How many of you out there use “Google” as their home page for when they log onto the internet? For a couple of years now I’ve used this fully customizable home page, and I couldn’t be happier with some of the great gadgets that one can use. For those not familiar with the Google home page, some of the gadgets available include calendars, weather radars, sports updates, news updates, jokes of the day, quotes for the day, games, and the list goes on and on. However my favorite is the “Notable US eBird Sightings”. Like the title suggests, it only lists “Notable” bird sightings preselected by whichever state you want to view. Since I live in Ohio, I have it selected and will go between Kentucky and Indiana because my close proximity to both states.
As you can see from the above sample from New York you’ll get the species seen, the county and date. And if you click on the map link, it will take you to the map location used by the person who posted the original sighting. The green check mark is whether the sighting was confirmed by an eBird reviewer. Click on the “plus sign” and the entry description for the sighting expands.
In an age of mass communication and almost every birder I know with a smart phone, this gadget has come in real handy before I head out into the field. Plans have changed because of a rare bird posted on eBird and not the local Listserv. We as birders need as much of an advantage when it comes to rare sightings, and this tool will pay off in the long run with some added birds for anyone’s life list.