Online Museum of Bird Images, Recordings, and DNA Samples

A template for creating a media voucher for archiving avian blood and its derivatives.

Explore the demonstration OMBIRDS database here, select “OMBIRDS QR”, then “Guest Account”.

For additional information, email or

Szabo, I., S. Cavaghan, G. Hurley, and D.E. Irwin. 2014. A call for the preservation of images, recordings, and other data in association with avian genetic samples, and the introduction of a solution: OMBIRDS. The Auk: Ornithological Advances, 131: 321-326. (Full text)


  • To increase the long-term utility of blood samples and associated data collected from released birds, we have established a protocol for the creation of “Media Vouchers.”
  • The OMBIRDS database links information regarding DNA specimens, photographs, sound recordings, and morphometric and locality information.
  • Utilization of OMBIRDS standardized protocols facilitates the transfer of avian blood and DNA derivatives from research labs into museum tissue collections and other repositories.
  • DarwinCore-formatted OMBIRDS database records are easily transmitted to VertNet and GBIF (multi-museum specimen and biodiversity search engines) for the publication of blood specimen samples.
  • The OMBIRDS protocol facilitates the submission of audio and video files to the
  • Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds.
  • OMBIRDS media vouchers increase the utility, availability, and awareness of blood
  • samples and associated data for current and future generations of researchers.

The first syllable of the acronym “OM” is derived from the first syllable of the Sanskrit mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. Om is the symbol for wisdom in some cultures. The acronym is designed so that the third letter identifies the taxon, e.g. OMMIRDS for OM of mammal IRDS, OMHIRDS for OM of herps IRDS, etc.

Download OMBIRDS (.fmp12), requires File Maker Pro v.12 or later. Individuals and organizations use OMBIRDS at their own risk. OMBRIDS was developed using Mac OSX 10.8. The developers cannot guarantee that all functions will operate as intended on Windows operating systems.

Download a PDF of the poster presented at the AOU COS 2013 joint meeting.