Birdstack – Easily Share Bird Sightings

Birding has come a long way since the days of shotguns and musty museum specimens. With advances in technology and the internet, birders are now able to not only find birds easier but also share their sightings with others.

Birdstack is a new website that allows users to submit sightings from anywhere in the world and “communitize” with other birders. The process is pretty simple: submit a sighting after choosing a location and build your life list online. You can then create a widget to post your sightings on your blog or website that will update as you add more sightings.

American Goldfinch – added to our Birdstack!
American Goldfinch

Birdstack uses the International Ornithological Congress’s list of birds of the world. Any updates or revisions to this list will automatically adjust as species are split or lumped.

We’ve just started using Birdstack and have had a few “difficulties” with the sighting submission process:

  • Currently, you seem to only be able to submit one sighting at a time although there is an import function that we haven’t tried yet
  • You are required to include the latitude and longitude with your location sightings which is somewhat annoying Bug fixed!!
  • Google maps are integrated in the submission process yet seemed to not let us zoom in far enough to pinpoint a location of the birding spot we wanted Update: Working fine now; Google issue

The submission process will undoubtedly get better, especially as Birdstack is working with eBird to integrate bird sightings. What we really love so far are the sidebar widgets and hope they will offer more customized looks soon.

The site just launched on January 20th, so join now and keep up-to-date as they evolve.

Birdstack was created by David Ringer and Curtis Hawthorne.

4 thoughts on “Birdstack – Easily Share Bird Sightings

  1. Hi Birdfreak team! Welcome to Birdstack.

    I just wanted to note that latitude and longitude coordinates are NOT required for locations. Perhaps we need to modify the form to indicate that these fields are optional?

    Also, we aren’t sure what trouble you were having with the maps. It’s a regular Google map, so you can zoom in and click on the locations you want. The map service doesn’t always have super-high resolution for rural areas, but for most parts of the US, it seems pretty good. That’s an issue with the data Google makes available to us. Were you able to zoom with the slider on the left and the click on your location?

    What kinds of alternate formats are you interested in having for Stacks? Would you like just a raw, unstyled data dump with classes that you can style using your own CSS?

    Finally, yes, sightings are done one at a time, though fields like date, trip, and location are prefilled when you are entering several observations in a row. We don’t have the local-level distribution data like eBird does to generate checklists based on location. There are definite benefits though — this system lets you enter much more detail per observation, if you are inclined to do so.

    Thanks, keep the feedback coming!


  2. I love the idea but I must admit that I hate submitting stuff.-I may try to get my wife involved with submitting sightings-she likes doing that sort of stuff.-Glad you wrote about it though because I hadn’t heard of it before.

  3. David – At first the Google Zoom on the sidebar would not let us zoom in past maybe 5 “notches”; it seems to be working correctly now. As for the long/lat, when we filled in all the fields and then removed the lat/long coordinates, we received an error in pink: “Longitude can’t be blank.”

    For the stacks: it would be pretty cool to be able to stylize to your own look but we were thinking more options with the types of lists available built into the Birdstack interface.

    Larry – We agree somewhat on submitting data can get a bit tedious but if one system can do this and do it extremely well AND benefit bird conservation, that would be great! (Birdstack may or may not be this type of system)

  4. Thanks for letting me know about Birdstack. Besides the fact that I love gadgets, I hated not being able to intergrate the birds I have started listing in my visits to England in with the list I keep on e-bird. This sounds like it might do the trick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *