Tutorial- eBird recent sightings gadget

I was recently asked if there was a way to see all the birds recently reported to eBird for particular locations. It would be a great way to follow what other people are seeing and what to expect when out birding.

There is in fact something like this, available as a Google Gadget. I have been using several on my iGoogle homepage for a while now as you can see in the screenshot below. This is a great way for eBird reviewers to keep an eye on sightings going in to eBird and to watch for any notable records.

screenshot of my recent sightings page

I can quickly get an idea of areas that are being birded heavily, what is being seen, and hone in on any birds that I want to find.

I will walk you though setting up something similar for your iGoogle page.

Step 1.

Click on this link. (it will open in a new window)

Step 2.

Click on “Add Recent Bird Sightings to iGoogle”.

Step 3.

You should have a new gadget added to your iGoogle page that looks like the image below. From here on you will be customizing the gadget for your own hotspots of interest.

recent sightings gadget setup

Step 4.

Now you have to configure the gadget. The second two options are easy to fill out, select the time duration you want to see sightings from and the name you would like for you gadget.

To find the locations ID’s you will have to do a little work.

  1. First go to the Bar Charts section of eBird.
  2. Under My Locations select up to 10 locations to add to your gadget. Click Continue.
    1. note- if you select personal hotspots only your observations will show so make sure you select public ones
  3. Now comes the hard part. You will have to search in the url bar for a string of numbers following the letter L. You will probably have to scroll around to find it.

    url bar with location ID selected


  4. Copy this location ID (L191527 in this example is for Bald Eagle State Park). If you selected multiple sites in the previous step you will have to continue scrolling through the url bar to find them all. Just enter them into the Location IDs box with commas such as L191527,L355335,L4900221 and so on.
  5. gadget with all input boxes filled in

  6. Select save and your gadget should now be set up. You can go back through all the steps and make additional gadgets for all the locations you are interested in.

Hope this tutorial works for you. Let me know if there are any problems.