[Tweeters] Washington Birder updated and ENHANCED county checklist available (excel)

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 9 19:02:01 PST 2013

What better way to start 2013 than with a brand new checklist?

In 2003, I made available an excel spreadsheet for use in easily tracking county life lists. It is based on the abundance codes maintained by Washington Birder [aka Ken & Laurie Knittle, with help from local birders], and I’ve updated it whenever new taxonomical changes and county firsts have come out. Last year, Michael Hobbs put together this new version of the spreadsheet, using his magical skills as a programmer. The new version starts with the same basic format as the previous spreadsheet, but goes way beyond it in creating helpful tools for the county lister.

Here's the link: http://wabirder.com/bartel_co_checklist.html

My strongest recommendation: If you liked the old version you’ll love the new version – take a little time to plough through the instructions with a copy of the new spreadsheet open. Once you’ve got the hang of the various bells & whistles, it is easy to use. If you’ve never used the old version, there’s no reason not to just dive in with the new one.

To give a few examples, the new spreadsheet will: Generate your ‘county needs’ & ‘county life’ list for every county; show you a color-coded map that illustrates your county list totals across the state; generate maps for any species that shows the county abundance county-by-county & which counties you do or do not yet have the species.

To get all these features, you only need to enter your data the same way as previously, on the main spreadsheet.

For those not ready for the “Enhanced” version, the standard old version of the spreadsheet [updated for the new year] is also still available.

Besides all the new features, the latest update to the excel version of the WA County Checklist incorporates the latest county checklist updates at WA Birder and the taxonomic updates published by the AOU in 2012. This version of the checklist is based on the latest updates of county-firsts compiled by Ken & Laurie Knittle for Washington Birder, and covering information gleaned through December 2012.

It includes:

1. Addition of four new species (a net of 3) for Washington: Wilson’s Plover & Eastern Meadowlark as new species, and Scripps’s Murrelet & Guadalupe Murrelet, resulting from the split of Xantus’s Murrelet.

2. The taxonomic updates published by the AOU's 53nd checklist supplement. This update included the relocation of Falcons down below Woodpeckers now, minor moves in hummingbirds, & wrens, and a few new scientific genus names.

3. County Firsts through December 2012, and a few updated county codes.

4. Four species on the previous list have been removed from the main spreadsheet and moved into the ‘hypothetical’ or ‘extirpated’ box at the bottom of the spreadsheet – this includes: Scaled Quail, California Condor, Common Gallinule & Scarlet Tanager.

If you are looking for a quick reference for how common a given species is in any county, this excel file can be handy. Further, if you are interested in keeping track of your county lists, this file works as a checklist for each county and the state as a whole. As needed, the list can be sorted back & forth between older checklist arrangements or the newest taxonomic list decision from the AOU. Thanks again to the Knittle's for making this data available in Washington Birder, and thanks to those who have sent questions, comments or suggestions. Let me know if you have any problems working with the sheet or ideas for changes.

Instructions on transferring your data from an older copy of your spreadsheet into the new one are included at the website.

To download the new spreadsheet and instructions, please go to: http://wabirder.com/bartel_co_checklist.html

I look forward to any feedback about the spreadsheet and would be happy to help solve any problems you run into.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

More information about the Tweeters mailing list