Notes on Matching Bird Names and Codes

An automated process was used to match four-letter codes recommended by the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) with with four-letter codes used by the Bird Banding Laboratory (IBP).

The IBP list includes entries for 2247 bird species recorded in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The BBL list includes 1177 entries. Both lists include some entries for subspecies and hybrids. The BBL list provides scientific names for most species and subspecies, but does not provide scientific names for hybrids and birds like "Western/Clark's Grebe" that have been identified incompletely.

The merged list was created by adding information from the BBL list to the IBP list. The following process was used:

  1. A "BBL 4-letter code" field was added to entries from the IBP list and filled with a tilde (~).

  2. English names and scientific names on the BBL list were compared with names on the IBP list. If both names matched, the tilde BBL 4-letter code was replaced by the BBL 4-letter code.

  3. If the BBL 4-letter code and the IBP 4-letter code differed, and exclamation point (!) was appended to the BBL code.

  4. The BBL data included 242 entries for which either English names or scientific names did not match entries on the IBP list. These entries were appended to the the merged list in the order in which they appeared in the BBL list. For these appended entries, a tilde (~) was inserted for the IBP 4-letter code and the IBP 6-letter code was left empty.

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Match Bird Names and Codes

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