Welcome to GreatBirdPics.com!
Like many amateur bird photographers, I had hundreds of beautiful pictures of birds sitting on my computer with limited ways to share them with others. So I decided to create GreatBirdPics.com.
I designed GreatBirdPic.com for all amateur bird photographers who want to share their pictures with the world. Once a member uploads their images they will have their own online gallery (My Flock) for others to enjoy. But GreatBirdPics.com contains so much more! I wanted it to bring together the community of amateur bird photographers, so it also has a forum so you can communicate with other like-minded enthusiasts from around the world.
As I was designing GreatBirdPics.com, I started with two central concepts – the website must have a powerful search engine and the images it displays must be high quality.
At the core of the website is a powerful database search engine. Whenever a member uploads one of their beautiful bird pictures they fill in a form describing the bird and what it is doing. This includes information like species name, location seen, gender, age, type of activity, and several other fields. When members go to the Search page they can use the database to look for very specific GreatBirdPics. Here are some examples of searches you can do:
- Adult male Northern Shoveler flying in Michigan.
- Female Red-legged Honeyeater feeding in Costa Rica.
- Painted Stork flying in India.
- Male Scarlet Tanager in Ohio.
- Pileated Woodpecker making a nest in Michigan.
- Common Oystercatcher with chick in New Zealand.
- A Cinnamon Hummingbird scratching itself in Honduras.
A search doesn’t have to be that specific. You can tell it to show you a GreatBirdPic of every species in Illinois – like an online field guide! Or you can search for GreatBirdPics of a specific species of bird. The possibilities are only limited by what has been uploaded into the database (and your curiosity).
I want to emphasize the Great in GreatBirdPics. Too often when I posted one of my bird pictures on Facebook or Flickr it would be next to a picture of a bird someone took with their phone through a screen-door. Sorry, but I don’t want those pictures on GreatBirdPics.com. When I was selecting pictures from my collection to post, I rejected hundreds of them because they weren’t good enough for my own website! I will curate the pictures so it is possible that some pictures will be rejected if the image is of poor quality. I don’t want to scare anyone away from posting their pics. I’m not looking for professional quality pics – just ones in which the bird is clearly recognizable. Upload the pictures you want the world to see. What makes a picture of a bird great? Here’s the criteria I use when uploading my pics:
- The bird in the image is sharp and is minimally obscured by other objects such as branches, leaves, or other birds.
- You can see parts of the bird that are typically used to identify that species (i.e. lores, wing bars, foot color).
- The bird takes up most of the area of the image.
- You can see the eye(s) of the bird (bonus points if you can see the pinpoint reflection of the sun in its eye).
- The total image is a beautiful picture even if the bird in it does not meet the above criteria (an Artsy-Fartsy image).
NOTE: GreatBirdPics.com reserves the right to reject any image if does not meet at least some of the above criteria. The better overall quality of the images in the collection, the more people will seek out GreatBirdPics.com to view beautiful pictures of birds. We will notify a member if an image is to be deleted and why before it is actually deleted. Similarly, inappropriate content in the Location or Description of the image entered by a member can be deleted or modified, after the member has been notified. Don’t be offended if one of your images is deleted – just find a better one to upload.
A word about uploading your images
Any image members upload to GreatBirdPics.com will always belong to the member. We will never download an image for someone else’s use or sell an image that belongs to a member. GreatBirdPics.com does not copyright member’s images, however some members choose to embed a copyright notice right on each of their images (using a post-processing program like Lightroom). That being said, be aware that that some unscrupulous people out there could grab a screen-shot of any image in the database or simply right-click on an image and download a low-res version of an image. We don’t know of any way around this but thought members should be aware of this possibility.
There are over 10,000 species of birds and through them we can enjoy God’s diversity in the world. Scientific studies of birds are used as an indicator of how our world is doing – climate change and loss of habitat by humans forces birds into new areas or reduces their numbers.
My goal for GreatBirdPics.com is to have a beautiful picture of every species seen in every country and every U.S. state. We’re a long way from that now, but with your help we’ll get there. Happy birding!
GreatBirdPics.com username Mike firstname.lastname@example.org