Biology: Animals



All About Birds
Bird identification website from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Includes an online field guide and media from the Macaulay Library.

Audubon's Birds of America
Digitized images from Audubon's Birds of America. Site includes links to reprints from Audubon's Ornithological Biography, his five-volume text describing each of the birds.

Bird Songs: Songs and Calls of Some New York State Birds
Audio files of common bird calls.

Birds of North America
Life histories for each of the 716+ species of birds breeding in North America. Features include images, sounds, data tables, conservation, management and priorities for future research.

Handbook of the Birds of the World 
Ten-volume encyclopedia of bird life worldwide

Internet Bird Collection
Extensive collection of video and audio files of birds.

New Encyclopedia of Birds
"The New Encyclopedia of Birds is the definitive single-volume guide to birds of the world. Entries prepared by a team of renowned biologists and conservationists give a systematic account of every family, covering their form and function, distribution, diet, social behaviour, and breeding biology. With one-eighth of all bird species now under threat, special attention is given to environmental and conservation issues."

North American Breeding Bird Atlas
Detailed distribution data on U. S. and Canadian bird species.

Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
QL681 .S564 2003
Popular, easy-to-use field guide to eastern birds.

SORA, Searchable Ornithological Research Archive
An open access electronic journal archive of publications from major ornithological societies. Provides access to ornithological literature from over 120 years. Does NOT include articles written within the last five years.


Taxonomic information, regional checklists, and images of the fabulous Formicidae.

Butterflies and Moths of North America
Distribution maps, species accounts, and images of North American Lepidoptera.

Auchenorrhyncha is a large suborder of the Hemiptera that includes cicadas, spittlebugs, leafhoppers, planthoppers, and treehoppers.  This database from North Carolina State University provides access to much of the early (1741-1955) literature on this important group of insects.

Iowa State Entomology Index of Internet Resources
Directory and search engine of insect-related resources on the Internet.

Odonata Central
Extensive site detailing the diversity and biogeography of dragonflies and damselflies world-wide.  Includes an image gallery of specimens that can be rotated and zoomed.

Singing Insects of North America
All about North American crickets, katydids, and cicadas.


A field guide to mammals of North America north of Mexico 
Good basic field guide to North American mammalia.

Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference 
Exhaustive checklist of mammal species including taxonomy, distribution, and conservation status.  For updates, see the companion website.

North American Mammals
Searchable database of all living mammals of North America. From the National Museum of Natural History.

The PrimateLit database provides citations to the scientific literature on nonhuman primates. Covers 1940 to 2010 and includes articles, books, abstracts, technical reports, dissertations, and book chapters.


Freshwater Mollusk Bibliography
Searchable database of publications related to North American mollusks. From the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Reference Works

Animal Behavior Desk Reference 
A dictionary of animal behavior, ecology, and evolution

Dictionary of Animal Behaviour
"This dictionary covers every aspect of animal behaviour and includes terms from the related fields of ecology, physiology and psychology. Clear, concise entries are backed up by specific examples where appropriate, covering all aspects of behaviour from aggression to courtship."

Dictionary of Zoology
"This dictionary contains over 5,250 entries on all aspects of zoology. Complemented with numerous illustrations, it includes terms from the areas of ecology, animal behaviour, evolution, earth history, zoogeography, genetics, and physiology and it provides full taxonomic coverage of arthropods, other invertebrates, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals."

Encyclopedia of Underwater Life
"A breathtaking insight into underwater life, this Encyclopedia offers unrivalled coverage of the fish and aquatic invertebrates that inhabit our rivers, lakes, and oceans. It describes in detail the anatomy, behaviour, habitat, breeding, and conservation status of species: from microscopic, single-celled organisms swept along by water currents to gigantic powerhouses of the deep. Fascinating feature articles examine some of the strangest and most interesting aspects of these species in more depth, such as the origins of coral reefs; the cycle of the salmon; and how fish produce and use artificial illumination."

Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia
Ref QL7 .G7813 2003
Seventeen-volume encyclopedia of animals, organized by phylogeny.


An audio-visual record of animals and plants threatened with extinction according to the World Conservation Union. For each species added,the project provides moving footage, stills and sound recordings (where appropriate), and a profile of the species' characteristic behavior and appearance.

Macaulay Library of Animal Sounds
Digital archive of animal sounds and videos from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Contact Us

picture of Abby Juda
Natural Sciences Librarian
(607) 274-3889

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Finding a topic

Sometimes finding a topic can be easy. You may have already heard a story on the news or read an article in the newspaper or science blog. However, this first step to conducting research can also be the most difficult part of the research process.

Below is a list of places to look for science topics that may allow you to brainstorm OR inspire you to get started with a topic of your own.

Browse them to find stoires about the latest research that you may find of interest .

New York Times Science Section 
Well written reviews  of recently published resaerch

New York Times Health Section
Recent resaerch on health fitness, medicine and nutrition , among other topics.

Science News
Scientific research written in lay language.

Scientific American
All aspects of science and technology.

New Scientist
Science for the scientist, written with a humor and flair!
Adapted from Purdue University Libraries; Biological Sciences