Wednesday, August 6

Find those eBird Personal Locations that should be merged with Hotspots!!

eBird should totally, totally develop a tool that allows users to detect whether their personal locations are very near hotspots (or should be merged with the hotspot). Maybe they are working on that, but in the meantime here's a little app to help you clean up your locations and get your name on more Hotspot Explorer pages :)

Hotspot Alignment Tool

To use this program, download your eBird data (the link is in the My eBird page on the right toolbar), then upload that file directly to the page.

This is just a primitive idea of what a tool like this really ought to do, but I just wanted to share this little functionality with the eBirders out there in case it can be useful.

Saturday, May 24

Added Language Support for BirdTrax

Species names in BirdTrax can now be viewed in French and Spanish in addition to English! This was in high demand for a long time, so I anticipate much excitement. I hope this new possibility will provide impetus for further growth in eBird participation worldwide. When embedding BirdTrax, simply select from a choice of languages (option beneath country drop-down box). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at
The new "Espanol (MX)" eBird Gadget!

Embed a BirdTrax Gadget on your website by clicking here or add it to your Google Site.

On a side note, I could use some help translating the basic text of BirdTrax into these languages. I would greatly appreciate an email with the translations of non-species text used in the gadget from users who are fluent/comfortable in these languages . I will keep this request updated once I obtain the information I need to proceed.

Monday, March 31

A Tool to Identify Nemesis Birds!

Finally here's a simple application which will identify your nemesis birds and tell you just how likely you are to find one! Using eBird histogram data for a given area, the birds you haven't seen are displayed alongside the percentage of checklists reporting that species (sorted by probability of sighting). Simply download the histogram data, download your list, and upload them both to this program.

You can download the program at this link:

Needs List Generator

By the way, please realize this is just a really rough draft application that is not error-free. I just whipped it up in the last hour or so and I'm putting it out there to share my work, I don't intend to put in more time or manage bugs. However, I do expect it will work well for you!

Also, stay tuned. The next little thing is going to be a personal location/hotspot check tool. This will facilitate the laborious process of getting your personal locations merged to hotspots.

Saturday, January 18

BirdTrax Running Again!

BirdTrax is up and running again after a two-day outage. Thanks for your patience in the meantime! There were so many error reports that it was difficult to keep track of all of them, and I apologize for any inconvenience. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you are still having issues. Thanks for your patience! Zach

Friday, November 1

BirdTrax Update: iGoogle is History

November 1 has arrived. iGoogle is gone, but BirdTrax is still running just as well as ever. Personally I was very disappointed with the scanty amount of information Google released about what exactly was going to be retired with iGoogle. As of this morning, it appears to me that only the actual iGoogle page was taken down, but all web directories, servers, and hosting domains associated with iGoogle are still in effect. As such, the old BirdTrax embed code will still work, but will not be maintained or updated (since I previously accessed the old code source through iGoogle and I cannot find another way).

So, if you haven't already done so, update BirdTrax. You will still want to do so to take advantage of future upgrades and maintenance. I apologize for the hectic transition, but am grateful to see that more than half of all BirdTrax users have already transitioned to the new embed code.

If you are already missing iGoogle (you're not alone!), check out the post on using Google Sites, which is a great alternative. In the comments section of that post, you'll also find other sites/homepages BirdTrax addicts are recommending as alternatives to iGoogle.

Monday, October 21

Google Sites: Alternative to iGoogle

The untimely demise of iGoogle is set for November 1. As such, you will no longer be able to pull up that iGoogle page and quickly scroll through a handy collage of BirdTrax summaries of birds/birders in your area. However, here's my suggestion for an alternative to iGoogle.

To begin, go to:

  1. Create a new site. Simply click "create". You can fiddle around with style all you like, but I just selected "blank template". Once you finish up on that page, you should have a new website.
  2. Edit your page. Click on the pencil in the upper right area of the page.
  3. Add a BirdTrax gadget. In the upper left menu bar, hover over "insert" and then click on "more gadgets...". Click on "add gadget by URL" and enter the following URL:

  4. Customize your gadget. Type in your settings as you so desire, and when you click OK, you'll have inserted your first BirdTrax gadget into the site.
The rest of the features are fairly self-explanatory. You can change your privacy settings -- by default the site is public.

Please comment if you're having issues or if you find any better alternatives! Here's a sample site for you to check out:

BirdTrax Demo Dashboard

Update Your BirdTrax Embed Code

The BirdTrax gadget is now hosted on Google Code, a reliable and fast server which is capable of managing the steady stream of code requests coming from the thousands of websites which use BirdTrax.

So update your embed code! It should currently look something like this:
<script src="//;up_latlng=42.461381%2C%20-76.50454&amp;up_radius=15&amp;up_daysBack=30&amp;up_locName=Ithaca%2C%20NY&amp;up_districtName=&amp;up_State=Hawaii&amp;up_countryCode=US&amp;up_defaultMode=area&amp;up_defaultview=sightings&amp;up_spuhs=0&amp;up_picture=1&amp;up_hideNavMenu=1&amp;up_showhide=2&amp;up_hide2=european%20starling%2C%20house%20sparrow%2C%20rock%20pigeon&amp;synd=open&amp;w=375&amp;h=450&amp;title=BirdTrax&amp;border=%23ffffff%7C3px%2C1px+solid+%23999999&amp;output=js"></script>
You need to update the script source and its URL attribute from:
If you are unsure how to do this, you can use the BirdTrax Website Embedder Code Generator. Using the code from this tool will do the same thing as is described above.

Please let me know if you have any issues!

Friday, June 14

eBird Checklist Map

Yesterday I threw some code together that generates a map of all eBird checklists submitted in my area.

I haven't had time to perfect the idea yet, and I may add a few more features. In the meantime, here's how you can do this too:

Wednesday, April 24

Map your eBird History!

Here's an awesome new map of personal eBird checklist submissions over time from Brian Sullivan:

Thanks to Jared Fischer for the idea and development work!

Here's how to do this:

Friday, January 4

BirdTrax Website Embedder

Here's a simple tool to help you embed BirdTrax on your website. Fill in the information below, then click "Get Code!" to copy the code you need to paste on your website to place the gadget. If you encounter any issues, please comment or email me.