Terms of use

Last edited: Nov 18, 2021

I. Acceptance of Terms

THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE (the “Terms”) ARE A LEGAL AND BINDING AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY governing your use of this site *.birds.cornell.edu and any of its affiliate sites and mobile apps such as: www.allaboutbirds.org, ebird.org, Merlin Bird ID app (the “Services”). Examples of Services from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: birds.cornell.edu, allaboutbirds.org, eBird.org, Bird Academy, Merlin mobile and web apps, NestWatch.org, FeederWatch.org, and all Cornell Lab of Ornithology websites, apps, digital services, and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc).

Please review the Terms fully before you continue to use the Services. By using the Services, you agree to be bound by the Terms. You shall also be subject to any additional terms posted with respect to individual sections of the Services. Please review our Privacy Policy, which also governs your use of the Services, to understand our practices. If you do not agree, please discontinue using the Services. If you’re under the age of 13, do not use or access our Services. Where necessary under applicable law, we may seek your consent by other means such as by asking you to click on a button or to change a setting. Where we do so, we will also offer you a way to revoke your consent.

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

Your use and browsing of the Services is at your risk. If you are dissatisfied with any of the materials contained in the Services, with the quality of service or Content, or with these Terms, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue accessing and using the Services.

Third party API Terms of Use: Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Services may use third party digital services and their APIs to offer you an enhanced user experience and functionality. By using Cornell Lab’s Services, you also agree to be bound by the terms of these third party services. An example of such service: the All About Birds live cams uses Youtube live streaming platform and in some instances Youtube API. By using the All About Birds live cams page, you also agree to accept the terms of use for Youtube API service.

Here you can find the Terms of Use of the third party API services we might use:

The terms of use for eBird APIs can be found here:


The terms of use for raw eBird data can be found here:


The terms of use for use for accessing eBird Status and Trends Products (eBird Status Visualizations, eBird Status Data Products, and Modified eBird Status Data Products) can be found here:


II. Intellectual Property Issues

The Services are owned by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. All of the content featured or displayed on the Services, including, but not limited to, still images, text, pictorial works, video images, still images of video, graphic designs, audio recordings, multimedia combinations, and computer programs, including web-based programs (“Content”) is owned or licensed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Advertisements for third-party entities are not considered Content for the purposes of this Section. However, these advertisements are owned or licensed by their respective third-party entities and are subject to protections similar to those set forth in these Terms of Use.

Pursuant to the copyright and trademark laws of the United States, you agree:

1. That you may only download Content that Cornell Lab of Ornithology designates as offered for download to any single computer a single copy of any Content for personal and noncommercial use.

2. To not reproduce, distribute, modify, re-post on another site (regardless of the server on which the Content is stored), or sell any Content without specific written authorization from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, unless such use is pursuant to Educational Use.

3. To maintain any and all copyright or other proprietary notices embedded in or attached to any Content.

4. To refrain from framing or mirroring any portion of the Site, and to link to the Services. If there are questions regarding linking our pages, please contact us.

5. That by posting or submitting any text or other materials to the Services you grant Cornell Lab of Ornithology a royalty-free permanent license for the worldwide use and/or sublicense of such materials. Such license shall include the right to exploit any proprietary rights in the posting or submission.

6. Pursuant to Title 17, United States Code, Section 512, notifications of claimed copyright infringement on the Services should be sent to our designated agent. If you believe that your work has been used in a way that may constitute copyright infringement, please provide Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s designated agent the following information:

  • An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
  • A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
  • A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the site;
  • Your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
  • A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  • A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf.

By phone: 800.843.2473

By email: cornellbirds@cornell.edu


III. Educational Use Content

With respect to Content designated as available for download for educational purposes, librarians, teachers, support staff, administrators, and other staff of educational institutions are authorized to download, print, reproduce, and distribute such Content as may be beneficial for use in educational settings. This authorization extends only as far as is necessary to directly benefit students. Content subject to this Section may not be disseminated beyond the user’s particular educational institution and may under no circumstances be used for commercial purposes.

Content used for any purpose must always maintain unaltered copyright and other proprietary notices. Content may not be re-posted, framed, or mirrored on any other Web sites or computer networks, regardless of educational use.

