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  1. admin

    Merlin?

    I just looked at our range map for the Lesser Nighthawk and you are completely correct, this bird is mainly in the south west and Mexico. http://identify.whatbird.com/mwg/_/0/offline.whatbird.com/obj/544/overview/Lesser_Nighthawk.aspx lesser_nighthawk_map.aspx
  2. admin

    Merlin?

    Are you all 100% certain this is a Merlin? Our neural network claims its a Lesser Nighthawk with 53% confidence (which means its not really sure) and a Merlin with 32% confidence. Thanks Mitch Tj
  3. iBird's prototype photo recognition algorithm says its more likely a Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler (63%) than a Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler (26%). I'd like to hear what other's think. Mitch
  4. I don't understand why you posted this news item to this topic, which is about our newsletter. I am moving it to Birds and Birding. If you have something about the newsletter it would go hear.
  5. admin

    4. Survey to Determine iBird's Future

    ReDave I'm really sorry to hear this happened. Its the first report of an error like this and we have over 2,000 respondents to our surveys. I'm not sure what I can do to help but I certainly would be frustrated if this happened to me after spending a lot of time filling the survey out. I wonder if the inactivity is monitored by surveymonkey and they have some routine that drops the http connection after some time? I'm glad you didn't give up and tried again and finished. We are getting some really amazing insights, especially to the last question that asks "what would you do to improve iBird" and will be sharing the results soon.
  6. admin

    4. Survey to Determine iBird's Future

    No you don’t need to have iBird to take the survey. But some questions won’t be answerable if you haven’t at least used the free iBird Lite app.
  7. admin

