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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I'm having a problem with the app, how do I get help?

Q: BirdLog won't accept my credentials when I try to register.  What's wrong?

Q: Can I create checklists when there is no internet connection?

Q: How does Quick Entry work?

Q: What does the check box on the right for some birds mean?

Q: Can I use 4-letter codes to enter my sightings?

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?

Q: Can I edit a checklist after it has been submitted?

Q: How do I delete a checklist from My Bird Sightings?

Q: How do I know that my checklist submitted correctly?

Q: Why does BirdLog need access to my Contacts?

Q: I was wondering: why does BirdLog try to update taxonomy frequently, when eBird only updates taxonomy once or twice a year. When I'm out birding, I get impatient to start my list, and it's kind of annoying to have to wait an extra minute or two for BirdLog to do an unnecessary update. Is there a reason I'm not thinking of that it needs to do this?

Other: Instructions for installing a beta version of BirdLog on your Android phone

 


Q: I'm having a problem with the app, how do I get help?

We try to keep the  up to date with answers to any current problems.

You can also contact our Help Desk by one of the following methods:

  1. Send an email to directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  2. You can also send an email from within the app:
    (a) in BirdsEye tap the little information icon on the home screen, and tap the "Send Us Feedback" link
    (b) in BirdLog look under the "Help" menu for the same link

Q: BirdLog won't accept my credentials when I try to register.  What's wrong?

A: The answer is a bit technical, but here is the short version: There is a bug in the operating system for some Android phones that makes it difficult to perform some secure tasks on the eBird server.  However, this problem DOES NOT prevent the submission of checklists from Android.

So, if you are having this problem, you can click "save" and try submitting a checklist.  If it works, then you have entered the correct logname and password and you can continue on.  If not, I would recommend logging on to the eBird website to check your logname and password and then try again.

Here are a couple of things you can do that might fix the credential problem once and for all: 

  1. try updating your Android operating system
  2. try connecting in a different networks (such as your work wifi for example) because sometimes that fixes the problem.

As always, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need more information or have other questions.

 


Q: Can I create checklists when there is no internet connection?

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: How does Quick Entry work?

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.  But 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 enter.  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.  

 


Q: What does the check box on the right for some birds mean?

A: Some birds require confirmation by eBird.  This usually means that they are uncommon or rare in your area and eBird wants to be sure that you are sure that you want to submit the sighting.

 


Q: Can I use 4-letter codes to enter my sightings?

A: Yes!  See quick entry above.

 


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 observations:  BirdLog Best Practices.

 


Q: How do I add comments for a bird?

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.  You can also mark the location of your sighting.

 


Q: Can I edit a checklist after it has been submitted?

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


Q: How do I delete a checklist from My Bird Sightings?

A:On the My Bird Sightings page, you can long-press (i.e. tap and hold for 1-2 seconds) on a checklist to delete it. You will see a pop-up window that asks you to confirm that you want to delete your checklist. 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

 


Q: How do I know that my checklist submitted correctly?

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

 


Q: Why does BirdLog need access to my Contacts?

A: BirdLog for Android allows you to send checklists via email. We ask for access to your contact list to help make this a bit easier. Rather than needing to enter emails from scratch, we auto-complete the emails as you type from your address book.

For more information on our privacy policy please read the Privacy Statement

 


Q: I was wondering: why does BirdLog try to update taxonomy frequently, when eBird only updates taxonomy once or twice a year. When I'm out birding, I get impatient to start my list, and it's kind of annoying to have to wait an extra minute or two for BirdLog to do an unnecessary update. Is there a reason I'm not thinking of that it needs to do this?

A: There are two parts to the answer:

Part 1: Although the eBird taxonomy only changes once a year, we need the ability to modify the list of birds included in BirdLog much more frequently.   For example, recently we added Rufous-necked Wood-Rail to the North American list.  We also discovered that some taxa were missing and added them: Melanerpes sp. and Bell's Vireo (Least).   We also add or remove birds to make changes made by regional reviewers that in some cases reflect mid-cycle taxonomic changes, such as when Little Shearwater was no longer recognized as the parent taxon for Barolo Shearwater.  Finally, we add new language options over time.

Part 2: is that we need to do a better job of managing updates so that the process will be quicker and less intrusive.

 

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