Al, glad you reported the Google Gadget to the Listserve. Actually Kent
reported this on the VT eBird a little while ago. Just advising all
Vermont birders to report new seasonal arrivals to the VT eBird.
VTBIRD automatic digest system wrote:
> There are 2 messages totalling 111 lines in this issue.
> Topics of the day:
> 1. Broad-winged Hawk
> 2. eBird releases rare bird "Google Gadget"
> Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 13:51:53 -0400
> From: Cynthia Crawford <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Broad-winged Hawk
> Have been seeing this Broad-winged Hawk in Norwich for several days now. It
> is often on the ground or flies to a near-by tree, but not far. there may be
> 2 of them. It calls from the trees as well. This is a small area- maybe
> 1/4 mile range. Unusual?
> Photos here: (not great, but identifiable)
> Cindy Crawford
> Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 17:17:29 -0400
> From: Al Merritt <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: eBird releases rare bird "Google Gadget"
> To VT birders,
> >From Al Merritt, Brattleboro, VT
> I have picked this up from MASSBIRD, and thought it would be of interest to
> First...an introduction. For those of you I've not met, I am a Maryland-born
> birder who spent my last five years in California but moved to West Roxbury,
> MA, in August 2006. for the past 7 years I had been working as a tour guide
> for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (leading trips in the USA, Mexico, Belize,
> Panama, and Kenya) and recently "retired". Last month I started working as
> an eBird Project Leader and will be focusing on developing and promoting
> eBird. If you are not familiar with eBird (www.ebird.org), it is a checklist
> program that allows birders to track their personal sightings and lists
> (e.g., Massachusetts state list, year list, or Essex County list) while at
> the same time providing data that can be used by researchers, conservation
> groups, and anyone in the general public with an interest in bird
> observational data. Our philosophy is that is better to collate them in an
> online database than to leave them collecting dust in your personal
> Below is a news release about the "Google Gadget", which is a new tool for
> hearing about rare birds in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Best of all, a
> "Google Maps" feature allows you to see the location on a satellite image
> and get directions to the rarity from your home or office! I urge you to
> check it out.
> eBIRD NEWS FLASH: Across the country, there are legions of birders (perhaps
> even you) that are tied to their local birding listserv, checking back in
> hourly to see if any new, rare bird has appeared in their local Region. Has
> the Brooklyn, NY, Western Reef-Heron been seen today? It is August and
> shorebirds are streaming through-has anyone discovered a Little Stint? What
> about a Red-necked? These bewildered vagrant birds were once collected with
> shotguns; then were shared among small circles of friends and ever expanding
> phone trees; then phone-in rare bird alerts widened the rare bird audience;
> and online RBAs widened the audience further. Now listservs, working in
> tandem with RBAs, provide real-time accessibility to rare bird reports.
> Rarity lovers now have a new tool at their disposal-the GOOGLE GADGET. This
> is a small device that can be added to an iGoogle homepage, or any webpage,
> and displays the week's rarest birds in whatever state you select. The
> gadget gives observer name, date, and location, including a Google Maps plot
> of the location of the bird-within seconds you can get printable directions
> from your home or office! It even gives an indication of whether the
> sighting has been confirmed by a local expert (something listservs do not
> always provide). Some people have 5 or more gadgets loaded at the same time
> displaying all their favorite local states.
> The gadget is updated every 15 minutes and works off submissions to
> eBird-only by entering a sighting into eBird will it be displayed. Read
> more about the gadget, learn how to get it, and enter your sightings (not
> just of rare birds), at www.ebird.org <http://ebird.org> (once there, click
> on the Fork-tailed Flycatcher for more information about the gadget).
> Participation in eBird has the larger goal of providing data valuable to
> researchers, land managers, and even curious birders. Bar graphs and maps
> can be easily generated or your sightings or of all sightings submitted of a
> particular species or a particular location or hotspot.
> So, check out the Google Gadget. It might be the first place that news
> breaks about the next mega-rarity in Massachusetts or an adjacent state!
> (Currently Massachusetts is showing only a couple records, but try Texas,
> California, or New York.and then go find a "gadget bird" at your local
> Good eBirding,
> Marshall Iliff
> Marshall J. Iliff
> West Roxbury, MA
> miliff AT aol.com
> eBird/AKN Project Leader
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> End of VTBIRD Digest - 7 Aug 2007 to 8 Aug 2007 (#2007-220)