    4. Survey to Determine iBird's Future

    In the next newsletter we will reveal the results so you can see what ideas got the best response.
  8. The only birding app that works in native mode on an Android tablet. Click on Read More to see all the features of iBird Pro for Android devices. Click here for iBird Pro for Android in Google Play Store Now includes Birds Around Me. iBird Pro, the world's best Android field guide to birds of North America, turns anyone into a birding expert. Whether you’re an experienced birder or a novice to birding, iBird is the only app you will need. Its new “on-demand” feature instantly downloads images and sounds over WiFi or cellular networks and is optimized to take up only a fraction of the space on your tablet or phone. And now you can download the entire database to your SD card for offline use in the field. iBird contains more birds than any app, including 944 American Ornithology Union (AOU) species accounts. Using iBird's patented “Percevia™” matching system you can identify birds by color, location, shape, habitat or any one of our 34 identification attributes. You can even search by bird song. iBird's species pages have 3,000 built-in bird songs from the talented recordists of the Xeno-Canto community, 4,500 professional high resolution bird photographs, over 1,000 hand drawn composite illustrations and range maps. No other bird app offers both illustrations and photographs. From well-known birds to exotic rare species, iBird works like magic, revealing a list of birds that perfectly matches your search choices. With over 1 million downloads iBird is the standard that all birding apps are measured by. Features ■ See the all the changes to iBird at https://ibird.com/whats-new-android/ ■ iBird 7 is now optimized to take a fraction of the space ■ New: All content is instantly available over WiFi ■ New: Download entire database to SD card for use in the field ■ New: iBird Cloud Sync backup of Favorites and Notes ■ New: Huge library of bird sound recordings and vocalization details from the Xeno-Canto community ■ New: Enhanced Gallery Mode lets you browse all icons in a grid ■ Brand new user interface compatible with all versions of Android from KitKat 4.4 to Nougat 7. ■ 944 AOU species accounts with latest splits and name changes ■ iBird’s icon-driven visual search engine, enables you to identify birds by 34 attributes; more than any other birding app ■ Search by Location, Shape, Size, Habitat, Color, Family, etc. ■ Search by common name, Latin name and even band code ■ Comprehensive seasonal and migratory range maps ■ Equivalent to 14 book length field guides with in-depth Identification details: Similar species, Behavior, Vocalizations, Sounds, Ecology, Families and more ■ The only birding app with both illustrations and photos ■ The only birding app that zooms illustrations and photos by 400% ■ Field Mark layer shows key ID marks for male, female, juvenile and subspecies In this new 7 update to iBird we have added 42 new drawings and new species such as the California and Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Ridgeway’s Rail, Mexican Violetear and more. Other Features ■ All new range maps now include Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall ranges plus Year-round and Migration ranges. ■ New Conservation Status search attribute lets you search by the size of any species population as well as see specific species endangered status on each account. The standard is maintained by Birdlife International and is called the IUCN Red List. ■ All screens optimized for tablets - illustrations, photos and range maps fill the screen. Additional Features: ■ Playing bird songs and calls lets you to attract birds to your device or bird feeders for easier identification and more enjoyment. ■ High resolution hand-drawn color illustrations, with perching and flight views. ■ Multiple professional photographs, showing subspecies plumages, sexes and seasons. ■ Full color range maps for every species showing migration areas. ■ Species, common and family names in English, French and Spanish (text is English). ■ Keep up with the latest news and other iBird users by joining the iBird fan page on Facebook http://facebook.com/ibird. Comment on Facebook: iBird Android Tablet
  9. The only birding app that works in native mode on an Apple iPad. Click on Read More to see all the features of iBird Pro for Apple devices. Click here for iBird Pro in Apple App Store iBird™ Pro, considered by experts to be the world’s best app for identifying birds of North America, has been completely updated with the American Ornithological Union’s 2017 Supplement. You can now search for birds by activity levels during day or night (Cathemeral), dawn and dusk (Crepuscular), during the day (Diurnal) or during the night (Nocturnal) with the optional Time of Day package. iBird Pro is the only app that offers Birds Around Me (BAM)—showing just those species in your GPS location. It also features our patented Percevia™ smart search, which helps you identify birds just like the birding experts. Finally iBird Pro 10.06 includes our new Owls of Mexico and Central America package, including illustrations with field marks, range maps, songs and calls and much more for these remarkable species. iBird developers never sleep. Version 10.06 adds a unique collection of audio recordings for all Owls as well as 16 new composite illustrations. To see the latest drawings, go to Illustration Update on the Search menu and select 10.06. More Details of What’s New: bit.ly/ibird-whatsnew iBird Pro contains 946 species of North American birds, including both common and rare species. It is designed to help both experienced and novice birders identify and learn about their birds. Unlike other iPhone apps, iBird includes most of the popular birds of the Hawaiian Islands and is completely up to date with the 2017 AOU and ABA checklists. With iBird Pro’s Percevia™ matching system you can search for birds by color, location, shape, habitat or any one of 35 identification attributes to find your bird. iBird's comprehensive species pages have 3,300 built-in bird song recordings, 4,500 professional high resolution bird photographs, 1,750 hand-drawn composite illustrations and over 1,000 range maps. Version 10.065 of iBird Pro Guide to Birds now includes iCloud for backing up and sharing your own photos, notes and favorites among all your devices. With over 1 million downloads iBird is the standard that all birding apps are measured by. Features ■ Identify 946 species with in-depth descriptions including details on appearance, habitat, behavior, conservation, size, weight, color, pattern, shape, sexual differences and much more. ■ Birds Around Me and Percevia™ smart search now available as in-app purchases with free 7 day trials. ■ Splits-History lets you see what birds have had name changes, have been split into more than one species or lumped into one species. ■ iBird’s icon-driven visual search engine enables you to identify birds using shape, color, location, habitat, head pattern, flight pattern, bill shape, length and more. ■ Extensive identification paragraphs and hard-to-find details such as diet, nest information, egg color, sex of incubator, vocalization definitions, and more. ■ The only birding app that includes both Illustrations and Photos. ■ Sort birds by first, last and family name and view birds by text, icon, thumbnail or gallery. ■ Search by common name, Latin name and even band code. ■ Comprehensive range maps which include migratory routes as well as subspecies maps for 40 species. ■ Only app with a field mark layer which displays key ID marks for male, female and juvenile birds. ■ Post, keep lists, and share sightings with friends and followers with an easy and user-friendly Notes and Favorites interface. ■ iBird’s database is completely self-contained; no internet connection is required like many other birding apps. Other Features ■ The Conservation Status search attribute lets you filter birds by 6 threat levels maintained by Birdlife International and is called the IUCN Red List. ■ All screens optimized for tablets - illustrations, photos and range maps fill the screen. ■ Species, common and family names in English, French and Spanish (text is English). Comment on Facebook: iBird Pro iOS Tablet
