Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society is seeking an Executive Director

Our local Audubon chapter—The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS)—is looking for an Executive Director. SCVAS is a leader in bird education and conservation in the Bay Area, with an enthusiastic and dynamic team of employees and volunteers. Our former Executive Director has retired, so it’s time for new leadership. Are you that leader? Do you know someone who could be? Send your resume and a cover letter to today! For more information, go to

Birdathon 1.3 Now Available -- County Lines & Range Circles

Birdathon 1.3 has just been released! Now you can add county boundary lines for any US state to your checklist maps (as well as to the Summary maps) and you can add range circles, making it easy to see Christmas Bird Count (CBC) circles or 5-mile Radius (5MR) circles, as well as other radii from 1/8 mile up to 200 miles (or 100m to 500km). We have also added full-screen iPad support, rotated views (for maps, notes and email reports), the latest ABA and Santa Clara County checklists, and many more features. Check it out now on the Apple App Store.

Map views can now show county lines (Santa Clara County, CA pictured here) and range circles (the San Jose CBC 7.5-mile-radius circle is shown). Also, observations pins are clustered when you are zoomed out on maps.

Map views can now show county lines (Santa Clara County, CA pictured here) and range circles (the San Jose CBC 7.5-mile-radius circle is shown). Also, observations pins are clustered when you are zoomed out on maps.

Here’s the full list of new features:

  • County lines for any US county or for all counties in any US state

  • Draw circles of specific radius around any point on a map, making things like 5MR (5-mile Radius) and CBC (Christmas Bird Count) circles easy

  • Maps now aggregate nearby observations, reducing clutter and making them easier to read. This is on iOS 11 or later

  • iPad is now supported, including the ability to show Birdathon side-by-side with other apps such as Safari, The Sibley Guide to Birds, eBird, iNaturalist, etc.

  • Support for iOS 9.3 (previous versions only supported as far back as iOS 10). Note that some features (such as pin clustering on maps) are not available in older versions of iOS

  • Updated the ABA Checklist to version 8.0.5 (December 2018). This syncs the ABA checklist up with the changes from the AOS checklist, which was revised in August.

  • Updated the Santa Clara County Checklist to November 2018. The only change was the addition of LeConte's Sparrow

  • Rotation is now supported for many views. This is especially useful for maps, note fields and email reports. On iPad, you can rotate any view

  • Checklists now remember which tab (All, Observed, Starred) you have selected, on a per-checklist basis

  • When viewing checklists by Observed or Starred, searches now encompass the entire list. This is settable in Settings

  • Reorganized Settings for easier customization of Birdathon

  • There's a new color picker for choosing color themes for your checklists and a theme name is now shown

  • You can now adjust the creation date and time when creating a new checklist, or after you’ve created the checklist via the Checklist Info view

  • Non-bird observations now show a count on the map

  • You can now view a full-screen map when editing individual observations, making it easier to adjust the pin location

  • A new debug setting lets you see the GPS accuracy of the observations recorded. Green rings around map pins for high accuracy, yellow for moderate accuracy and red for low accuracy. You can turn this on under Settings. We have worked to make the GPS coordinates more accurate, so if you are seeing frequent location issues, please email us at with details of the problem

  • The Summary view has improved logic for restricting the range (now uses a circular range rather than rectangular) and shows a restricted-range circle on the map

  • A bug in the Summary view where non-bird observations were always displaying on the map has been fixed

  • When importing a checklist template, it now shows up immediately in the New Checklist view. Previously you had to close and re-open the “New Checklist” view to get the imported template to appear

  • Lots of user interface cleanup, tuning and bug fixing

Birdathon 1.2.2 - Some Bug Fixes

This is just a bug fix release. The following bugs have been addressed:

  • The summary view was blank when sorting alphabetically (if sorting last name first)
  • Fixed incorrect species count for ABA v8.0.4 checklist template
  • Fixed a crash when deleting the only non-bird observation in a checklist

Also, when the species count is > 999, we now show commas for the count at the bottom of the checklist (e.g. 25/1,112 birds).

Birdathon 1.2.1

No sooner had we released Birdathon 1.2 with all it's great content, when the ABA released a v8.0.4 update to their checklist. We have just released Birdathon 1.2.1, which includes the new ABA checklist as well as a few other tidbits:

  • You can now edit the creation date for your checklists. If you are entering old checklists into Birdathon, this can be useful for ordering them by their original date
  • We've added a few new color themes to help you distinguish your checklists (and because they're fun). Two are shades of gray, there's a nice teal and an indigo theme and one more "dark" theme for using at night
  • When sorting your lists by Type, there's now an index along the right for easy access to each category. This becomes useful when you have a lot of lists

And lastly, here are a few notes on how to edit your checklists any time you want to add, remove or change birds.

Birdathon 1.2 - Birds of the World

It's summertime, and as is (apparently) tradition, everybody is updating their bird checklist. The ABA got an early start by releasing version 8.0.2 in May with four new species, but then they released another new update (8.0.3) in August with four more. On June 21, the AOS updated their Checklist of North American Birds with many changes as summarized in the ABA Blog. Pyle and DeSante updated the four-letter Alpha codes on July 24. Clements updated their Birds of the World on August 14. eBird, keeping in sync with Clements, updated their taxonomy on August 15. While all these changes were going on, we have been working on updating Birdathon. The goal of this release is to expand Birdathon to cover all the birds of the world. To do this, we started with the latest Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, which contains 10,585 species. Birdathon previously only covered the AOS checklist which has 2,143 species, so this was a big jump. After making sure Birdathon worked well with the expanded list, we folded in the most up-to-date information from the AOS, ABA and Pyle/DeSante checklists.

