EBN was founded in 1990 by Pieter Bison, Amsterdam & Rolf de By, Enschede, The Netherlands. See British Birds (1990) 83:252.

The first years the academic networks EARN-BITNET, JANET and EUNET were used, then later INTERNET took over.

The first coordinator in Sweden was Teet Sirotkin, with Erling Jirle joining in as assistant coordinator.

When Teet moved to U.S. for a period, Erling took over as Swedish coordinator 1994.

A subnet called Sweden-BirdNet (SBN) was in action 1994-1995. Then in autumn 1995 the purely Norwegian subnet Fuglenett (Norwegian for Birdnet) incorporated Sweden-BirdNet, and together with members from Denmark, Iceland and a few Finns formed the extended Fugle-nett (maintained by Björn-Einar Sakseid in Oslo, Norway).

In 1998 there was a "split" of these nets when EBN messages were no longer forwarded automatically to Fugle-nett and UK-Birdnet. This is still the case now in 2001; you have to join both EBN, Fugle-nett and UK-Birdnet to get ALL messages.