The American Birding Association (ABA) just announced the 2016 Bird of the Year, Chestnut-collared Longspur! You can read all about it over at the ABA website.
I’ve been beta testing BirdsEye Hotspots for iOS, a co-produced app by BirdsEye Birding and Nemesis Code, for a few weeks now. I use it multiple times a day when I’m birding. It comes in handy when I’m not entirely sure where a birding hotspot is located or when I want to bird somewhere new. The app is essential for a fun-filled, smooth day of birding! (P.S. This will be crucial for navigating to spots during a Big Day.)
BIRDSEYE HOTSPOTS: Worldwide hotspot finding
BirdsEye Hotspots is a simple tool for birders. It makes it quick and easy to find nearby hotspots so you can quickly get there and start birding!
- County listers rejoice! Always know which county you are in and which county your hotspots are in.
- Get driving, walking and transit directions to any hotspot worldwide in your favorite apps. Hotspots currently works with many of the popular map and navigation apps.
- Link directly to the new BirdsEye apps to view local abundance charts of the birds found at each hotspot. (requires BirdsEye NA or any of the other regional BirdsEye apps)
- One tap button to copy the latitude and longitude of a hotspot or your current location to quickly share with others.
- Local weather data – you need to know what the conditions will be when searching for your next birding spot. That spot that is excellent in sunny conditions can be brutal when its stormy while rainy weather can prompt you to head to nearby lakes to look for waterfowl.
- Sunrise and sunset times so you always know how much more daylight you have to twitch that rarity.
- World wide access to eBird hotspots
Note: Requires WiFi or data connection to access hotspot data.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Every birder should own this app. For $4.99 you can’t beat it!
Migration is starting all over the country. Shorebirds have been on the move the past few weeks, but now songbirds are on the move as well! I was not aware that songbird migration started this early, but it was brought to my attention that migration happens at Higbees Dike year round. Sam Galick witnessed a decent morning flight of passerines on July 30th. He had a lone Louisiana Waterthrush, five Northern Waterthrushes, four American Redstarts, and an impressive count of 53 Yellow Warblers! Be sure to check out the eBird Checklist for his count.
Migrants should be trickling south through the northeast and upper midwest throughout the month of August and will begin to heat up near the end of August and into September. Here’s this week’s update from BirdCast:
“Scattered precipitation begets a slow start to many areas of the region this weekend, with light movements occurring where it is dry. However, portions of the western Great Lakes show signs of more movements to come, with favorable conditions that facilitate light to moderate movements there early in the weekend building South and East to begin the week. However, as high pressure moves off the Carolina coast, precipitation returns to shut down migrants in most places, again with the exception of portions of the western Great Lakes where light movements continue. This precipitation is tracking a low moving East across Canada, and as it departs more northerly flow builds over parts of the region. As this happen late in the week, more favorable conditions are in place for light to moderate movements to occur in areas free of precipitation. Birds on the move this week include Blue-winged Teal, early Ospreys, Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers, Solitary, White-rumped, and Pectoral Sandpiper, Yellow Warbler, and American Redstart.”
What have you been seeing? Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers have been increasing in numbers along the Delaware Bayshore. Pectoral, Solitary, and White-rumped Sandpipers have been around for a week or two now, but not in significant numbers.
For Fall Migration Updates, check out the following links:
Upper Midwest – Woodcreeper.com by David La Puma
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – The Northwoods BIRDAR by Max Henschell
New England – Tom Auer’s blog
Florida/SE – Badbirdz Reloaded by Angel and Mariel Abreu
PA/Ohio Valley – Nemesis Bird by Drew Weber
NW Ohio – Birding the Crane Creek by Kenn Kaufman
Pac NW – Birds Over Portland by Greg Haworth
Continental US – eBird BirdCast Forecast & Report by Team eBird
“Do you need fast directions to a new birding spot? Traveling and have no idea where to go birding? Hotspots does all this and more…coming summer 2013!”
Be sure to check out http://hotspots.launchrock.com/ and sign up to get the latest updates on BirdsEye Hotspots and be notified as soon as it hits the App Store!
We use BirdsEye, a lot. Well, you can say we are addicts. The old BirdsEye is awesome and the NEW BirdsEye looks to blow it out of the water. Here’s why:
“To address these problems we have embarked on a ground-up rebuild of BirdsEye and are adding some cool new features in the process. In this first version the new BirdsEye already provides some useful new features not in the original, including:
- import eBird life and year lists for any country, state or county
- display local abundance charts for all nearby birds based on a radius that you select from 1 to 50 miles
- see which of the local birds are “needs” (i.e. they aren’t already on your list)
- provide regional versions covering much of the world
- you can change the naming convention for birds from a large number of eBird naming options including US, UK and Australian English, Scientific, Spanish and French
The latest version of the New BirdsEye NA and regional versions are now roughly on par with the Original BirdsEye, although there are pros and cons. The latest update of BirdsEye NA in the App Store includes the ability to browse Hotspots and see recent “Notable” sightings near you.
We have not made a final decision on how to roll it out to existing BirdsEye users. The issues here are somewhat complex. First, it isn’t ready yet. Second, it will never be identical, and some people love the original just like it is, so we think many people will not want to change. Third, the model of selling apps is probably not sustainable for us in this niche market of high-end birding apps. We cannot afford to improve and support our app as much as we need to, despite relying mostly on low-paid and/or volunteer labor. At some point I believe that we need to transition to a subscription approach and the rollout of the new BirdsEye may be the right time to do that.
We want to roll it out for Android when we have sufficient financial support to do that. Supporting Android is likely to be unprofitable, but it is important for our mission of promoting eBird, especially among younger users and birders outside of the US.”
All information used with permission from the BirdsEye Birding Team
There’s a cool Hummingbird Migration map over at the Perky-Pet Bird Feeders website that shows monthly sightings of Anna’s, Allen’s, Costa’s, Ruby-throated, and Rufous Hummingbirds. You can observe and share your sightings as well. It is very intuitive and takes no time at all to submit a sighting! You can even upload a photo of the hummingbird you’re submitting. Super easy, super cool, DO IT!
As a bonus for submitting a sighting, you get a code for 20% off an online purchase. What are you waiting for? Start entering your hummingbird sightings!