Today Birdathon 1.2 is available in the Apple App Store. You can now create checklists for any place on Earth. We've posted some sample checklists for you to try out. You can make your own checklists just by creating a text file of birds by Common Name and importing it into Birdathon -- the additional information such as Scientific Name, Family, etc. will be automatically added.

But there's more: you can now sort your birds by Rarity. The ABA checklist defines rarity codes for the 1,111 species found in North America and these are included in Birdathon. You can also set a Custom Rarity for each bird in a checklist and then sort by that. The included Santa Clara County Checklist template already has Custom Rarity codes as defined on the SCVAS website , so you can see how it works by creating a list from that template and then sorting by Custom Rarity. You can also make your own checklist templates containing Custom Rarity.

Within each Rarity category, birds are sorted in taxonomic order. You can change the sort order to be alphabetical in Settings (go to the "About" window, then tap the small gear icon). Non-bird Observations and Notes appear in the list after all the birds.

While we're on the topic of sorting alphabetically, Birdathon also improved Alphabetical sorts. Now birds are sorted by "last name" (e.g. "Black-crowned Night-Heron" is sorted under "N" for "Night-Heron"). Other items such as non-bird observations and notes still sort by first letter as before. You can set Alphabetical sorting behavior (Last Name or First Name) in Settings as well.

There are other changes and bug fixes, but those are the big ones. Give Birdathon 1.2 a try and tell us what you think.

Happy birding!

And now, Birdathon 1.1.1

The American Birding Association (ABA) did a mid-year update of their checklist, so we took the opportunity to update Birdathon along with it. Birdathon 1.1.1 includes the new ABA Checklist version 8.0.2 (May 2018) which contains four new species for the range it covers: Indian Peafowl, (Eurasian) River Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler and European Robin. For more information on the additions, see their post in the ABA blog. In addition, the maps in Birdathon have been updated to distinguish regular bird sightings from notes, non-birds and indeterminate birds.

In the Summary view (new in the previous release), Family order now shows members of the family sorted by observed count, so you can easily see, for example, which warbler you saw most frequently. Also, there were some bug fixes for the Summary view:

  • Indefinite sightings (those with a '?') no longer show on the map unless the option to show them is on
  • Old bird checklists now show all their members in the correct family
  • A bug where birds could be listed with a 0 or negative count if you restrict the geographic range is fixed.

Lastly, the options for Summary view had a bug where the text was truncated on some iPhones. There were other minor tweaks and fixes. Let us know if you find any issues.

Birdathon 1.1 is now available in the App Store

We've enhanced Birdathon with a few new features we think you'll find useful: Global Search allows you to find a species in any of your lists, a Summary view aggregates information from all of your lists and there is a new setting to automatically clear the search field after you've entered observation data for a bird. Check it out in the App Store or read on for more details. Global Search

At the top of the Main view in Birdathon is a new search field. All of your lists can now be searched together. You can search for  common name or four-letter banding code, just as you can when you're in a single checklist. When you tap on a found list, you see the matches for your search in that list and can get additional details like where and when the bird was observed.

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Summary View

At the bottom of the Main view is an icon (  ) that brings up a new Summary view. This view shows you aggregated observation information from all of your lists. You can sort by family, alphabetically, by time seen and by count. You can adjust the timeframe to show only birds observed in a particular window of time (such as this week, month, year, etc.), and display a map showing the location of all your bird observations in that time period.

Tapping on a bird will show you all of the lists that contain observations of that species and when you first observed that species in each list. The map icon will bring up a map showing everywhere you've seen that species.

Within the Summary view is an option for limiting the geographic range of your Summary, so for example you can see a list of all birds you've observed within one mile of your home or of a favorite wildlife preserve. Ranges can be adjusted from 1/4 mile up to 10 miles.


The Summary view also lets you export your summary data  as a comma-separated-values (csv) text file, and you can turn any summary into a checklist template.

As an example: in the Summary view, turn on the option to limit the Geographic Range to within one mile of the center of a park. Show all the birds you've ever recorded at that park. Now Tap the Share button and choose "Create Template from Summary." Once you've done this, any time you visit that park, when you create a new list you can start with the checklist template you created, so your list will only show birds you expected to see at that location (if you do see a species that isn't in a checklist, you can easily add it to that checklist using the "+" button).

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If you have lists that you don't want included in the Summary view, you can exclude them by going into the checklist, tapping on the Info icon () and then scrolling to the bottom to toggle the switch "Include List in Summaries".

Clearing Searches

Although standard iOS search fields leave the text in place after a search, when birding this behavior can sometimes slow you down. Once you've added a bird observation, you are usually ready to move on to the next species, so now you can set an option to clear the search field each time you search and add an observation.

After you've turned on the "Clear Search" setting, whenever you search for a bird and then increment the seen or heard count, the search field clears. You can then quickly type in a new bird name and enter your next observation.


Birdathon 1.1 has a few other bug fixes worth mentioning:

  • When you change the name of a list, the new name shows up immediately. It used to show the old name until you closed and re-opened the list
  • Searching for birds whose name contains an apostrophe (') now works correctly
  • In the Main view, the "+" button has been renamed to "New List"
  • ABA Checklist version in the About box is now correct (v8.0.1, the latest)
  • Fixed a bug where the year may display incorrectly on December 31

The ABA checklist is out! And that means Birdathon is ready for the world

The ABA checklist 8.0 was released yesterday! This update includes Hawaiian birds and syncs up with the AOS checklist that was released in July. I have updated  Birdathon to include the new ABA Checklist, which completes the last big task planned before announcing Birdathon to the world. More information on the ABA checklist is available on the ABA blog. So hello, world! Birdathon is ready for you. Well, hello birding world anyway :-).