Birds of North America Subscriptions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQs"). They represent, in part, the "plain English" version of our Terms of Sale. To the extent that any provision of the Terms of Sale and these FAQs are in conflict, the Terms of Sale shall control.

What subscription plans are available?

We now offer a $5/month recurring subscription plan and a $42/year recurring subscription plan. The 2- and 3-year term options are no longer available. We also offer a one-year gift subscription and, as always, institutions and organizational subscriptions are quoted on a per-client basis.

What is a recurring subscription? When do I get billed?

A recurring subscription automatically renews at the end of its term, thus greatly simplifying the annual or monthly renewal process. No more entering your credit card every year and no more activation codes (except for certain institutional users). By placing an order for a subscription, you authorize us to charge you the subscription fee then in effect at the beginning of each Billing Period, plus applicable taxes, to your Payment Method unless and until you cancel your subscription or we terminate it. You can view the date of your next scheduled payment by visiting our website and clicking on the "Subscription Status" link.

Your credit card information will be safely stored by a leading third-party credit card processor called Authorize.net (The Cornell Lab does not store nor have access to your credit account information). You can cancel at any time.

I'm already a customer, how does this work for me?

Existing customer accounts will be imported into this new system. You will receive two renewal notifications: one five (5) days before your current subscription term is set to expire and one on the day of expiry. At that time, simply follow the instructions to renew. If you do not renew, your subscription will expire. You can renew anytime by clicking Subscribe on the BNA website, or the link in the reminder email.

Please note: your renewal note will look different that it has in the past, and you will only receive two notifications, not three as you did before. Please renew immediately if you'd like to retain your access to Birds of North America.

Why do I have to create a Cornell Lab account before buying my subscription?

By first creating a Cornell Lab account, we are able to give you access to the BNA content as soon as you buy your subscription. This eliminates the need for activation codes (except for certain institutional users). It also allows us to attach your subscription plan to the correct user account— many people have inadvertently created multiple usernames - logging in first minimizes that action.

How do I manage my subscription?

You can manage your subscription in the "Your Subscription" section of your Cornell Lab account. Login to your account from the BNA home page, hover over the silhouette profile in the upper right portion of the screen, and click on "Subscription Status." This will open a window where you can see your Subscription Plan, Start Date, and Next Billing Date. This is also where you can upgrade your plan, buy a one-year gift subscription for a loved one, or cancel your subscription. If you ever need to update your personal and credit account details, this is the place. Be sure to have a current credit card account on file at all times if you wish to have continuous access to BNA. Our system will attempt to notify you in advance of if your credit card is due to expire.

How do I renew my subscription? Will I be notified?

Five days before your subscription is due to expire, you will receive an auto-generated reminder that your renewal is about to be processed and your credit card charged. As long as we have a current credit card on file, you need to do nothing. Please note you will only receive a single email reminder so if you intend to cancel, cancel prior to the renewal date.

How do I cancel a recurring subscription?

You can cancel your subscription at any time by logging into your Cornell Lab account, heading to the BNA home page, and clicking "Subscription Status" under the silhouette profile in the upper right portion of the screen. Click "Cancel Subscription" under your current subscription plan.

You must cancel your subscription before it renews each Billing Period to avoid billing of the next Billing Period's subscription fees to your Payment Method. Accordingly, when you cancel, you cancel only future charges associated with your subscription, and you will not receive a refund for the current Billing Period. Your cancellation will become effective at the end of your current Billing Period, and you will continue to have access to your subscription for the balance of the Billing Period.

How do I redeem a coupon/promotional code?

Click "Subscribe" on the BNA home page, select a subscription plan (monthly or annual), then create a Cornell Lab account (or log in if you already have one). Once you reach the shopping cart window, retrieve your discount by clicking the link called "Apply Coupon". This will open a box where you can enter your code.

The Cornell Lab may offer a number of types of promotions and coupon opportunities each with its own unique terms, such as the number of times it can be used or when it expires. We reserve the right to change or terminate any offered subscriptions or promotions at any time.

How do I activate a subscription sponsored by my employer?

First, create a Cornell Lab account (or sign in to your existing account). Once you are at the "Your subscription" screen, look for a link called "Have a Subscription Activation Code?" below the "Your Cornell Lab Account" box on the left part of the screen (desktop) or at the bottom of the screen (on mobile).

How do I activate a complementary subscription with an activation code?

First, create a Cornell Lab account (or sign in to your existing account). Once you are at the "Your subscription" screen, look for a link called "Have a Subscription Activation Code?" below the "Your Cornell Lab Account" box on the left part of the screen (desktop) or at the bottom of the screen (on mobile).

Can I upgrade from a Monthly to an Annual subscription?

Sure! It's less expensive, too. Login to your account and click "Subscription Status" under your profile silhouette. Under your Monthly Subscription plan, click "Upgrade to Annual." Your annual subscription will start immediately, and the cost will be prorated based on the unused fraction of your monthly plan.

Why was I charged Sales Tax?

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is bound by law to charge all applicable sales taxes. Digital products are taxable in some states and provinces, and at varying rates in each county or district. By placing an order for a subscription, you authorize us to charge you the subscription fee then in effect at the beginning of each Billing Period, plus applicable taxes, to your Payment Method.

What is your refund policy?

We do not offer full or partial refunds on digital content for partially used Billing Periods. Refer to our Terms of Sale.

How do I update my payment information?

Be sure to have a current Payment Method (e.g., credit card) account on file at all times if you wish to have continuous access to BNA. Our system will attempt to notify you in advance of a Payment Method expiration date. At that point, simply login to manage your account and enter your new details.

How do I update my email or physical address?

See "What is my Subscription Status?", above, for details on how to manage your BNA subscription account. You can modify your personal profile and credit account details in this area.

Why did Birds of North America make this change?

This recurring subscription option offers three distinct advantages. One, it allows for a modernized, streamlined purchasing process that models other top publishing platforms like Netflix and Washington Post. Two, it allows for greater synchronicity between the store and your BNA account, which allows you to immediately access your BNA profiles without any activation codes. And three, this synchronicity also means you won't receive any annoying notifications that your renewal has lapsed when it really hasn't.

We know change isn't always easy but we hope you'll be patient with us as we transfer your account to the new system. If you have any questions or concerns, write bna-sales@cornell.edu.

Good birding!