HBW Alive Newsletter
Nº25, July 2016

The new IBC is ON!

Until now the Internet Bird Collection (IBC) and HBW Alive were two completely separate websites. This had many inconveniences, the most prominent being the lack of taxonomic agreement between the two. Updating the taxonomy of such projects is complicated and time-consuming, so doing so for both sites would have meant double the work. But we came up with a solution that would also provide positive “side effects”. We decided that the projects would maintain their individual traits, but become integrated on a functional level in order to share the same database, making the connection between the two sites stronger and more useful. So, now both the new IBC and HBW Alive follow the taxonomy of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, and, from this point on, both will be updated together.
IBC
And in revamping the IBC to bring the databases together, we were able to create many more benefits of the new IBC that we think everyone will enjoy:

The many thousands of IBC users will benefit from the updated taxonomy, which was very outdated, as well as from the many other improvements in quality, convenience and funtionalities of the new IBC site. At the same time, the IBC will continue to be completely free and open-access for everyone.

Another group that will obviously benefit is that of the over 4000 contributors to the IBC, who upload their photos, videos and sound recordings to the site. Not only have we simplified the uploading process, but another important goal of this massive make-over was to create a tool for contributors to easily classify, search and share all of their materials. And this is only the beginning of the improvements; there are lots more to come!

But, how will HBW Alive subscribers benefit?
As an HBW Alive subscriber, one of the most obvious “upgrades” you will notice is that the IBC links open directly in the body of the HBW Alive texts themselves, instead of in new windows. This increases the speed and comfort of viewing this complementary material as you read through a species account. This also means that you can have two or more multimedia links open in the same page, which can be very useful when comparing different subspecies. And reading the family chapters in this new “illustrated” format enhances your experience, especially for families with remarkable displays, interesting behaviours and spectacular plumages...
Subscribers will also find exploring the IBC more convenient than before, as there are direct links to the different HBW Alive sections for each species, including to the illustrations. So, while you are enjoying material on the IBC you can easily learn more about a particular biological aspect that catches your eye, by simply clicking through to HBW Alive.

We also hope that the integration of the two sites will bring both communities of users closer together, even though there is already a good amount of overlap. On one hand, we imagine that HBW Alive subscribers will use the IBC even more than they currently do, and they will realize that it is an important resource. Hopefully many will decide to contribute to the IBC, where their materials will be well-organized and will help raise the bar on the quality and completeness of the project. On the other hand, we think that many IBC users will become more conscious of all of the powerful contents of HBW Alive, and perhaps subscribe to the project, which will in turn help the viability and the growth of the site itself.

Josep del Hoyo
Director, HBW Alive
 
News on HBW Alive
Species with Multimedia Links
We have added more than 200 multimedia links to the accounts of the 25 Todiramphus species. Enjoy them!
Todiramphus species
Cuban Amazon

Check out these “Top 5” species with recently incorporated multimedia links: Black-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae), Western Banded Snake-eagle (Circaetus cinerascens), Cuban Amazon (Amazona leucocephala), Giant Antshrike (Batara cinerea) and Bare-throated Whistler (Pachycephala nudigula).
HBW Alive Features

Recently described species incorporated into HBW Alive
 

As we announced in our last Editorial, we have created species accounts for the recently described species that have some sort of material in the Internet Bird Collection (IBC). They are:
Cambodian Tailorbird


 
Adult Cambodian Tailorbird singing.
Multimedia links have been added to all five species. Likewise, we have updated the species accounts of Desert Tawny Owl (Strix hadorami) and Omani Owl (Strix butleri).
Get the Most Out of My Birding
As explained, we have created species accounts for recently described species (5) and for species not yet formally described (8). Now all 13 of these species are available for your Birdlists in My Birding. So, if you are lucky and have seen any of them, you can add them in your Birdlists!

In the “HBW Alive Features” section above you have direct links to the 5 formally described species. The other 8 species, pending formal description, but already available in My Birding, are:
News on Birds
Ornithological News
Spix's Macaw
Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) is officially considered Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild) and is one of the most popular endangered bird species. On 18 June 2016, a bird—albeit perhaps originating from captivity—was seen near Curaçá and filmed the following day. Since 2014 the Projeto Ararinha na Natureza (“Spix’s Macaw in the Wild Project”) has made efforts to establish a 44,000-ha protected area in this region. Approximately 130 birds persist in captivity and it has long been hoped that captive-bred individuals might be reintroduced into the wild to form a new Brazilian population.
Two highlighted new stories about shorebird migration:
A recent study using geolocators on three male Great Snipes (Gallinago media) revealed that they completed 4300–6800 km long non-stop flights between Swedish breeding areas and sub-Saharan African wintering grounds, taking just 48–96 hours, by flying at remarkable speeds of 54–97 km/h.
Red-necked Phalarope
Another study using geolocators on male Red-necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) breeding in Scandinavia concluded that these birds winter in the Arabian Sea. The Red-necked Phalaropes divided the c. 5500–7000 km migrations into two to four flights.
 

First Country Reports


As announced in the May's newsletter, the number of First Country Reports has been increasing and so has the number of followers of such news, so we have created a “spin-off” newsletter consisting exclusively of these reports. If you’d like to receive a weekly dose of this interesting news in your inbox, subscribe for free
Read more   News on Birds   |   First Country Reports
IBC's Video of the Month
Ouvea Parakeet
An Ouvea Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) feeding on flower nectar.
Recorded on Ouvéa Island, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, on 29 July 2015.
IBC's Photo of the Month
Ural Owl
An Ural Owl (Strix uralensis) flying.
Taken in Bieszczady Mountains, Subcarpathian (Podkarpacie) Province, Poland, on 2 June 2016.
IBC's Sound Recording of the Month
Ivory-billed Coucal
An Ivory-billed Coucal (Centropus menbeki) calling; first sound recording in the IBC.
Recorded at Lake Murray, Western Province, Papua New Guinea (mainland), New Guinea, on 13 June 2016.
New Publications
Falcons

Falcons
By Richard Sale


In a much-anticipated volume on one of Britain’s most fascinating group of birds, Richard Sale draws on a wealth of experience and research, providing a comprehensive natural history of the four British breeding falcons. The book takes each of the four breeding species in turn (Kestrel, Merlin, Hobby and Peregrine Falcon), exploring its form, habitat, breeding biology and status, along with a chapter on the hunting techniques of each species.

Hardback 84.50€  .BUY NOW 

Paperback 45.50€  .BUY NOW 

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