Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

I have lots of material. How can I contribute them?

Contributing to the IBC is free and can be done in a few easy steps. Basically, you will need to create an account on the site (please use your real name, not a nickname) and login. Then the Upload menu will be enabled and you can access the Photo, Sound and Video forms for uploading material. All the fields of the forms have an explanation, so please read and follow them carefully and ask us if you have any questions.

I bought CDs with bird sounds. Should I contribute the sound files to the IBC?

If they are commercial CDs, you cannot contribute the material to the IBC. Please note that you can only upload videos, photographs and sounds that are yours and for which you have the full rights.

How can I contact a contributor?

If you want to contact a contributor to ask for permission to use his/her video, photograph or sound recording or regarding any other matter, you can use the Contact form accessed from the button located at the top of each Contributor page. You need to be registered to access this form, which will send an email to the author directly. Email addresses are not shown on the site to protect privacy. However, if you contact a contributor via the Contact form, the person will see your registered email address when he or she chooses the “Reply” option and, thus, be able to respond to you. There are some users who may disable the Contact form, in which case you will need to contact the IBC for assistance.

I cannot find a species.

For a standard search you should use the species’ English or scientific name. Please read the Search Help page for more information. Additionally, you can search using the species’ Spanish, French or German name using the prefix "es", "fr" or "ge" and the species’ name in that language. Read more about this here: Another easy way to find the species you are looking for is to browse the corresponding Family page, from the Homepage selector, and look for it there.

The species does not exist on your list.

There are some species that were described after the publication of the corresponding volume of the Handbook of the Birds of the World (Lynx Edicions) and, thus, they are not loaded into the database. For those species, we will load them into the system as soon as a contributor wants to add material of them. You might also be interested in reading the following answer.

The taxonomy is outdated.

On the IBC we use the Handbook of the Birds of the World (Lynx Edicions) as our reference base. The species not yet covered by HBW follow the order established by Clements, J.F. (2000). Birds of the World. A Checklist. Ibis Publishing Company. The sequence will be updated as each new volume of HBW is released, although at any rate the two lists are currently fairly convergent. As the first volume of HBW was published in 1992, occasionally there are cases for which it would be convenient to update the information (taxonomy, distribution, subspecies, etc.) found in the texts. This is a goal that we hope to meet in the future by means of a systematic and rigorous revision of all of the families.

I uploaded a photograph, but it's not there.

All materials are directly published on the site, so if you upload some photographs, videos or sound recordings and they are not listed on your Contributor page, under What's New or on the Species page, it means there was some problem during the upload. There is not any delay in the publication of materials. However, videos will need a few minutes to be playable, to allow the system to convert them.

Somebody changed the species identification of my material. Why?

The IBC is a scientific site and it is very important to have all materials properly classified. The IBC Team will only correct the species if it is wrong and we are completely sure of its identification. It is very important to rely on help from experts around the world, so please use the "Report a mistake" feature to warn us about any possible mistake.

How can I do that? Could you help me?

Please drop us a line using the Contact form at the bottom of the page to ask us anything else. We will reply to you and, depending on the question, also add it to this FAQ page, so other users can consult the answer as well.

FAQ for uploading videos, photographs and sound recordings

Can I watch a video showing the steps required to upload materials?

Yes! We recorded a short video that will help you with the upload process, specially the first time. Please have a look at it and contact us if you have any problem.

How do I choose my species?

By writing all or part of the species' English or scientific name in the Species box, a list of corresponding options will drop down. When you select the species from the list, it will appear in the box with an identification number in brackets at the end.

Using the species' scientific name is always recommended as the English name could be different from the one we are using. For example, typing "blue crowned" won't display "Blue-crowned Racquet-tail (Prioniturus discurus)", but typing "blue-crown" will.

Also, when using a full scientific name (genus + species), you can try removing a few letters from the end of the species part, as your reference may use a different ending. For example, entering "butorides striatus" will display one species, but if you use "butorides striata" you won't get any results. The best way to avoid this kind of problem is to enter "butorides stria".

The species does not exist.

If you would like to upload material of a species that was described after the publication of the corresponding volume of HBW and it does not appear as a subspecies on our list, please contact us so that we can add it.

I can’t find the location that I’m looking for.

If you do not find the exact location in the Location box, try looking for a superior geographical unit like the state or province, or at least the country, which will definitely appear. Then, please write the not-found place in the Create a new locality box, including as much geographic information as possible. Within a few days we will validate it and include it in the location database.

Why did the transcoding fail?

There could be many reasons for this. For example, if your video was taken with a still photo camera, the sound of the video is probably at 8000Hz, which is currently not supported by the server. Thus, it cannot be transcoded and that is the reason for the error. You can easily convert the sound track to 44.100Hz or remove it if the sound is not important. Please let us know if your video failed and we will have a look and try to help you export your video to an IBC-compatible format.

How should I name the files that I upload?

The names of your files (for videos, photographs or sound recordings) are not displayed on the site, so you can name them as you wish. However, the server will need to work with these files in order to transcode them (videos) or create several smaller versions (photographs). For this reason, we ask that you only use letters from the English alphabet, without any accent marks and without using characters like #, @, % or even &. Please keep them as simple as possible to avoid any possible problems.