Oriental Bird Images


How to use the OBI search function

One of the most useful functions of OBI is the search box at the top of the page.

For a basic search simply type in all or part of the name of the species into the search box and hit "Go".
This will return a list of all the species corresponding to your search term.
Species for which there are images will be hyperlinked (most of them).
If there are no images of the species, the name will show but it will not be hyperlinked.
If you click on a hyperlinked name, it will take you to the latest image we have of that species. You can then see the others by clicking on the "Next" button above the image.

In the following examples we put the search term in quotation marks " " but these should not be included when you type into the search box.

You can search by English name or scientific name. However, you must make sure there are no typos in your search term, and any apostrophes in the name must be included, e.g. "Jerdon's Courser" will work but not "Jerdons Courser".

Do not use plurals. E.g. you can search on "eagle" but not "eagles". The search for "eagle" will bring up a complete list of all the eagles on OBI (as well as the eagle owls). In this case the list extends to three pages, so you will need to click on the next button at the bottom of the list to see pages two and three.

Do not put spaces before or after your search term. E.g. The search for "Coleto" will work, but not if you type in " Coleto" or "Coleto " where there is a space before or after the name.

However, part names will often be enough and the search function is not case sensitive. E.g. "colet" will give you the same search results as "Coleto". Similarly, a search on "kingf" will bring up a list of all the kingfishers.

The facility searches through all English names, alternative English names, scientific names and alternative scientific names in the Database. Thus, for example, you may search on "Bearded Vulture" and the result returned will be "Lammergeier". This is because the species is listed as Lammergeier in the Database with Bearded Vulture in the list of its alternative English names. Please note that the addition of alternative names to the Database is an ongoing process. Taxonomy is in constant turmoil with different authorities recognising different splits and inventing new names all the time. However, we do endeavour to include as many current alternatives as possible, so a search should usually lead you to the correct species.

Where a species has been split, a search on the old, pre-split name will normally return all species resulting from the split.

Please note that it is not currently possibly to search by subspecific names.

NEW! - The search function now enables you to narrow your search by location

Summary Explanation
Syntax: Bird Name,Location
Example: Pied Harrier,Thailand
Note that there should not be any spaces before or after the search terms or comma.

For example, you might wish to find only those images of a particular species taken in a particular country, or a list of all eagles in the Database photographed in a given national park.

To do this you have to input the species name, followed by a comma, followed by the place name.
The search will return a complete list of all the species in OBI corresponding to your first search term, but only those matching your second (location) search term will be hyperlinked. Examples:

  • "tragopan,China" returns all instances of tragopans photographed in China.
  • "Aix galericulata,Honshu" gives all Mandarin Ducks photographed on the island of Honshu, Japan.
  • "Lapwing,Delhi" brings you all images of lapwing species photographed in Delhi.
  • "redshank,Sri Lanka" displays a list of redshanks imaged in Sri Lanka ("redsh,lank" will get you the same results).
Please remember not to include the quotation marks " " in your search terms!

If you put a space before or after the search terms or comma the search will not work fully and properly. E.g. "Ashy Prinia, Pune" will give you four results only, whereas "Ashy Prinia,Pune" without a space after the comma will get you the full 27 results.

Note that the search will return all instances of your species search term, but only those where there are images of the species from your chosen location will be hyperlinked. It is therefore best not to make the species search term too broad. E.g. if you search on "warbler,Borneo" you will get nine pages listing all the birds in the Database which have "Warbler" in the main or alternative name, with only a few of them hyperlinked. If you know you only require images of Mountain Leaf Warbler from Borneo, it is better to search with "Mountain Leaf Warbler,Borneo".

The search result will also tell you how many images of the species from your chosen location we have on OBI - in brackets after the name of the bird.

Many thanks to Rajneesh Suvarna for developing this useful addition to the search function.

(KK, 11 August 2015)