Birds Travel North for Winter February 22nd, 2009

I came across this interesting video by CBSNewsOnline that talks about how birds over the past decades have been traveling farther north because of climate changes. Enjoy.

According to a report, many species of birds are responding to increasing climate change by traveling north instead of south. John Blackstone reports.

Locations, Notes and More! February 21st, 2009

We’ve released a lot of improvements and new functionality to ChirpTracker today. Here is a quick overview of what we have changed and improved on in this release:

  1. Improved location recognition
  2. Ability to update your sighting location by dragging the sighting pin on your sighting map
  3. Ability to add “Additional Sighting Notes” to your sightings
  4. Multiple bug fixes

The main focus of this update was to improve location recognition. We’ve completely re-written how we figure out where the location you type in is. It is still not perfect by any means, however it is greatly improved. We now recognize almost all bodies of water,  national forests and national parks. For example you can input a national park instead of a city and state and it will register as a location. Wildlife refuges are still hit or miss but we do know that some work. One suggestion that we do have is to try to be as specific as possible when typing in your location. We will have another round of improvements for international location recognition shortly and also another full release some time down the road.

The next update has to do with one of our best beta testers, bevson. She brought to our attention that traveling birders usually don’t know where they are (zip code and “city” wise). If you’re a traveling birder and have no clue where you are, that’s ok! Simply type in anything close or any place you know of, then go into your sighting details and move the pin to the location. We’ll update the message text and link for you!  

Another feature that we’ve added is the ability to add “Additional Sighting Notes” to any of your sightings. There are often times when you would like to be more descriptive and the 140 character limit doesn’t allow for a lot of detail. If you want, you can go into your sighting details and add as much extra information about the sighting as you would like! You can use limited HTML markup in here as well, for example if you want to bold or emphasise some of the text description. To add these details, all you need to do is click on the content of the “Additional Sighting Notes” and it will bring up an editable text area, then simply hit “Save” or “Cancel” and you’re done! It is as simple as that!

We hope you enjoy all of these new updates and hopefully it will make ChirpTracker more enjoyable to use. As always, if you have any comments or suggestions we would love to hear from you! Stay tuned for our next update and as always, good birding!

ChirpTracker.com Private Beta! February 20th, 2009

A lot has been happening with ChirpTracker since our last post. We’ve retired ChirpChatter and brought the micro-blogging features back into ChirpTracker and now are back to one single app that will have all of our features. ChirpTracker is now the the ultimate social network for birders. You can post sightings, converse and connect with other birders, use advanced technological features with ease, and many many more features to come!

With that being said, we have finally begun private beta testing ChirpTracker.com. We’ve already received some fantastic feedback from our beta users and they have really helped us work out a lot of the kinks we’ve had. If you’re interested in participating in the private beta, you can simply email us at contact@chirptracker.com and request an invite to the private beta and we’ll send you one within 48 hours.

We’re currently closing in on getting all of the basic functionality down and will soon be working on and rolling out some of the really cool features! We’ll be using the blog to keep you updated on these new features as well as any new happenings with ChirpTracker.

Stay tuned and good birding to everyone!

ChirpChatter.com Sneak Peek! December 17th, 2008

ChirpChatter originally started out as being a feature of ChirpTracker, but after some discussion with our team and gathering feedback from birders, we decided to build a full fledged (pun intended) app out of it, thus ChirpChatter.com was born. There are many microblogging sites out there, the most famous of course being Twitter. We (as well as many other birders) recognized that this format for sharing information could be excellent for birders to report sightings and connect the birding community. Many birders are already starting to report their sightings on Twitter, however Twitter is quite generalized and not targeted to a specific niche. This is where ChirpChatter comes in. We have basically created a “Twitter for birders”. We have taken the great parts about Twitter and molded our own “birder” version by adding valuable features to make ChirpChatter work for you, the birder and user.

We’re planning on releasing a private beta to a select few very shortly to help give us a first impression on how you, the user is going to react to it. We have some users in mind to ask to help test, but if you just can’t wait to get your hands on ChirpChatter, contact us and we’ll see what we can do. We’re not going to spill the beans on all of our shiny features… yet, but we might tell a few individuals some secrets!

ChirpChatter Home Preview

Oh… and yes, we ARE going to give you Twitter support :) . This means that you don’t have to leave all your Twittering friends behind! We have plans to link your ChirpChatter account with your Facebook account too if you want! (You will have the option to turn on/off these settings as you like!)

ChirpChatter Home Preview

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or just want to say hi, we would love to hear from you (Especially if you are a birder)! You can contact us or post in the comments. Any feedback you can give us will make a better experience for everyone.

Hunt for the World’s Rarest Bird December 6th, 2008

We read a lot of birding news from a variety of sources each week. However, one article stood out to us this morning. Bird watchers are on the search for what is believed to be the world’s rarest bird species, the Slender-Billed Curlew

“Birdwatchers from Britain to Asia are being asked to look out for a species whose breeding grounds have never been found, but are thought to be in some of the world’s remotest places – the steppes of Kazakhstan and the marshes of western Siberia. In winter, the bird migrates south-westward through the Middle East to the Mediterranean basin, where it has been seen as far west as Morocco.

~Michael McCarthey – The Independent”

Please read the full article. We hope you find it as fascinating as we have. If anyone has added the Slender-Billed Curlew to their life list, we want to hear from you ASAP!

High Definition Birding Videos November 7th, 2008

ChirpTracker has recently launched a channel with video-sharing website, Vimeo. While we do have an account on YouTube, Vimeo stands apart in the fact that full HD quality videos are available for sharing and viewing. For those of you who spend a lot of time out in the field, you know how important it is to see and recognize details at a quick glance. One of our team members, Matt, has recently acquired a new DSLR camera that offers the ability to capture video up to 720p. Head over to our Vimeo page to see what we have so far! We are also featuring birding videos from other birding members with accounts on Vimeo. So if you have some from your personal collection that you’d like to share, sign up with Vimeo (It’s free) and send us a message, we would love to show everyone your videos!

P.S. Here is a sample video, enjoy!

 

ChirpTracker Newsletter! September 27th, 2008

We have been hard at work this past week establishing the foundation for the ChirpTracker website and we want to keep you informed about our progress and updates to the site. We have released a newsletter signup page at www.chirptracker.com, which we will publish at least two times a month. The newsletter will contain various updates on the status of the site and features and will also include beta testing announcements. Head on over to www.chirptracker.com and sign up, all you bird lovers!

Birders with iPhones? September 24th, 2008

While brainstorming new ideas and features for ChirpTracker, one that naturally comes to mind is an iPhone application.  Now, even though you don’t know exactly what the site is about, we are curious as to how many birders actually have an iPhone?  We also would like to know that if you have one, do you usually take it with you when you go birding?  Finally, if you are interested in ChirpTracker and want to stay updated on our iPhone application, you can simply email us at contact@chirptracker.com and we will keep you up-to-date.

Welcome to the Official ChirpTracker blog! September 21st, 2008

Hey everyone! In a short time we will be launching an interesting new entrepreneurial venture called ChirpTracker. Interested in what you’ll have access to? No surprises just yet! We’ll update this page regularly so you can get the latest news and insights as to ChirpTracker’s developments. We may even drop a hint or two along the way! We have a long road ahead of us, and each step of the way will benefit numerous members of the birding community. Okay, we’ve said too much already! For related information, follow us on Twitter.