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Can I download raw data from eBird?

With eBird now gathering millions of bird records every month, it has become an increasingly valuable database for science, research, and conservation. Putting your data into the hands of scientists and conservationists is what we do at eBird, and we have been flooded (in a good way!) with data requests over the past months. The increasing volume of these requests spurred the development and release of new online data request and access tools at eBird and the Avian Knowledge Network. These tools will enable the science and research community to more quickly and easily access eBird data, and they will enable us to keep track of who is using eBird data and for what purpose. eBirders everywhere should feel empowered and satisfied that your hard work is being recognized and used by the science community. Read on to learn more about the new data download tools.

eBird data are freely available for science and research use, but it is important that we keep track of how these data are being used and in what kinds of research, so that we can serve everyone better and better document the importance of the eBird database. The new data request and access tools make this process easier through automation, and enable scientists and researchers to access data easily and efficiently. Here's how it works:

  • Go to Explore Data and click on 'Download Data'
  • You need an eBird account to access the download tools, so if you don't have one, you will land on a sign-in screen. Just click 'Register as a new user' if you need to create an account (and you can use this for data entry too!)
  • Fill out the data request form to get a 'key' to the download tools
  • Use the tools to download prepackaged datasets or to create your own queries based on species, date range, and region
  • You'll be notified by email when your data are ready for download (usually within a few minutes)

Each data bundle comes with a metadata file describing the data fields, as well as a copy of the 'eBird Terms of Use', which must be adhered to by all parties. The terms of use specify appropriate data use, and clarify positions on commercial (for profit) versus research use. 

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