[CT Birds] eBird gadget on COA web site

Steve Morytko smorytko at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 5 13:22:48 EDT 2012

CT birders,

An eBird gadget has been installed on the COA web site that you may be interested in. John Marshall recently suggested this might be a useful addition to the web 
site - thanks John, great idea! It's installed on the front page if you 
want to see it (but please read on for more details): 


Some of you may already be familiar with this gadget and have it installed 
on your own Internet interfaces (computer, tablet, ...) in iGoogle or 
elsewhere. It's a very interesting tool that has enhanced 
functionality when installed on your own computer. Unfortunately this 
gadget, when installed on a website, doesn't have quite as much 
usefulness with regard to the Sightings and All Sightings data so those tabs 
are intentionally suppressed and display "Invalid Data". I won't bore 
you with the details behind that but I will say that the gadget 
developer has indicated that we might see an improved web site version 
in a few months. What the gadget does display is CT rarity sightings for the past 2 
days - but ONLY IF THEY HAVE BEEN ENTERED IN eBird. To make this tool 
most useful CT birders need to enter their sightings data in eBird!!! At this time there is no way to suppress duplicate records so you may 
see duplicate records of the same bird in the list. In the short-term 
let's hope we have that problem because it will suggest that more people are using eBird regularly - a very good thing! 

On the Rarities tab you will note there are several clickable links 
associated with each record. The location link will show you a summary 
of an eBirder's entries at a location and a map to the location at the bottom (scroll down). 
Oddly, when I've clicked on the miniaturized Google map that is displayed
at the bottom of the summary page it opened a new window that took me to Kansas 
... hello Dorothy!! I don't know what that's all about and have no 
control over it. The other clickable link in Rarities will take you to the specific eBirder's entries for the 
rare-in-CT bird - careful what your write in your reports as they become very public.

Note that there may be delays of several hours (and possibly longer) between when eBird data is 
entered and when the gadget can read it from the eBird database. 
You'll definitely want to keep posting your sightings on CTBIRDS which 
reaches a wider audience quickly.

Some of you may wish to install and personalize this free gadget on your own system so that you can see detailed sightings data for your area. For gadget details visit:

or  http://www.google.com/ig/directory?type=gadgets&url=hosting.gmodules.com/ig/gadgets/file/101708404408406792358/Recent_Bird_Sightings.xml

Also for personal use, an alternative (free) gadget is available from eBird but it's a bit different:


Support issues for either tool should not be directed to either COA or CTBIRDS. Look online or contact the developer(s) after trying (hard) to figure 
out the problem yourself. It should also be noted that it is not 
possible for us to modify the features of the tool - that's managed 
entirely by the gadget creator.

Hopefully you'll enjoy using this tool and begin to use eBird too if you don't already.

Steve Morytko - from the COA web team 

ps - Coincidentally Cornell emailed me today with an announcement of a (not free) app for Android and iPhone users called Birdlog that will permit you to enter eBird data directly from your phone. I haven't tried it so I can't comment.
Steve Morytko
Ashford, CT

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