Importing Ornitho sightings to My Birding

If you are an Ornitho user, and want to import your data to My Birding, just follow these few steps, no matter on which Ornitho website you keep your records.

Data setup

  1. Download your data from the “All my observations” page. Please find below the direct link for the different Ornitho's distributions:

    Download your data from one of the local websites above, not from

  2. Then click on the first icon ("Download as tab separated format") below "my sightings" tab.

  3. A file (with extension .txt) will be downloaded to your computer.

  4. Open the file with your spreadsheet edition software, for example Microsoft Excel.

    Pay attention to the way your software is displaying the data! With latitude and longitude, for example, the numbers could be turned into non valid data, as germans use "," as a separator and not ".". Therefore all the coordinates (e.g. "34.03030") will be turned into a continuous number ("3403030"), which is then not recognized when importing.

  5. If the file contains 10,000 rows or less, you don’t have to alter the data and you can go to the next step.
    If the file contains more than 10,000 rows, you will need to split it into separate files, then follow the instructions below for each file.

  6. Save it as a UTF-8 and comma-separated (or semi-colon) CSV file. The following are ways you can do this with some common spreadsheet applications (please note that this is not an exhaustive list; please refer to the documentation for the relevant application and version you are using if these do not work for you):

  • MS Excel:
    • Click menu > Save As (Other Formats)
    • Enter a name for the file and choose "Unicode Text (*.csv)" for "Save as type :"
    • Click Save
  • Google Docs/Sheets:
    • Go to File > Download As
    • Select Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet)
  • LibreOffice:
    • Go to File > Save As...
    • File Type: choose Text CSV
    • Check the “Edit filter settings” option
    • Click the Save button
    • Character Set: Choose "Unicode (UTF-8)"
    • Field delimiter: , (comma) or ; (semi-colon)
    • Text delimiter: “ (double quote)
    • Check “Quote all text cells”
    • Click OK.
  • Numbers (Mac):
    • Click on File
    • Hover over Export
    • In the submenu that appears, choose CSV
    • Click on Advanced Options to show the Text Encoding dropdown
    • Select Unicode (UTF-8) from the dropdown menu
    • Click Next
    • Click Save

In case an assistant pops up while saving the file, the complete file requisites are:

  • One-row header
  • Separator: comma or semi-colon
  • Text delimiter: " (double quote)
  • Character set: Unicode (UTF-8)
  • Language: English (USA)
  • Quoted field as text

We are aware that some contexts described in the steps above are not necessarily the ones with which you will be faced. This depends on external circumstances that we cannot fully control, such as your operating system, the software you use to open the file, and the configuration of this software.

Create the import to My Birding

Follow these steps in order to upload your records to My Birding:

  1. To create a new import, go to the My Birding main page and scroll down to the blue block called "Import your sightings from external sources". Click on the "Start a new import process" link.
  2. Choose “Ornitho” as the external source. A new field will appear, in order to indicate the website from which you are importing the data. Choose the right option.
  3. Add your CSV file and click on the Upload button.
  4. Once uploaded, scroll down to the “Save import configuration” button and click on it.
  5. If your file is valid, a confirmation message will appear and you can go to the next step.
    If not, some instructions will be displayed in order to help you to locate the error in the file’s sheet. You will have to edit your file and save it as you did above. Upload your file and click on the “Save import configuration” to see if the system validates it.
  6. When you’re ready, click on the red button “Enable import process”.

During the import process

The process converts each row from the exported CSV file into sightings along with their respective birdlists.

During the import process, do not edit any birdlist or sighting until it is completed.

The system imports the data from the queued CSV files progressively and in the order of arrival of users’ requests. Please be patient!

The page will refresh automatically every 10 minutes to show the progress of the import process.

After the import process

After the import is done, a confirmation message will be displayed, along with a few links to check and improve the imported data.

If some unrecognized species still remain, you will be able to either edit each sighting to manually choose a new one, or choose the correct species for all the sightings affected by the same unrecognized species. The system will make some suggestions so the species can be conveniently and easily corrected.

← Back to General considerations on importing data to My Birding