eBird Data Access Terms of Use

Last updated on: Nov 9, 2020

Building and managing the systems that enable the collection and careful management of data in eBird requires ongoing time, effort, and expense for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Thousands of participants freely provide the data to eBird, and in this same spirit we make these data freely available for non-commercial use.

In order to help financially maintain and develop eBird, we need to receive acknowledgement for our work when others use these data for non-commercial purposes. The formal terms of use (specified below) describe the mechanisms through which we can ensure that appropriate credit is given for the benefit of maintaining and growing eBird.


  • eBird data are supplied only for applied and basic research and education.
  • The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will update the eBird data available at any time.
  • The users of eBird data will provide a full and appropriate acknowledgement and citation in any materials or publications derived in part or in whole from the data; relevant citation details are provided with each dataset. For any publication making substantial use of the eBird data, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology welcomes opportunities for commenting on the work prior to publication, for collaboration, and for co-authorship if we contribute substantial intellectual input in a publication. Expressions of interest can be sent to ebird@cornell.edu.
  • Reproduction of any eBird data or any products derived from it, either whole or in part, for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written permission of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For the purposes of these Terms of Use, “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 require permission please contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology via email to ebird@cornell.edu.
  • The recipient will only use the eBird data provided for the purpose for which it was requested. If subsequent or different use is required the recipient must contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology again for written approval.
  • The recipient will not pass the original datasets on to any third parties and will direct all such thirds parties’ requests for use of eBird data back to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  • The recipient will not publish or publicly distribute eBird data in their original format, either whole or in part, in any media, including but not limited to on a website, FTP site, CD, memory stick. The recipient should provide a link to the original data source location on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website where appropriate.
  • The recipient may only pass on datasets derived from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s original eBird data (in forms not limited to tabular and graphical representations) if these derived data are supplied with the same Terms of Use.
  • Your use of any eBird data does not constitute endorsement by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology of any derived products, reports, or analyses. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and eBird logos must not be used on any derived products, reports, or analyses, or supporting materials, without express written permission.
  • All eBird data are provided with additional supporting metadata sufficient to make sensible and informed decisions about data use. The recipient must read all supporting metadata prior to any analysis and agree to abide by any stipulations contained therein. Where appropriate, Cornell Lab of Ornithology staff can provide additional guidance on request to aid in the correct use and interpretation of the data.
  • The Cornell Lab of Ornithology endeavors to maintain accurate and up-to-date data at all times, but can accept no responsibility for the consequences of errors or omissions in the data, for misuse of the data by any organization or individual, or for any damage done to computing systems into which the data are entered (see Disclaimer below).
  • User agrees to send, free of change, an electronic copy of all products published using eBird data supplied by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to Jenna Curtis at: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA; or via email to eBird@cornell.edu.


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, with regard to the correctness, reliability, or accuracy of any eBird data, or otherwise. All eBird data is provided “as-is.” The material and geographic designations in eBird data do not imply the expressions of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, nor concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. 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 any eBird data.

Indemnification and Limitation of Liability

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Cornell University, its trustees, officers, employees, and agents, from and against all losses, expenses, damages, and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from your violation of these Terms. You expressly understand and agree Cornell University shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses (even if Cornell has been advised of the possibility of such damages), resulting from your use of any eBird data.

Errors and omissions

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology endeavors to maintain accurate and up-to-date data at all times. However, if errors or omissions are identified, the user should notify the Cornell Lab of Ornithology so that they can be corrected in future releases of the data. Users can contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology using the details below. Please mark all correspondence: “eBird—Data Request”.
Email: ebird@cornell.edu
Postal Address: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850.

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library