  10. If you've used other birding apps you may wonder why they are not updated very often. The reason is that the number of changes coming from the birding standards organization (AOU and ABA) has grown significantly. Much of this is do to new classification discoveries from DNA research. We at Mitch Waite Group have strived to keep up and this new update is no exception. However we do not blindly copy every change the AOU makes. This story explains our philosophy and shows you the over 100 changes we have made for iBird 10.06. It also provides a place for you to discuss our decisions and let us know your opinion. Maybe there is a bird you wish we did include? Click here to see AOU 2017 Updates we made to iBird. Also shows the birds we did not change and explains why. Comment on Facebook: AOU 2017 iBird Updates
  11. My name is Crystal Adams and I’ve been working at Mitch Waite Group (MWG) as a researcher, writer, and sound editor for the past ten years. LOVE the work! How many of you get to work on a project every day that involves one of your favorite pastimes? Not only do I consider myself fortunate on this front, but my time off the clock makes my soda fizz, too! Birds, horses, making maple syrup, and spending time with my family keep me busy year-round—that is until recently. Something else, something unexpected and unplanned for has taken over my personal time—and it relates to my work at MWG: playgrounds, fundraising, and grants. “What? What? How do these activities relate to your work with birds?” you ask. Well, it’s a bit of an indirect alignment. All those years of honing my research skills while working on iBird have ended up being crucial in helping me bring an age-appropriate playground to my community in Woodstock, Connecticut. It all started with a family trip to Cape Cod in 2016. My son spotted a playground and we stopped to explore it. A huge 13’ tall climbing dome dominated the area, surrounded by a variety of climbing and spinning equipment. It was pretty amazing! While safe for children 5 and older, the design also appealed to parents who we witnessed having fun on the equipment. (I guess kids’ animations aren’t the only thing being designed to include parents!) What a smart design—to include people of all ages! Why should there be an age limitation to “play?” I was intrigued and looked for the manufacturer’s name on the equipment. The company is “Kompan.” I made a note of it and decided to do a little research once we returned home. Meanwhile, I had to take a few spins and do some climbing to satisfy my inner child. I grabbed hold of a skinny pole called a “Spica,” and as I stepped onto the small platform attached to it, I pushed off the ground with my other foot. Immediately my stomach was in my throat as it whirled me quickly around. “Make it STOP!” I yelled to my nearby son. Whew! That was fun, but I was glad to be back on solid ground. It turns out that Kompan was started by a Danish sculptor in 1970 who noticed children playing on one of his large outdoor art pieces. This moment inspired him to embark on starting his own playground equipment company with equipment that appealed to both adults and children. The sculptor realized success. Today, Kompan designs playgrounds worldwide with health, learning and the environment in mind. Let the Journey Begin I took my interest in this playground equipment to the next logical step. My son was about to start 5th grade at our district’s middle school, where the students spend recess on an empty parking lot. After being pulled in by this amazing playground I had recently seen, I wanted my son to have access to something just as amazing. Sure, an empty parking lot might help kids use their imaginations more, but why not give them some fun structures to feed that imagination and get them moving, too!? And so, that pondering started me on my “playground” journey for the next several months, researching Kompan and 20 other different playground companies along with reasons why children need recess. On this journey (actually more of a quest), I met with town and school boards and committees, presenting my research findings and doing my best to build their interest and enthusiasm for the end goal of revamping the middle school parking lot into a new-fangled, well-thought-out, kid-magnetizing playground that could provide loads of fun during and beyond school hours. After doing my due diligence, putting on my best playground evangelist hat and sharing my vision with those who could give me the green light, I finally received approval to start fundraising for a Kompan playground geared toward middle school children. I was over the moon and ready to put on my fundraiser hat! On top of that, and just as important and based on my research, the middle school principal was able to increase recess time from just ten minutes a day for the older kids to 20 minutes each day. Almost There I’ll just cut to the chase now. In the last several months, the fundraising team I brought together has reached over 60% of the $100,000 fundraising goal. It’s been all about having fun that will ultimately lead to more fun—out on the kids’ new playground. Students have competed in coin drives, with the winning class getting to Silly String the principal in front of the whole school! (She had some explaining to do when she arrived home with silly string stuck in her hair!) We are continuing to wage Penny Wars, have bake sales, and get hearts pumping and dollars flowing our way with Zumba, just to name a few of our fun strategies to raise money for this great cause. Our quest is to raise the remaining funds in time to build the playground this summer so that the kids can start the 2018 school year off with a playground oasis where there once was pavement. How to Help Visit https://wmsplayground.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/first-blog-post/ to learn more about this fun and exciting project and to see videos of the equipment in action. Please share our link on social media to help us meet our goal. Donations of any size will be appreciated. PayPal donations can be made here https://www.paypal.me/WoodstockPTO or click on the PayPal button. Comment on Facebook: Help iBird Build a Playground We’ve come this far. You can help us make it happen!
