There are many ways to find out about recent sightings using eBird. This story highlights one of our favorite ways to access eBird data outside of the eBird application — BirdTrax. With BirdTrax, you can quickly browse recent observations, rarities, and checklists in your area, county, or state. Do you want to see all recent checklists near where you live? Do you want to see all recent sightings? Or perhaps you want to simply see nearby rarities? BirdTrax provides all of these. You can select you region or regions of interest and customize BirdTrax for what you want. For more information visit BirdTrax. For those of you who were using iGoogle, you can use BirdTrax with Google Sites to return similar information. If you are interested in creating a Google Site, here is a quick link on how to create a site and fill it with customized information from BirdTrax. Totally confused and don’t understand what any of this means? Take a look here to see BirdTrax in action on a Google Site.
Another easy way to find out about rare birds in your area is to go to the Explore Data tab in eBird. On the lower left side is a link to Alerts. Here you can subscribe to an hourly or daily summary of new reports of rarities in your area, or unsubscribe to an existing alert. You can also type a state or county and view that summary on a webpage (without subscribing). This provides similar information as some BirdTrax output, with the added benefit that embedded photos and videos can also be seen.
NOTE: BirdTrax uses the eBird API to return data. We are huge fans of it, but we are not able to provide technical support. The creator of BirdTrax is also a full time student, so please be patient if you are not able to get things running immediately.
FOR PAST iGOOGLE USERS: Today marks the disappearance of iGoogle. As of now, all of the gadgets appear to be working. It appears that only the actual iGoogle page was taken down, but all web directories, servers, and hosting domains associated with iGoogle are still in functional. Google has not provided a lot of information on what exactly will be lost and maintained and we are uncertain how long this will continue to function. We encourage users to make use of BirdTrax, which provides even greater functionality than other older gadgets. Here again is that quick link on creating a Google Site to display multiple BirdTrax.