IV. Liability

The Services and all material and information posted on it is provided to you “as is” without any warranties. You agree that you must evaluate and bear all risks associated with use of the Services, including those risks associated with reliance on the accuracy, thoroughness, or utility of any Content.
You acknowledge that due to the immediate nature of this medium, Cornell Lab of Ornithology does not review, censor, approve, edit, or endorse information placed on the Services by its users, and cannot guarantee that inappropriate material will not be posted. Cornell Lab of Ornithology will review user postings from time to time and will take steps to remove inappropriate postings that come to its attention.
The Services may provide, or third parties may provide, links to other sites or resources. Because Cornell Lab of Ornithology has no control over such sites and resources, you acknowledge and agree that Cornell Lab of Ornithology is not responsible for the availability of such external sites or resources, and does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from such sites or resources. You further acknowledge and agree that Cornell Lab of Ornithology shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused in connection with use of or reliance on any such linked content, goods or services available on or through any such linked site or resource.

Citizen Science and eBird

Our citizen-science projects are designed to benefit the entire scientific research community, which in turn benefits the larger public. Therefore, if you participate in any Cornell Lab citizen-science projects, you grant the Cornell Lab and its collaborators permission to use your contributions in any way to further this goal. We ask you to grant us these broad permissions because they allow us to change the legal details by which we keep the data available; this is important because the legal environment can change and we need to be able to respond without obtaining permission from every single contributor.
eBird includes several ways that you can manage your preferences in terms of how your name appears, and what functionality you would like to appear for other eBird users. You can adjust that information from My eBird Preferences.
When you submit records to eBird, you authorize us to have our team of regional editors contact you about questions they may have about your observations. This helps us maintain a high level of data quality so we can use these data for scientific and conservation purposes. This is limited to official volunteers who help with data quality. Find out more about this process.

V. User Conduct

All users shall use the Services for lawful purposes only. You agree not to post or transmit through the Services any material that is unlawful, threatening, abusive, defamatory, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, vulgar, obscene, profane, which encourages criminal conduct, or that may give rise to civil liability. You agree not to post or transmit through the site any material or text which constitutes advertising or solicitation with respect to any product or service, unless expressly authorized in writing by Cornell Lab of Ornithology to do so.

All participants are expected to always treat each other with mutual respect. Conduct by any user that, at the discretion of Cornell Lab of Ornithology, restricts or inhibits any other user from using or enjoying the Services will not be permitted. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology reserves the right to delete comments or terminate accounts associated with inappropriate or offensive behaviors.

Examples of prohibited conduct include:

  1. Adding offensive, threatening, abusive, or profane comments, images, sound recordings or videos to any of our sites or data you contribute to any project.
  2. Abusive or threatening language or behaviors in the course of correspondence or interactions with a reviewer or other member of the community.
  3. Falsified documentation to support a record or fabricated sightings.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology reserves the right to refuse access to the Services to any user for any reason, including, without limitation, a reasonable belief that the user in question has violated these Terms or any of the copyright or trademark laws of the United States.


You agree to assume full and sole responsibility for any postings you make to the Services.

VI. Indemnification

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Cornell Lab of Ornithology; its affiliates and partners; and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, members, licensors, representatives, and third party providers to the Services from and against all losses, expenses, damages, and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from any violation of these Terms. Cornell Lab of Ornithology reserves the right to assume, at its sole expense, the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you, in which event you will fully cooperate with Cornell Lab of Ornithology in asserting any available defenses.

VII. Miscellaneous

Any and all disputes, with the exception of copyright claims, arising out of, under or in connection with this Agreement, including without limitation, its validity, interpretation, performance, or breach, shall be settled by final and binding arbitration in Tompkins County New York, pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Judgment upon any award rendered may be entered in the highest court of the forum, state or federal, having jurisdiction. This agreement, its validity and effect, shall be interpreted under and governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, without regard to its conflict of laws provisions, and you agree that the arbitrators shall award all costs of arbitration, including reasonable attorneys’ fees plus legal rate-of-interest, to the successful party. Copyright claims shall be brought in the Federal court having jurisdiction. If you are an agent for or an employee of a non-U.S. company but operate in a place of business in the U.S. or its territories, you expressly agree that any dispute regarding this contract shall be adjudicated within the U.S. in the manner described here. If Cornell Lab of Ornithology is obligated to go to court, rather than arbitration, to enforce any of its rights, you agree to reimburse Cornell Lab of Ornithology for its respective legal fees, costs, and disbursements if Cornell Lab of Ornithology is successful.

These Terms and any other operating rules or terms currently posted on the Services constitute the entire agreement between Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the users of the Services, and supersede all previous written or oral agreements between the parties with respect to such subject matter. No action of Cornell Lab of Ornithology may be construed as a waiver of any part of these Terms of Use. Should any of the above paragraphs be unenforceable, the other paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library