  12. At 62 years of age, soft spoken with a distinguished face (piercing gray-blue eyes, a cleanly trimmed beard and a full head of thick gray hair) and a solid, stocky frame; Alan Van Norman lives in North Dakota, one of the most remote states in America. Until he retired last month, he walked 3 miles from his home in Bismarck to his job as a neurosurgeon at Sanford Hospital five days a week. So, it might be surprising to learn this gentleman has traveled to some of the most remote, rugged and dangerous places on the planet, threaded through jungles at night on the sides of treacherous volcanoes, been mugged, robbed, and jailed--all with one simple goal in mind: to photograph rare and elusive Owls. Part 1 - The Comoros Right now, I'm thinking about his trip to the Comoro Islands, or the "Comoros," an archipelago of volcanic islands situated off the south-east coast of Africa, to the east of Mozambique and north-west of Madagascar. This island group has four main inhabited islands, three of which comprise the independent country of The Comoros and the fourth, Mayotte, belongs to France. Each of the four main inhabited islands has an endemic Scops-Owl found only on that island. Alan cobbled together a trip to all four islands with the assistance of various people who had searched for and seen these four owl subspecies. None of these birders were fortunate enough to see more than one of the subspecies in their attempts. What intrigued Alan was that each Owl is found only on its own island, and these islands are located only about 60 miles from each other. He wondered, “How could four Owls evolve as distinct species with such similar species so close?” I asked Alan why he was so curious about these birds and he responded, “They are a great example of evolution: they live so close to each other yet on each island, all the owls sing only the call on that island and, although similar, on each island the owls have a unique plumage pattern specific to that island. Why don’t they fly to the other islands? Perhaps they do but because of the unique songs and plumage patterns they are seen as foreign and fail to breed. And of course, since I can’t find published pictures of them, they are an interesting challenge for me.” Of course, this all makes sense. But I wondered and asked Alan what the challenges were. He said, “It can be very dangerous to look for these birds. First you are walking around with a lot of expensive equipment, in the middle of the night, off-trail in a very steep and rugged landscape, in a very poor country. You can fall and break a leg or damage your equipment; you can get bitten by some pretty nasty animals or insects; and you can get mugged.” I had not considered mugging an issue, probably because whenever I go birding in the states, it’s always in a benign area where people love nature. But he is traveling to remote islands where the indigenous population may be leery of Americans. They may also be impoverished, so camera equipment can be worth a huge amount of money. They may be engaged in illegal activity themselves and walking around at night with camera equipment, so you may be seen as a threat. Typically, Owls are located during the night and therefore Alan usually used a local guide. Why? Because logistics are extremely difficult. You have property owners who may not want you on their land. Most of the time you hope you have a 50% chance of obtaining their permission. If you don't get it, the likelihood of getting arrested or shot is not zero. Some areas are quite lawless and unsafe. Getting lost can be an issue. And often the owls are rare or uncommon, at best, so it’s helpful to go to an area they have been recorded at least once before. For the Comoros, there was only one French-speaking naturalist guide Alan could find. And, on the first leg of his journey on Mount Karthala, his guide got lost. Alan had to intervene to get them back to where they started. After 3 hours working back, they found the correct trail in just 10 minutes. Another problem was that, in order to travel between the four islands, he was dependent upon the irregular and unreliable local airlines. The scheduled flight that he planned to take between the second and third island was cancelled without explanation and the next available flight was not for another week. So, he and another local guide scrambled and found two kids who had a speedboat. They promised to take him and all his equipment across 60 miles of open ocean. The boat turned out to be very primitive, a 14-foot fiberglass shell without seats powered by a 40 cc outboard motor. Just as they were about to leave, the local police decided he was breaking the law and arrested everyone. They were taken to a jail where they waited for the only available government official on the island, an assistant to the minister of tourism, to hear their case. Once he heard the details of the arrest, he yelled at the police, "Why are you harassing these people?" The officers only answer was, "Because they might damage the land." He scolded the cops for wasting his time as well as that of the American. "Take his name, phone number and other details. If you discover he damaged the island then come to me, otherwise don't wake me up over trivial stuff like this." They set out late that afternoon. The boat bounced up and down over the waves. The engine over heated and died four times. Luckily, after cooling down, it restarted. It took them 3 hours to get to the third island arriving just before dark. Relieved to be at their destination, off they hiked, up the side of the mountain into the darkness in search of one of the rarest and least-known owls on earth. Part 2 - Coming in the next iBirder WINGSPAN Newsletter Comment on Facebook: Alan Van Norman - Extraordinary Owl Hunter
  13. "So many ideas, so little time." Why should that be our mantra? Because we have so many ideas for features we want to add to iBird and only so much time to implement them. Sadly, we don't have 5,000 employees like Amazon does to work on their Echo intelligent speaker (BTW, it’s a very cool product). Given our limited resources, we must be very careful about what features we add to iBird. We've been accumulating these ideas for the last few years and decided the best way to find out which are worthwhile is to ask you, our customer. Rate the Ideas. We set up a survey that lets you rate our ideas using a star system, much like you rate apps. Each idea is described in a paragraph. There are sections for each idea: Free Products, Paid Products and a third section for your own ideas. You will rate the ideas using the system below: 1 star = not interested 2 stars = mildly interested 3 stars = I'm interested 4 stars = I'm very interested 5 stars = I'm extremely interested Each idea has a comment field that will allow you to leave a comment. We are interested in knowing your thoughts and feelings in addition to your score. Our only request is that you score all the ideas, even ones you think are dumb. That's all there is too it. Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LQMKL6G Comment on Facebook: Determine iBird's Future
  14. admin

