FAQs BirdLog for iOS
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Almost every time, removing and reinstalling fixes this problem. See this link for directions on removing and then re-installing BirdLog.
Note that when you uninstall BirdLog you will lose all of the program memory, including any unsubmitted checklists, so please make sure you submit your checklists before uninstalling. All of the checklists you have submitted to eBird will have been safely stored on the eBird site but will no longer be available on your phone.
A: Yes, a default checklist is always available. To access the default checklist, choose Submit Sightings > Create Offline Checklist.
The default list can be cumbersome to work with because it will contain a complete list for the region, and many birds on the list will not be found in your area. Keep in mind that you can always use the Quick Entry method to avoid scrolling. There are also a couple of useful workarounds to pull a targeted list to work with, even when offline.
1) Use a list already created and available in your Recent Locations, and then update the location of the list in eBird after it is submitted.
2) Create a targeted checklist in advance, and then access it in your Recent Locations when you are birding. To create a list in advance:
- From the Home menu select Submit Sightings
- Navigate on the map to the location where you will be birding.
- 'Long Press' on the map to create a new location. You can give it a name or use the default.
- Tap the Next button.
- Use the current date/time and tap on Start
- Since you are setting the list up for a future trip you can submit a blank list by choosing the Review & Submit button.
- Choose No for the first question "Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?"
- Select Incidental for the type of the list since this category does not need to be reviewed by eBird.
- Submit the blank list by choosing the submit button.
Now you will have a location-accurate checklist under Submit Sightings > Choose a Recent Location that you can access for offline birding.
Q: I just downloaded BirdLog and I am not able to submit my list to eBird. I get an error message that the GPS signal is too low, but have no trouble with other apps. What do I do?
It may be that Location Services for BirdLog are not turned on. Try going to Settings > Privacy >Location Services. Please be sure Location Services is set to "On" and look for BirdLog in the list of apps and check that the toggle switch is set to "On" there as well.
Q: I just upgraded the operating system on my iPhone and BirdLog doesn't work, and keeps crashing! What do I do?
It's possible that BirdLog was corrupted during the installation process somehow. Please delete the version on your phone and install a fresh copy from the App Store. It's a good idea to make sure you have a strong wi-fi signal.
A: Quick entry makes it easy and fast to add birds in the field as you go. You can type the full name of the bird "Red-tailed Hawk", and then it will scroll into view. You may find that using codes will speed your data entry. For most birds, the codes are pretty easy to learn: RTHA (or rtha) for Red-tailed Hawk, MODO for Mourning Dove, WREN for Wrentit, etc.
The way to really use the power of quick entry is by entering numbers at the same time. For example, you can type "1 rtha" and then tap "Red-tailed Hawk" on the list. This will add one Red-tailed Hawk to your list!
If a few minutes later you see another Red-tailed Hawk, you can type "1 rtha" again and now you will have 2 on your list.
Another thing to notice is that when you enter "1 rtha", you may see other options, such as "Red-tailed Hawk (Western)" or "Red-tailed Hawk (Harlan's)"
If you enter a bird that is not on the current checklist, then you will see "Click HERE to search the entire database." Guess what? If you tap there it will search the entire database! That feature allows you to enter any bird from the eBird taxonomy for North America to your checklist. For example, if you type "WESJ" then you should see "Western Scrub-Jay". However, if you want to enter "Western Scrub-Jay (Coastal)" and don't see it on the list, you can search the entire database to find that taxon and add it to your list. Every bird you add this way will require confirmation.
Unfortunately, there isn't a way to sync lists between devices. We want to get there, but still have some work to do. We are also working closely with the eBird team on ways of syncing with your personal lists on eBird. We do hope to offer better syncing options in the near future.
A: Great idea and we want that capability as well! Unfortunately, eBird limits access to the data we have available for our app and we are unable to offer list syncing at this time. All of your lists are archived on eBird and new lists will be captured on your iPad.
eBird is a huge database and the group at Cornell is very careful about managing its integrity and performance. We are working closely with the eBird team on ways of downloading personal lists without overwhelming their servers. We hope to offer better options for including your eBird lists in BirdsEye soon, but have no firm release dates at this time.
Q: I'm trying to enter an unusual bird which requires "confirmation". BirdLog tells me I must enter information in the comments field, but when I do I still can't submit my sighting. What's going on?
A: For rare/notable sightings eBird requires some additional information. Next to these birds you will see a checkbox. This is a visual indicator that your are recording a rare/unusual species, or unusually high counts of common species. eBird requires that these observations have information in the species Comments field to help eBird ensure that the sighting is correct. You'll need to tap on the rare bird, open up the comments field and add some details. [Please note: eBird is looking for the species information in the comments for the species, and not the general comments for the checklist.]
It is often very helpful to include how similar species were eliminated, add notes about relevant field marks, or indicate if you were able to get a photo (you would need to add that directly through the eBird site - http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/embedding_richmedia for details on that process).
Once you're added some details to the species comments, click OK and go back to your list. Be sure to check the confirmation checkbox before submitting your list.
A: Yes! See quick entry above.
A: If you want to remove an entry from you list, just tap on the species and a comments box will open. Enter a '0' in the count field and tap 'OK' to remove the sighting. If you want to change information that is already submitted to eBird, go to the eBird website to make the change.
At this time, you cannot edit a list in BirdLog that has been already submitted to eBird. You can remove an unwanted list in BirdLog by swiping across a list and selecting the "Delete" button.
Q: What is the best way to record my sightings? Are there any Best Practices to ensure that my bird sightings are useful to eBird?
A: Here is a link to a useful article outlining Best Practices for using BirdLog and maximixing the value of your observation: BirdLog Best Practices.
A: All you need to do is tap on the bird's name, and a separate page will pop up. You can add your comments here.
A: When you view a checklist that has already been submitted, you will see a link at the top of the page. This link will take you to the eBird page for that checklist, where you can view, edit or delete your checklist. You will need to go sign in to ebird.org. http://ebird.org/ebird/eBirdReports?cmd=subReport
A:On the My Bird Sightings page, you can swipe left to right on a checklist to delete it. You will see a delete button appear when you do this. Note that these steps only delete a checklist from your phone. This procedure does not delete checklists from eBird. To do that, go to http://ebird.org/ebird/eBirdReports?cmd=subReport
A: The best way is to go to eBird.org and look to see that the observations appear in "Manage My Observations". This is the link: http://ebird.org/ebird/eBirdReports?cmd=subReport
A: When you create a new Personal Location in BirdLog, it will be available in the BirdLog menus, and will display on eBird once you have submitted a checklist with that location. Personal Locations created in eBird are not synced to BirdLog at this time. This is a feature we are working on for a future release.
A: The Quick Entry feature in BirdLog is designed for entering field sighting of both the species and their numbers. To use it enter <number> <species>, for example "1 rtha" (or even "1 rth") and tap on the drop-down list to make an entry. That process will add 1 Red-tailed Hawk to your count.
A: You can share your lists by going to the "My Sightings" section, selecting a list, and tapping "Email Checklist" button on the bottom of the page to send the list to friends and colleagues.
Q: Can I group my checklists together to keep track of multiple lists during a day, or for an entire trip?
A: Yes you can by using the Trip Counter! Please see this post in the BirdBlog for a full explanation: What's the Trip Counter?