HBW Alive Newsletter
Nº17, November 2015

My Birding is improving very quickly!

My Birding is the only bird sighting recording system that combines all these great advantages: automatic updating of the taxonomy, access to illustrations and distribution maps for all the world’s species, and direct linking to all the knowledge and materials available in HBW Alive. But we don’t think that’s enough so we continue making improvements…
On the My Birding main page you will find “My First Sightings around the world”, a new section containing a world map indicating all the countries where you have at least one First Sighting and a list of these countries and the number of First Sightings for each. Scroll down to learn more about this map.
Also on the My Birding main page, the “My Birding totals” box now informs you of the species of which you have photos, videos and sounds recordings, specifying if some have been taken in captivity.
We have created two new tick boxes that you can use when creating or editing a bird sighting:
  • Escaped”: for those sightings of “escaped” birds
  • Do not count”: for those sightings that for some reason you want to exclude from your statistics
Learn more about these two new tick boxes!
With the goal of increasing the accuracy and consistency of your bird records, we have created “My birding species maintenance”, a powerful, easy-to-use tool with four independent points of maintenance:
  1. Show checked species with no sighting
  2. Show sighted species with no check
  3. Show sighted species with no First Sighting
  4. Show only sightings out of range
Using these tools, it is very easy to increase the accuracy of your bird records by detecting possible mistakes and resolving them! In this tutorial we explain how to use these tools.
Finally, in each species account the My Birding box now contains more information from your birdlists, increasing the integration between the general knowledge assembled in the account and your personal records. Scroll down to learn more.
With all these improvements, My Birding is increasing its functionalities and the accuracy and consistency of the data, which in turn enhances your overall interaction with the site, as while you are enjoying a species account in HBW Alive you can also recall your life experience with that species.
Arnau Bonan
Editor, HBW Alive
News on Birds
New Taxa
Based on genetic and morphometric differences, a new subspecies of European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) has been described: Gran Canaria Robin (Erithacus rubecula marionae subsp. nov.). Robins from Gran Canaria were previously considered as belonging to subspecies superbus, which is now restricted to Tenerife.
Ornithological News
Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher
A team from the American Museum of Natural History took the first photos and sound recordings of the elusive Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher (Actenoides excelsus). This species is found in remote forests on the island of Guadalcanal; it had only been glimpsed once by scientists and no males had ever been observed...until now.
Other highlighted news:
Whooping Crane
  • A recent study of the endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana) suggests that interrupting parent–offspring cultural transmission may benefit introduced populations. Populations resulting from reintroductions of captive-reared birds showed much more flexibility and readily colonized human-modified habitats compared to populations derived exclusively from wild, parent-reared individuals, which showed narrower habitat preferences.
  • A long-term and large-scale population decline—of almost 70%—has been revealed by an assessment of the population trends of the world’s seabirds, taking into account populations monitored at least five times in 1950–2010.

First Country Reports

Eastern Wood-pewee
Eastern Wood-pewee (Contopus virens), one photographed on 18 October 2015 in Corvo is the first record for the Azores and the Western Palearctic.
Report photo by Vincent Legrand.
Other interesting First Country Reports include Veery (Catharus fuscescens) also in the Azores;  Black-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix nigriceps) and Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis) in Georgia; Booted Warbler (Hippolais caligata) in Portugal;
White-capped Water-redstart (Chaimarrornis leucocephalos) in Switzerland, which is also a first for the Western Palearctic;  Western Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) in Turkmenistan; and Blyth’s Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum) and Pallas’s Rosefinch (Carpodacus roseus) in the United States.
Report photo by Mika Bruun.
Read more   News on Birds   |   First Country Reports
IBC's Video of the Month
Whiskered Terns

Whiskered Tern

(Chlidonias hybrida)

A group of Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybrida) taking advantage of a feeding Bryde's Whale (Balaenoptera brydei) to catch fish.
Recorded in Phetchaburi Province, Western Thailand, Thailand, on 4 October 2015.
© Martin Kennewell
IBC's Photo of the Month
Rufous-necked Hornbill

Rufous-necked Hornbill

(Aceros nipalensis)

A female Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis) sealed in a nest.

Mahananda Wildlife Sactuary, Darjeeling District, West Bengal, India, on 11 April 2015.
© Paul van Giersbergen
IBC's Sound Recording of the Month
Pale-billed Sicklebill

Pale-billed Sicklebill

(Drepanornis bruijnii)

A male Pale-billed Sicklebill (Drepanornis bruijnii) calling at a logging site.

