GreatBirdPics.com is built around a powerful database, but it only works when you enter data about each image. Complex searches are possible when the database has the following information for each image:
Within the GreatBirdPics database there is a list of over 10,000 bird species*. When uploading an image you must enter a species name that exactly matches one in the list. To help, as you enter the name you will see a list of possible matches (give it a second or two for the matches to appear). Select the one that is your bird and hit Return. (Required field)
- Spelling Counts – If you type Comorant there will be no matches. Type Cormorant and you will get matches.
- Capitalization Doesn’t Not Count – Northern Shoveler and northern shoveler both will match.
- Hyphens Count – Black-crowned Night-Heron will match. Black-crowned Night Heron, Black crowned Night-Heron, or Black crowned Night Heron will not match.
- Use the Correct Species Name – What you commonly call a bird may not be its “official” name. For example what I call a Robin is an American Robin (there are several types of robins). What I call a Phoebe is and Eastern Phoebe. You usually can get close by typing in the common name and then select the correct species name from the suggested list.
* GreatBirdPics.com is indebted to Cornell University and their website eBird where they provide downloadable bird species lists. They maintain the Clements Checklist, which is updated regularly (the list currently being used by GreatBirdPic.com was updated Aug. 2019). Citation: Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
Title of Image
Give your image a title such as “Fierce Red-wing Blackbird” or “Mother on the nest.” (Required field)
Write about how you got the shot. Was this a Lifer? Why was it special? Was there anything unusual about the sighting? (Required Field)
Select the country where the image was taken. (Required field)
If you select United States as the country, then select the state where it was taken. (Required field)
If possible enter information about where the bird was, such as “Mayfield Park by the pond, Butte”, “Morton Arboretum West Side, Lisle”, “Yellowstone National Park by the Geyser Basin”, or Hidden Lake Forest Preserve, Downers Grove”.
Select Male, Female, or Both M and F in Same Image. Default is Unknown.
Select Adult (default), Juvenile/Immature, Chick, or Adult with chick(s).
Select one or more of the following bird activities:
- BIF (Bird in Flight)
- In or by Water
- Feeding in the Wild
- At a Bird Feeder
- Feeding Young
- Territorial Display
The image could of a rare species or rare for the area. For example I saw a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Ottawa County, Michigan the spring of 2019. There are lots of them down south but was the first time in 35 years one had been seen there – it was rare for the area. The pictures of it aren’t “great” but I uploaded them because it was so uncommon.
A basic definition of anthropomorphism is “exhibiting human characteristics.” Sometimes we get an image of a bird doing something humans do, too. Current selections include Winking, Scratching, Yawning, and Other.
Comparison to Another Species
Some images have two (or more) different species in them. For example I’ve taken pictures with a Ring-billed Gull and a Herring Gull in it. Enter the main subject of the image in the Species Name field and then type in the species of the comparison bird (s) in the Description field.
Have a beautiful picture, but not necessarily a great picture of the bird? That’s Artsy-Fartsy. For example I uploaded a picture of a Double-crested Cormorant flying across the sunset with a bird in its mouth. Not a great picture of the bird (silhouetted) but a beautiful picture (in my humble opinion).