Mar 052009
 
Hummer Anticipation

Hummer Anticipation

Will you survey your wildlife species this year? Here is why I (and others) do on WildObs.com. Please join us.

One of the many things I love about Colorado is how dramatic the seasons are. Glorious summers, beautiful autumns, white winters (normally) and budding/optimistic springs. Springs bring an abundance of life to Colorado after the relative peace of winter. Springs bring birds back from migration, bears back from hibernation, and plants to sustain them all. For me the anticipation of spring is palpable, I get increasingly excited as the days get warmer, and the species return.

I have watched and recorded the return of broad-tailed hummingbirds to Colorado for over a decade (how long I’ve been in this house, which is almost as long as I’ve been up these mountains) and I know to expect the first scout on April 15th (or April 14th more recently.) I clean out my feeders (and remind my local community to do the same via http://www.hummingbirds.net/feeders.html#cleaning) and present these red beacons to the sky by April 1st. I know I am listening for that sound, that buzzing hum, from then on.

Finally, a year ago, I decided I wanted to record my encounters (especially first-of-season encounters) shared on a public website. I didn’t find a website that let me pick the species, or let me pick what species I wanted to record and/or follow. In part this led to the creation of WildObs http://wildobs.com/.

With WildObs each individual gets to monitor and record the species that touch them, the ones they love or admire (like the wren, one of the better songbirds up here.) If the WildObs database does not contain the species you care for, add it & it will. What is different about WildObs is that these recording are shared but also collected as yours, you can

Record the species in your neighborhood (in your yard or on your feeder) but also record what you find at you parks, on your hikes. Your neighbors will thank you for bringing them an understanding of their wildlife neighbors.

Members of the Coal Creek Canyon community have started work on their regional wildlife species list. This survey has helped newcomers to the canyon learn what that big blue bird is, or how frequently bears get stuck in unlocked cars (so lock them!)

Doing a spring survey of your neighborhood, or while on your walks, is fun and records citizen science data for you and others to benefit from. Best of all? You will almost certainly get more in touch with your nature, and probably even learn from human wildlife lovers around you.

Survey your wildlife today.

Mar 022009
 

I’d really like to thank all the observers who have tested the WildObs Observer iPhone Application. The feedback has been invaluable. Some of the comments that have shaped the latest release are:

  • Allow capturing an encounter with less clicks from application launch.
  • Simplify the start-up (enter WildObs account, sync with server, get started)
  • Allow easier access to a species (search, indexes, my lists.)

Ease of recording

The front page is now all about capturing an encounter. It presents your customized lists of species (recent entries, local species, favorites, wishlist and more) and allows you to quickly select a species and record your encounter. One can show/hide the lists as needed:

WildObs Observer Front Page

WildObs Observer Front Page

The front page does, also, remind you of recent encounters by selecting up to three at random to show you.

Don’t make me think so hard to get started

A start-up hint on how to use:

Start-up Tip

Start-up Tip

When there are lots of species, make access quicker:

Jump to a given letter (saving scrolling):

Species Index

Species Index

Search for any word (or partial word) within a species name:

Species Search

Species Search