BUBO Listing News
In recent weeks we have been working to make it easier for us to add new location/regions and authorities for you to record your lists against. The main difference that users will notice is the new location selector within "View All Lists" and "Create New List". Instead of a short list of locations, plus a separate drop-down of UK counties, we have now introduced a hierarchical tree linking all potential listing locations to one another. The "location tree" will include anything from the scale of the world, down to the scale of individual sites (coming soon). Locations can be selected either by:
- Browsing through the tree and clicking the required location, or
- Typing the name (or part of the name) of the required location into the adjacent box, or
- Selecting (or typing part of the name of) a location from the 'popular locations' box
We have taken the advantage of the new location tree to introduce a few new listing locations. The "North and Middle America" location takes the American Ornithologists' Union checklist as its authority, whilst the "Continental North America" location, and subdivisions of this (Canada, Continental USA, Lower 48 USA), use the American Birding Association checklist.
The range of locations currently included is not complete. To save on clutter, we intend to populate the tree gradually, and largely following the requests of BUBO Listers. Only locations that anyone wishes to record a list against will be included. Therefore, if you wish to add a list for a location that is not currently included then please get in touch with us and let us know as much information about the location as possible (e.g. name, where it is, description of boundaries). We'll try to add it as soon as possible. Some of our immediate plans based on listers requests are to add South America, Australia, India, Iceland, Connecticut, etc. When we have completed several of these large regions and countries we will then introduce individual site lists.
We have also decided to make the "View All Lists" functionality available via the home page to anyone, not just to registered users. Given that BUBO Listing is designed to be entirely transparent, we felt that this was in keeping with our ethos and might also attract more users to get involved.
As always, please send us your thoughts and ideas for potential improvements. In particular, as we are making a number of changes to the way BUBO Listing works, please let us know as soon as possible if you find any apparent bugs that might have crept in. Finally, don't forget to let us know if there are any new locations you wish to record lists against.
At first Britain, then the Western Palearctic, and now the World! At last, BUBO Listing makes it possible for you to record, share and compare your World Lists.
We have decided to follow the Clements checklist as the authority for our launch of BUBO World Listing. The 6th edition of this recognised standard world list was published in 2007 and, following the death of Jim Clements in 2005, is now being maintained by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Cornell are publishing regular updates to the list and BUBO Listing will endeavour to keep up with these updates. In time, we may well introduce world base-lists by other authorities to allow users to record their world lists using different taxonomic treatments.
Recording your World List on BUBO Listing is the same as with any other lists. However, we recognise that for the well-travelled birder, the size of the list could mean that it would be impractical to add the list in one go, but too tedious to add the species one at a time. Therefore, to aid the creation of World Lists, we have now developed a 'Batch Edit' mode. This means that you can enter as much of your list as you like to start with, then come back in later and enter another block.
Of course, a sizeable proportion of your world list may already be contained within another list you have already entered (e.g. a British or Western Palearctic list). If so, it is easy to kick-start your World List by copying the species across from such a previously created list . There will be some species that don't copy across, because of differing taxonomies between (for example) the BOU British List and the Clements World List , but the vast majority of species will copy across easily, saving you a large amount of re-typing.
We hope BUBO Listers find this new facility useful and enjoyable. As always, if you have any comments or find any errors (and with nearly 10,000 species, there must be a few!) then let us know and we'll put them right as soon as possible.
And what next for BUBO Listing? Well, we'll next be looking at supporting lists for more individual countries, followed by listing for other species groups such as buttterflies. Keep listing!
We always welcome suggestions from BUBO Listers as to how we can enhance BUBO Listing and one frequently mentioned comment has been that, whilst it is relatively quick to create a new list, if you do not add all your sightings at the time of list creation, then it is slower to add species later using the 'Add Species to List' option. Based on this feedback we have now implemented a new batch edit mode for existing lists. This will make it easier and faster to add new species (or make updates, or deletions) to an existing list.
From either menu option of 'View/Edit My Lists' and 'Add Species to List', you will now see an extra button 'Batch Edit'. Select a list and then click this button to see a checklist display of your list, split over multiple pages. You can then add species by ticking the 'Seen?' checkbox and entering additional species details as necessary. Untick the box to remove a species and just edit directly the date, location, comments and sensitive flag if you wish to update an existing record. When you have made the necessary changes on the page just click 'Save Records'. If there are any errors in your entry, e.g. date and location missing for a rarity, you will be prompted to correct these before any changes are saved.
You can navigate between pages of the checklist by simply clicking the required page number or using the other navigation links to go to the next page, jump ten pages, or go to the first or last pages accordingly. Remember to save any changes from the current page before you navigate to a different page though, otherwise your changes will be lost.
