The Bird Wide Web™ is an independent, objective survey of birding resources available to anyone with an internet connection and an up-to-date web browser. Sites, apps, downloads, and other online offerings described here are all tested for the broadest compatibility with different devices and operating systems. Nothing on the web is perfect or guaranteed, but due diligence has been done, and suggestions for improvement to this site are always welcome.

January 2021


At first glance, the phrase "blind birdwatcher" might seem to be contradictory, equivalent to referring to a "deaf bird-hearer". But substitute the term "birder" in each phrase, and the concepts become eminently reasonable. And they certainly are for the numerous blind and deaf people who know, enjoy, and deeply appreciate the birds around them, and who can be included on any birding event. Have trouble envisioning a birder with a mobility challenge on a "bird walk"? If the day's location offers facilities such as accessible parking, paths, and ramps, maybe the problem is with the concept of bird "walk", not with the possibly expert birder who would like to be included on the outing.

It is this principle of inclusion which drives the Birdabilty™[1] movement, seeking not only a change in the attitudes, understandings, and behavior of many birders, but an expansion of access to birding sites and activities for all who are interested. One step in increasing accessibility is the reporting and mapping of sites which are already available, which is the goal of Audubon's Birdability Map[2] project. Participants fill out a "Birdability Site Review"[2] to report sites they're familiar with, describing suitable accessibility features. This author was surprised to find an excellent nearby location which had not yet been submitted, and filled out the form. Voila! Another potential birding spot appeared on the map for someone seeking access.

The "Birdability" notion doesn't extend only to birders who might benefit from specific welcoming features of a physical site, but also to the overarching values of what Audubon calls Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion[3], or EDI. Viewed from that perspective, the entire universe of bird-related activity becomes another area in which barriers can be recognized, and then removed, as exemplified in the Birdability.org Guidance Documents. Their Access Considerations[4] are but one set of thoughtful examples of this new approach which they offer.

An enlightening and worthwhile Birdability Week 2020 panel discussion[5], reveals the wealth of possibilities for expanding the circle of birders to all who might be interested. There is also an excellent Accessible Birding[6] virtual discussion which was hosted by the Toronto Public Library and features several of the participants in the panel mentioned above. The focus is slightly different, but there's plenty of important information presented.

Not surprisingly*, the long-running, yet up-to-date Talkin' Birds radio show (featured on this site as a Favorite in the October 2018 podcasts review) strongly supports EDI[7] as applied to birding. And for those who ask, "How can I (or my organization) begin to make a difference?", the show's website offers a comprehensive How To[8] page with insightful ideas and inspirational links. It's well worth study by the newcomer and the experienced alike. But to experience a real-life example of theory meeting the road, tune in to one of Georgia Audubon's "Virtual Field Trips"[9], visiting a different birding trail each month in partnership with Birdability™.

The Favorite for this month's review simply has to be the Birdability.org fundraiser Braille Hoodie[10]. With the hashtag BirdOn printed in Braille characters across the chest in a lighthearted play on the very idea of accessibility (no "reading" allowed!), it offers an opportunity for valuable conversation starters by introducing the topic in an engaging and gentle way. "Bird On" is the slogan of Midwest-based Rogue Birders[11], which partnered in the hoodie project.

* Full Disclosure: The Talkin' Birds Outreach Coordinator, Freya McGregor[12], is one of the moving forces of Birdability™, and is also a regular correspondent with the author of this review, who is, not coincidentally, an "Ambassador" for Talkin' Birds. Birdability.org, deservedly, is endorsed by this website. There is no sponsorship arrangement, nor with the radio show, just respect and admiration for a job well done.


December 2020:

eBird III - The Count

Community science projects require accurate counting, so eBird and others offer tips, tricks, and tests.

November 2020:

Merlin App

Amazing bird image recognition and identification resource, tested with various photographs.

October 2020:

Bird Videos: The Features

Reviews of several full-length fiction and documentary bird-centered films available online, both pay-for-view and free.

September 2020:

(Best) Bird Cartoons

Remarkable work by Australian editorial cartoonist First Dog on the Moon.

August 2020:

Hawk Watch Reports

Sources for reports of migratory raptor sightings on a local, regional, and national level.

July 2020:

Rare Bird Alerts

Sources for reports of unusual sightings on a local, regional, and national level.

June 2020:

Online Bird Quizzes

An array of fun skills challenges, from ID to songs, and from easy to hard.

May 2020:

Bird Videos - The Sequel

Unique collections of bird-related videos, mostly free, including songs, lessons, and an engaging documentary series.

April 2020:

Birding Ethics

Ethical considerations of many aspects of birding, from location and methods to reporting and goals.

March 2020:

ABA Online Resources

Extensive bird-related material available for non-members on the American Birding Association website.

February 2020:


Migration patterns of birds revealed through real-time analysis of weather radar signals.

January 2020:

Naming That Song III - Bird Lanquage

Moving beyond song recognition to learning what the birds are saying.

The Bird Wide Web™ will be publishing a new article each month.

Recent Favorites:

December 2020


November 2020


October 2020


September 2020


August 2020


July 2020


June 2020


May 2020


April 2020


March 2020


February 2020


January 2020


December 2019


See the full Collection