Recorded in Nimbokrang Forest, Jayapura Regency, West Papua (Indonesia), New Guinea, on 9 June 2015.
© Phil Gregory
News on HBW Alive
Species with Multimedia Links
Palau Kingfisher
Currently more than 325 of the “new species” (resulting from splits) have multimedia links incorporated in their species accounts. See what we mean, for example, in the accounts of Huanuco Starfrontlet (Coeligena dichroura), Eastern Koel (Eudynamys orientalis), Eastern Long-tailed Hornbill (Horizocerus cassini) or Palau Kingfisher (Todiramphus pelewensis).
We have added links to the accounts of the 8 Ara species. Explore them!
Ara species
Himalayan Cutia
Here are some highlights of species with recently incorporated links: Choco Toucan (Ramphastos brevis), Chestnut-rumped Wheatear (Oenanthe xanthoprymna), Himalayan Cutia (Cutia nipalensis) and Magnificent Bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus).
HBW Alive Features

“My Birding” box in the species accounts

As My Birding continues to improve, we are also increasing the information generated from your bird sightings in different HBW Alive sections.  
Now, in the “My Birding” box in each species account, you see more information coming from your bird sightings of that species.
  1. The number of sightings of the species, specifying the ones seen and the ones heard only.
  2. The different territories where you have seen the species.
  3. Where and when the First Sighting of the species was, with a link to the birdlist.
  4. Your last three sightings of the species. For each sighting, you see the number of individuals detected, the place it occurred and the date. The place name is a link to the birdlist of that day. 
You also have a link to all of your bird sightings of the species in question.
In short, the species accounts are further enriched with your personal information on your experience with the species.
Get the Most Out of My Birding

My First Sightings around the world

My Birding is improving continuously and with this new functionality, My First Sightings around the world, now you can see how your First Sightings are distributed across the globe!
On the My Birding main page, below the “My Birding totals” box, you will find My First Sightings around the world. This section has a world map giving all the countries where you have at least one First Sighting shaded in green, with the intensity of the colour depending on the number of First Sightings in each country.
In the lower left-hand corner, you’ll see a bar ranging from 1 to the maximum number of First Sightings that you have in any one particular country. You can also see full-screen maps of the world and different territories: Africa, Northern America, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
If you place the cursor on one of the countries where you have First Sightings, a small window will open with the country’s name and the number of First Sightings you have there.
Below the world map, there is a box with all of the countries where you have First Sightings and the number of First Sightings for each.
If you click on a country, a new page loads with all the species present in it, and you will see the ones you have checked. It is the same page as if you select that country using the Geographic Tree (see left-hand vertical bar). By clicking on one of the First Sightings of a particular country, a new window opens with all of the First Sightings you have from there.
New Publications
Bird Families of the World

Available December 2015


Bird Families of the World
By David W. Winkler, Shawn M. Billerman and Irby J. Lovette
Co-published by Lynx Edicions and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

31 x 24 cm • hardback • c. 600 pages • 243 distribution maps
c. 750 colour photos • 2,336 bird figures (all genera Illustrated)

An Invitation to the Spectacular Diversity of Birds
The last decade has seen a revolution in our knowledge of the evolutionary relationships of birds. Ornithologists have succeeded in conducting analyses of the genetic codes of a large proportion of the birds of the world, and these analyses have resulted in a robust redefinition and re-sequencing of the orders and families of the birds of the world.
This new view of birds and their relationships is summarized here, in what is designed to be simply the best single-volume entry to avian diversity available, and to provide a mental map to help you organize your experiences and observations.
Take advantage of the Pre-publication Offer!
Only until November 30th
Free shipping worldwide!
(reduced from 87€)
The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World

The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World
By Vernon RL Head

In 1990, an expedition of Cambridge scientists arrived at the Plains of Nechisar, in the Gamo Gofa province in south Ethiopia. During their expedition they recorded a good number of organisms, including plants, insects, reptiles, frogs, mammals and birds. They also found the wing of a nightjar, which was packed into a brown bag and sent to the British Natural History Museum at Tring. It seemed that the wing was unique, belonging to an undescribed species. After thorough research, it was announced as a new species, Nechisar Nightjar Caprimulgus solala (solus = only and ala = wing).
Twenty-two years later, an expedition of four investigators led by Ian Sinclair set off to try to find this rarest bird in the world. The author of this captivating book, Vernon L. Head, was one of the members and he explains their adventures as they navigate the wilderness of the plains, searching by spotlight for the elusive Nechisar Nightjar. This true story of an incredible adventure will bring out the explorer in everyone who reads it.
20.40€    .BUY NOW      
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