Thanks to those who commented on this area and please do keep the comments coming (via the Contact form) so that we can continue to improve on BUBO Listing and make it the number one site for bird listing worldwide.
There's little doubt that most birders leave their Christmas presents buying to the last minute. Well, never fear, BUBO Listing in association with Amazon can help with lots of ideas of gifts for birders and non-birders alike!
(Prices are the same as you would get shopping on Amazon directly, but buying via BUBO Listing gives us a small commission which helps as a little incentive for us to keep enhancing this site!)
Browse the Amazon website, or let us give you a few ideas...
How about a digital photo frame? It's the ideal way to get those digital pics off your PC and instead gracing your living room.
I'm sure we'd all be happy to get a new pair of bins or a scope but maybe budgets can't stretch to Swarovski, Zeiss or Leica. What about a cheap second pair of bins to keep in the car or at the office? You never know when you might need them!
Maybe an upgrade to your camera is in order to a nice new digital SLR, or why not buy your nearest and dearest an excellent digital compact camera that you can also sneak into your pocket for a bit of digiscoping the next time you're out birding?
Nowadays a GPS is becoming a commonly seen piece of birding equipment, especially for any foreign trips. Another aid to getting fast to your next twitch is a satellite navigation system. See Amazon's choice of GPSs and satnav systems. And if you have to spend many hours in a car load of birders, why not just put on your headphones and listen to your own music on your MP3 player, which doubles as a handy bird call player and recorder?
Of course the easiest present to buy for any birder is a book, and the latest birding tomes are always welcome. See some of our recommendations in the BUBO Store.
If you happen to be in the unfortunate position of needing to buy a present for someone who is not interested in birds, and you don't think Bill Oddie's Introduction to Birdwatching or How to Watch Wildlife book (or DVD boxed set), or Simon Barnes's How to Be Wild (following on from his Bad Birdwatcher books which were much appreciated by my Mum last Christmas!) will get them hooked, then you actually have the whole Amazon store to chose from. So check out their selection of music, DVDs, other books, toys and games or just browse from the Amazon homepage.
Have a great Christmas. Personally I'm looking forward to my first trip to the UK in over a year and hence my BUBO year list will increase beyond its current zero. What I'm really wishing for is that Santa will bring me a Sussex Ross's Gull...
In the definitive British work on birders and birding, Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book, Bill tells us that "there is one final list no birder can push too far into the back of his mind, and it is the list that keeps you at it - 'Birds I haven't seen yet'." And it's true, all listers know perfectly well which species they haven't yet seen. Moreover, we tend to have a good idea which are our easiest remaining targets, those that we feel we really should have seen by now, and are just waiting to be added soon...
Well, now BUBO Listing can help. We have come up with a brand new feature that can be used to find the top targets for any list, whether your own or that of another lister. At the top of any given list (e.g. viewed through View All Lists, or View/Edit My Lists) you will now see a target icon to indicate that you should click this to see the top targets for the list. (Select the tick icon to return to viewing the actual species list.)
The list of targets returns all species available for that authority that are not already on the list in question. For more interest, however, it also ranks these in order of 'easiness', with the most expected next addition listed at the top. But how is this worked out?
For any list, we look at all other lists currently entered on BUBO Listing with the same combination of region, period, authority and all birds/self-found. For every species missing from the list you have selected, we see how many of these other equivalent lists each species is currently recorded on. It is this number that enables us to tell you which are your top targets for any given list.
This approach can produce some interesting results. For example, examination of one BUBO lister's BOU British Life List gave the top five targets (with % of equivalent lists recording the species) as:
- Great Reed Warbler (53%)
- Ortolan Bunting (49%)
- European Bee-eater (48%)
- Radde's Warbler (48%)
- White-billed Diver (48%)
For a list of just over 400 species, this is a fairly expected list of reasonably 'gettable' species that have just passed the lister by, and that he can expect to pick up some time fairly soon. However, looking further down the list of targets, it initially appears surprising to see Green Heron (11th target), Pacific Diver (15th target) and Black Lark (17th target) appearing above such relatively regular birds as Black-winged Pratincole (18th), Black-headed Bunting (20th) and Greater Yellowlegs (41st). This is because, the way the ranking is calculated, recent well-twitched megas like Pacific Diver have been recorded by more listers than some other species which are numerically more regular, but can be tricky to get to grips with. Additionally, birders are likely to travel further for megas than for those moderately rare species which they feel they will get back at some stage.
We hope BUBO Listers will appreciate this new feature. Don't forget, once you've found your list of top targets, just click on one of those species names to see who else has recorded it, and where and when.
And of course, if you have a friend using BUBO Listing, you can check to see what their top target currently is...!