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.