Shortcuts to Help You Find Birds Quicker in BirdLasser When Atlassing

This is an excerpt from the BirdLasser Quick Guide (user manual). It gives some simple tips that will help you find birds easily and quickly on BirdLasser while out in the field bird atlassing (bird mapping):

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Our Search engine is quite powerful and unconventional. Instead of going with the usual alphabetical search methodology, which, although accurate, can take some time to zone in on the desired species. We decided that we needed something revolutionary, something that will require the least amount of effort by the user. After all, you’re supposed to have your eyes on the skies, and not on your phone.

There are multiple ways of getting to the species you want to record. As an example, let’s say you want to log Common Sandpiper. The logical approach would be to type in the complete name: common sandpiper (you don’t have to use capital letters).

Note as you start typing, the list dynamically zooms in on matches. By the time you’ve type common sand, Common Sandpiper is already top of the list.

If searching by species group suits you better, start off by typing sandpiper. All the sandpiper species will be displayed (note that by the time you’ve entered sand the list of sandpipers are already displayed).

The quickest way to zoom in on the desired species, is to use the first 2 letters of each word, separated by a space. For Common Sandpiper, type co sa.

A few other tips:

  • Last few letters of the first word and first few letters of the second name e.g. CommonSandpiper (mon sand)
  • Start anywhere within the word, e.g. geo(pigeon)
  • Use part of the scientific name (helps you learn them!) e.g. ‘mori’ gives you only Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio
  • If the species name is a double consonant (e.g. Little Egret), type the double characters first, then start with the other word: tt eg for Little Egret, or ss ll for Lesser Striped Swallow
  • Other cool shortcuts include Zos for White-eyes (because their genus is Zosterops); Awa for Go-away-birds

The experienced BirdLasser user hardly ever enters more than 3 characters to have the desired species appear on the screen. It’s fun finding that unique combination – play around till you find it and share with others.

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I hope this is helpful. Let us know if you find that these tips have helped make your bird mapping easier and more enjoyable!

P.S. Feel free to join BirdLasser’s Kenya Birding Big Year 2018 challenge. It’s just another way of making bird mapping even more fun!

– Author: Sidney Shema (Project Manager, Kenya Bird Map). Tutorial excerpt authored by Colin Jackson. Some input from Henk Nel (BirdLasser) –
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