12 July 2016


You know, it's only been two days since I posted about my nationwide eBird county map but I thought I would provide a short add-on to that.

Although I've been using Openheatmap.com for years to generate county maps, did you know the website also can generate nationwide maps of your STATE lists?

Yep, there are no excuses now!  If county listing isn't your thing but you would like to have a map of your state lists, look no further.  Gone are the days of having to do this in Paint and the like.

Although sharing my map here on the blog is essentially making all my eBird state lists public, I don't mind sharing it as an example:

Making these maps is not hard, trust me in that.  Here's a quick guide:

1)  Open eBird, go to the "My eBird" tab and select the "State/Province" tab.
2)  Take your cursor and highlight ALL the names and numbers of the states, right click and choose "copy".
3)  Open Excel and paste all of that into an empty worksheet.
4)  Delete the unneeded columns for "County Ticks" and "Year".  You don't need to add any column headers or labels.
5)  Save your document.  Go to openheatmap.com and follow the online directions.

You'll notice the website doesn't recognize provinces and states from other countries so you can either delete those in your Excel spreadsheet beforehand or ignore the error when it pops up.

Try playing around with the color schemes to see which one you like and think makes sense.  You can also select some numbering on the website; I select "1" as my low end and "400" as my upper end.  That basically is telling the website to register a state list of 1 as the lightest shade and a state list of 400 as the darkest shade.  If you chose 700 as your first number, you wouldn't have any shaded states!  If you chose 10 as your first number, any state list with fewer than 10 species wouldn't get shaded in.

Anyway, kinda fun, right?

Seeing these state list numbers just brings up more questions and goals for me.  Like, what is your state list tick total?  Basically add up all your USA state lists together.  I had never looked at my number before today but apparently it's at 4525 birds.

Also, one of my biggest goals is to clean up the glaring holes in the map.  You'll see that I'm lacking lists for 6 states (Idaho, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware).  Although I've been to all of those states multiple times each, I DON'T have eBird numbers from them (remember, I started eBirding in 2011).  Do any of the readers of this blog have a state list for all 50 states?