird API Terms of Use

Last edited on October 19, 2021

These terms of use apply to the application programming interfaces (the “API”) located at https://ebird.org/ws1.1, https://ebird.org/ws2.0, and https://api.ebird.org (the “API Sites”).

Please note that all data derived from the API (“eBird Data”) are subject to the eBird Data Access Terms of Use. Please review the eBird Data Access Terms of Use carefully to understand your obligations in using eBird Data.

THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE (the “API Terms”) ARE A LEGAL AND BINDING AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND CORNELL UNIVERSITY ON BEHALF OF THE CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY (the “Cornell Lab of Ornithology”) governing your use of the API. These API Terms are in addition to the Terms of Use governing your use of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Services, and supplement any terms imposed by a third-party product that accesses eBird Data via the API.

Your use of the API is at your risk. If you are dissatisfied with the API, any of the materials contained in the API, which may include, and is not limited to, data, still images, text, pictorial works, video images, still images of video, graphic designs, audio recordings, multimedia combinations, and computer programs, including web-based programs (collectively, the “API Content”), or with these API Terms, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue accessing and using the API.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology reserves the right to change these API Terms at any time without prior notice. Your continued access or use of the APIs after such changes indicates your acceptance of the API Terms as modified. It is your responsibility to review the API Terms regularly.


  1. All APIs (with few exceptions) will require a key, which is tied to your eBird account.
  2. You must guard the security of your eBird account and monitor the use of your API keys. You are responsible for all use of the APIs through your assigned API keys, whether or not authorized by you.
  3. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology reserves the right at any time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, your access to the API (or any part thereof) with or without notice.
  4. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology reserves the right at any time to introduce new versions of the API and to discontinue current versions of the API with or without notice.


  1. Subject to these API Terms and any other applicable terms of use, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, revocable license and right to use the API to access eBird Data for non-commercial use, including: scientific publications, and related reports and presentations; educational and artistic materials, including those supporting not-for-profit books, film, courses, and outreach events; non-peer reviewed publications, reports and related applications; and websites, web-based platforms, mobile applications, and decision-support tools.
  2. You will not use the API in any manner that adversely impacts the stability of the ebird.org servers or adversely impacts the behavior of other applications using the eBird API. Such abuse may result in temporary or permanent suspension of your access to the API. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in its sole discretion, will determine what constitutes adverse impacts.
  3. You may download API Content the Cornell Lab of Ornithology designates as offered for download to any single device a single copy of such API Content for personal and non-commercial use only.
  4. You will not use the API or API Content, either whole or in part, for commercial purposes whatsoever without prior written permission of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For the purposes of these API Terms, “commercial purposes” means: a) any use by, on behalf of, or to inform or assist the activities of, a commercial entity (an entity that operates ‘for profit’); or b) use by any non-profit entity for the purposes of revenue generation. If you wish to request permission, please contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology via email at ebird@cornell.edu.
  5. You will not share your API key(s) with any third party, and you may not allow any third parties to use eBird Data in a way that would be a violation of these API Terms or any other applicable Terms.


You agree to attribute eBird.org as the source of the data accessed via the API wherever it is used or displayed. Whenever possible, please accompany this with a link back to eBird.org.


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, with regard to the correctness, reliability, or accuracy of any API Content, or otherwise. The APIs and all API Content are provided “as-is.” The Cornell Lab of Ornithology disclaims all warranties, statutory, express or implied, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, and non-infringement. Neither the Cornell Lab of Ornithology nor its affiliated or related entities or its content providers shall be responsible or liable to any person, firm, or corporation for any loss, damage, injury, claim, or liability of any kind or character based on or resulting from any use of the APIs or any API Content.


  1. All APIs, API Content, and the API Sites are owned or licensed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and are protected by applicable intellectual property laws. You may not frame or mirror any portion of the API Sites.
  2. You agree to maintain all copyright or other proprietary notices embedded in or attached to any API Content.
  3. You agree that by posting or submitting any text or other materials to the API Sites you grant Cornell Lab of Ornithology a royalty-free permanent license for the worldwide use and/or sublicense of such materials, including the right to exploit any proprietary rights in the posting or submission. You further agree that we may freely exploit and make available any and all feedback, suggestions, ideas, enhancement requests, recommendations, or other information you provide to us relating to the APIs.


Other terms and conditions governing your use of the API may be found in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Terms and Conditions of Service.

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library