eBird Explore pages get new, Illustrated Checklist view

Drew WeberBird Websites, General News and Info3 Comments

For the last several weeks there, eBird has been testing a cool new view in the Regional and Hotspot Explorer pages. Dubbed the Illustrated Checklist, I think this new feature will quickly become the default page people use to check out new hotspots to explore.

At its most basic, the Illustrated Checklists lists every species that has been recorded in the selected hotspot or region. Only full species are shown, no subspecies, identifiable forms, hybrids, or slashes. There are a couple things that really make the new pages shine. First, the Illustrated Checklists give frequency barcharts new prominence, rather than hidden under an external link. Coupled with each bar chart is featured media for each species, pulling in the best rated image and audio recording from Macaulay Library for the selected region/hotspot.

Another really cool feature of the new page is that it lets you filter to just the species that have audio for that region, those that have images, or those that are missing either of the two media types. In essence, this creates a target list of species you can target to record or photograph when you are visiting an area.

Things to do with Illustrated Checklists

  • Pick a location or hotspot to curate

    Make your favorite hotspot or region page really shine by scrolling through and rating images and audio to make sure the best media is represented. Tap the All Media button to the right of the species search bar to show all the images and audio for the region, and start rating!

  • "Own" a region

    Choose a region or hotspot, and try to fill in all the gaps. You can pick your local patch, take photos of all the birds you see, and you pretty much have your own personal guide to your patch, complete with your images and audio recordings.

  • Use it as a study guide

    Select your next destination and use it as a starting place to browse and study all the species you might encounter on your trip. Make sure you rate images as you flip through them to make the Illustrated Checklists even better!

What are your favorite ways to use the Illustrated Checklist? Have you come across a hotspot or region that has really stellar media? Share below in the comments!

  • Trina Anderson

    This has been a GREAT tool for preparing for an upcoming trip. Being able to see how often a bird is seen with the bar graph helps in setting my expectations. The photos show a more realistic view than what is often depicted in a guide book. And it’s all right there with just a couple of mouse clicks. Thanks!

    • Trina Anderson

      I might add that I’m using this in conjunction with “Neotropical Birds Online,” another tool from Cornell. The descriptions are brief but loaded with valuable information. Both tools involve photos as well as sound recordings.

      • Great! Glad you are enjoying both of those tools. Neotropical Birds also shows the best rated images for some of the birds directly from Macaulay Library!