    Grey songbird ID Baton Rouge

    But what subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco. There are 4. Check out the range maps as that might help you know which one: http://identify.whatbird.com/mwg/_/0/identify.whatbird.com/obj/125/overview/Dark-eyed_Junco.aspx
  15. Owls are perhaps the most astonishing of nature’s avian wonders. In this collection, we offer our favorite 16 Owls of Mexico and Central America presented in all the exacting detail iBird is known for, including maps, songs and calls, photos and much more. Take a look at the graphical onboard tutorial to see an example of one of our detailed species accounts. The collection is comprised of these birds: Balsas Screech-Owl, Bearded Screech-Owl, Black-and-White Owl, Cape Pygmy-Owl, Central American Pygmy-Owl, Colima Pygmy-Owl, Crested Owl, Fulvous Owl, Mottled Owl, Pacific Screech-Owl, Spectacled Owl, Striped Owl, Stygian Owl, Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl, Unspotted Saw-whet Owl, Vermiculated Screech-Owl There is nothing as fun as heading out on a birding expedition at night when you’re likely to encounter the nocturnal calls of owls and other bird species that are active when everyone else is sleeping. While iBird comes with 19 Owls found in the United States, the Owls in this in-app package are found primarily in Mexico. However, some have a range that extends into Central and South America. <--Click or tap image for tutorial Download iBird Pro and buy Mexican Owls: iBird Pro Guide to Birds of North America Learn more, leave comments on Facebook: More About Mexican Owls
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