Photograph of Surfbird - (c) Paul Marto

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Ornithological Worldwide Literature

The Ornithological Worldwide Literature (OWL) served as a free, searchable citation database primarily of serial publications and secondarily of gray literature that is less likely to be indexed by commercial databases but is increasingly accessible through internet search engines. It was initiated as a joint effort of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the British Ornithologists’ Union, and Birds Australia, but was managed by the AOU for nearly two decades.  Contributors around the world indexed approximately 80,000 citations in OWL from 1983 to 2007.  Dr. Jay Sheppard provided an extraordinary service as the Editor of OWL from 1999 through 2015. The functionality of OWL is no longer compatible with contemporary operating systems, and was taken offline in 2016.  For individuals wishing to search on ornithological literature, we recommend using Google Scholar and other online search engines. 



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