Frequently Asked Questions

the Internet Bird Collection

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 let us know if you find anything wrong.

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.

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 log in.
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.

How can I know the precision of a map/locality?

There are mainly two ways to adjust the map associated with a video, photo or sound recording.

a) By selecting a locality using its name

b) By zooming, dragging and finally clicking on the map

The first case will show a map that the system has assigned for the chosen locality and, in most  cases, the map won't be very precise, as it will depend on the locality’s size. For example, if you upload a video and you just select "Spain", the map will show the whole country, which may give the impression that the contributor clicked "in the middle of Spain".

But, if you upload a video and select "Ebro Delta" as the locality, even if you don't interact with the map at all, the end result will be better, and more precise than selecting a broader locality.

Materials uploaded this way will show a red circle on the map, instead of a video/photo/sound icon. Do not be fooled by thinking that a material was recorded in the middle of the red circle! You wouldn’t be the first to ask, "Are you sure this video was taken in the middle of the city?".

For example, for this photo the locality is "Rio de Janeiro State", which means the map only helps you to figure out "where in the world" the photo was shot. Everybody will know where Rio de Janeiro is, but for other regions or localities, a precise map can be quite useful.

For the second case, when the contributor clicks on the map, the map displayed will show a precise marker, like in this example

Also, an explicit sentence is displayed below the map, stating: "This map was adjusted by the author.".

There could be some cases where a contributor just wants to say the photo was taken in Australia and he/she literally clicks “in the middle of Australia”. Luckily this is very rare and should only happen with new contributors, because all others will take better care of the uploads, assiging a precise locality and ajusting the map.

How do I indicate the locality of my material?

The goal is to give the locality where your material was taken as specifically as possible. You can use either of the following methods during the upload process on the “Create Video”, “Create Photo” or “Create Audio” page:

  • Navigate the map using your cursor and click on the point where you took the material. The “Locality” field will automatically be filled with the most specific locality name closest to your marker.


  • Type the name of the locality in the “Locality” field and choose the correct place from the drop-down list, if available. The map will automatically centre on the indicated locality.

OPTIONAL: To further specify the locality name:

Click on the map, and you will see blue circles where there are specific established localities available. The names of the marked localities are given in the footer of the map with a drop-down list given in order of proximity and most specific to broadest region. You can choose a locality either by clicking on the map or choosing from the list.

OPTIONAL: To further specify the map marker:

Click on “Lock the locality from the field above” to set the locality name that you currently have in the “Locality” field. You can then click on the map to precise the marker even further without altering the locality name. If you do not lock the locality, when you click on the map the locality name may change (to another nearby) and you could end up with something you don’t want!

How can I change the author name displayed in my materials?

To change the name that appears with your materials, you need to edit your username in your account, as follows:

  1. Log in and go to your IBC profile page.
  2. Click the "Edit my profile" button.
  3. In the very first field, "Username*", type your name as you would like it to appear (see notes below*).
  4. Scroll to the end of the page and click the "Save" button.


* Username notes:

  • We recommend using a full name (given name and surname) with spaces and capitalization, like "John Smith" (rather than "john smith", "johnsmith" or "JOHNSMITH").
  • Please note that this username is the one you will use to login for both the IBC and HBW Alive websites, so make sure to note your new username if you change it.
How can I see all photos of one country?

You just need to go to the country page. You can search for it on the search box or if you're in a page where you see materials from that place, you can click on the country name directly.

Once there, click the icon with the number of photos that appears in the first box.

Additionally, a link pointing to the same page is placed at the bottom-right corner of the photos box. It says "View, sort and filter all photographs".

How can I delete a video/photo/sound?

If you want to remove or delete any of your materials, you just need browse to the material page and then click the Edit button at the top.

On the edit page, scroll down to the bottom and you will see two buttons: "Save" and "Delete". The delete button will ask for a confirmation.

Please note that if you assigned a wrong species or locality to a photo, for example, you don't need to remove the record and upload it again. You can simply edit it, change the wrong details and save.