eBird just released an awesome new feature that really lets you figure out great places to bird, as well as giving us new ways to look at our favorite birding spots. Hotspots Explorer is epic!
The first view shows a heat map, where you can see which areas of the world have the highest diversity. Not surprisingly, the coast is all bright red. You can zoom in to get more details and clicking on a colored square will give you the total number of species seen in that area and the option to zoom in to see specific hotspots.
When you use the Hotspot Explorer you can limit the hotspots to those that have sightings in the last week, or month, or choose to see them all. The color of the pins will show how many species have been reported there. You can also limit the map to the current year, or to any month to see the best hotspots around.
When you click on a hotspot, you get the number of species and checklists submitted for that hotspot. Click on View Details and you can see a whole host of new stats that are sure to excite birders. There is a list of birds by the most recent date they were seen, links to the last months checklists, and the top eBirders for each site (let the competitions begin again!).