The Ornithological Council was incorporated in 1992 in Washington, D.C., as a not-for-profit IRS 501©(3) organization. The Council is supported by, and serves the interests of, its member organizations. Originally, these included the American Ornithologists' Union, the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Cooper Ornithological Society, the Colonial Waterbirds Society (now the Waterbird Society), the Pacific Seabird Group, the Raptor Research Foundation, and the Wilson Ornithological Society. An additional six societies are now members: Pacific Seabird Group, Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, Neotropical Ornithological Society, CIPAMEX, Society of Canadian Ornithologists, and the North American Crane Working Group.
The Council and its members:
- Link the scientific community with public and private decision-makers
- Provide timely information about birds to help ensure scientifically-based decisions, policies, and management actions
- Inform ornithologists of proposals and actions that affect birds or the study of birds
- Speak for scientific ornithology on public issues
- Grants linking to this organization: SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM FOR ORNITHOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN