Match Bird Names and Codes

This page offers a convenient mechanism for matching English bird names, scientific bird names, 4-letter codes derived from English names, and 6-letter codes derived from scientific names. Data were downloaded from these two sources in early October 2018: the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) and the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL).

The IBP list was prepared by Peter Pyle and David F. DeSante at IBP to reflect changes made in the 59th supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union check-List of North American birds published in 2018. It is intended to cover all birds found in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Entries from the IBP list are included in the phylogentic order used for the IBP list.

The BBL list was merged with the IBP list by matching scientific and English names. When both scientific and English names matched, BBL codes were added to IBP entries. If one of the BBL names did not match, entries including BBL secientific and English names were appended to the IBP list in the phylogenetic order used for the BBL list.

For cases in which either the scientific name or the English name was changed recently, the matching procedure often resulted in separate IPB and BBL entries. For example, "Canada Jay" on the IPB list and "Gray Jay" on the BBL list both refer to the same bird, Perisoreus canadensis. No attempt was made to reconcile such differences between the two lists. Generally, names from the IBP list are those currently recommended.

All entries from both lists are included in the data set. Missing 4-letter codes for entries that do not occur on both lists are represented by a tilde (~) in output tables. BBL codes that differ from IBP codes are followed by an exclamation point (!).


Select the type of item you would like to match, enter text to match, and click the Match Text button. Input is not case-sensitive. MOTMOT, Motmot, and motmot all match each other. Examples of Matching Bird Names and Codes shows sample output for several matching options. See Notes on Matching Bird Names and Codes for additional information.


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