Status and Future of J-Bird Features (Version 0.5.2)
Data fields associated with observations
- Trip date
- Trip locality
- Trip keywords
- Trip notes
- Observer name
- Common name
- Species notes
- Load master species list. Five functional methods.
The goal is to read in data from a
variety of sources.
Currently, J-Bird can read in
- a list of World birds from Sibley and Monroe that
is maintained by Rolf A. de By,
- the CINFO list of World birds in either English or
- the Checklist of North American Birds that is
available at the website of the American
Ornithologists' Union, and
- a file of comma-separated values (CSV),
dBASE file (.DBF), Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (.xls),
a table in a web page (HTML table) that contains
family, genus, species, and common names, and
- results of a query to a relational database using
an SQL query and Java drivers that are provided by the
The database builder
is actually a separate application that needs to be run only once.
- Ticking of species. Fully functional. Notes can be
associated with both trips and observations of individual
species. Numbers of individual observed can also be recorded
for each species (but only when ticking from checklists).
- Checklists. Fully functional (J-Bird 0.4.1). Checklists
are subsets of the master species list that can be used
to tick species and for preparing summaries. They can be
edited, and used to tick observed species. Also, they can be
included in trip reports and
species lists to indicate which species could have been observed
but were not seen.
Checklists can be organized hierarchically. Each
checklist has a parent checklist from which species are selected
when creating the checklist. It is possible to include in a checklist
species that are not included in the parent checklist.
Checklists can be assigned to either regions or to individual trips
as preferred checklists for use when editing ticks on trips or when
creating trip reports.
Checklists can be imported from files
of comma-separated values (CSV), dBASE (.DBF) files,
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, tables in WWW pages (HTML tables),
and from arbitrary relational
databases (using drivers and queries that are supplied by the user).
- Pop-up images for life and regional ticks. Fully functional.
Can be turned on and off. The image files that are
displayed can be changed by editing the options file.
- Sounds played for life ticks, regional ticks, and trip ticks.
Fully functional (J-Bird 0.1.2). J-Bird is installed with sound
turned off to avoid difficulties on systems that do
not support sound. You can turn on sound by modifying
J-Bird preferences. Click Edit -> Preferences.
The preferences dialog box can be used to enable sound
and to select alternative sound files to be played.
Sound bites that are included with J-Bird were graciously
provided by the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics at
Ohio State University (
The sound recordings are (P) Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics,
Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology,
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, all rights reserved.
- Life tick - Canyon Wren
- Region tick - Rufous-browed Peppershrike
- Trip tick - Pale-billed Woodpecker
- Duplicate tick for trip - Red-cockaded woodpecker
- Editing capabilities
- Change name of region. Fully functional.
- Delete region and all trips and ticks within it. Fully
- Delete region and move all trips to one other region. Fully
- Edit trip fields, including region. Fully functional.
- Delete a trip and all ticks associated with it. Fully
- Change an observer's name. Fully functional.
- Delete an observer and all of that observer's ticks. Fully
- Modify notes associated with a species observation.
- Dump/restore of raw data files. Fully functional. Data
in internal database tables are dumped into files in CSV
format. Tables can be restored from CSV files.
- Trip reports. Fully functional (J-Bird Version 0.1.1). Trip reports can
be generated that contain locality, key words, notes about trips and
species lists. Ticks can be identified by observer. And, species notes can be
included in species lists. Trip reports may include unseen species
that are on a checklist that is selected to be included in the
trip report. Reports are
generated in html and can be displayed in a web browser or saved into
a file. Reports can be printed from a web browser.
The automatic display of reports in a web browser works
on Windows Mac OS X, and Linux.
- Species lists. Fully functional (J-Bird 0.1.3).
It is possible to generate lists of observed species in the database.
Examples include life-lists, region-lists, or lists for
specific time periods or months of the year. Lists can be generated
without adornment, or they may include one of the following:
earliest date observed, most recent date observed, or the number of
number of trips on which species were seen. Lists can be saved
as web documents (HTML) and as files of comma-separated values
(CSV). Latent features that
have been written and work but require other unimplemented features
before they will be available include: ability to include in lists
unseen species from a checklist and the ability to display the sum
of all individuals seen of species.
- Species count summaries. Fully functional (J-Bird 0.1.2).
It is possible
to generate tables that summarize the number of species observed.
For example, you can display
the number of species observed by each observer in each region.
Table rows can be sorted interactively according to values in
a selected column.
Tables of counts can be saved as
comma-delimited files (CSV) or as web documents (HTML).
- Query ticks / export ticks. Mostly functional (J-Bird 0.2.0).
Sightings can be queried to produce tables. Queries can be restricted
by region, observer, date, month of year. (It is not yet possible to
restrict queries by trip locality, trip keywords, or on the basis
of text in notes.) All fields that
are associated with sightings can be displayed (i.e., date, common
name, scientific name, family, observer, notes, region, trip locality,
trip keywords, and trip notes). Tables can be displayed on the screen,
displayed in a web browser, or saved to files as either comma-separated
values (CSV) or as web documents (HTML). In tables that are displayed
on the screen, rows can be sorted interactively by values within
- Multiple lists of common names. Non-functional. Database
and contains the common names that are associated with the master
list. No method exists for importing or exporting other
common name lists, and no method exists for selecting which list
of common name will be used to display names. But, once these
capabilities are added, the program is ready to make use of the
- Transaction processing. Implemented but not thoroughly proofed
and tested. Some actions such as ``delete all trips in a region"
are completed by several small transactions with the underlying
database. Transactions have been structured so that if parts of
a transaction fails, the entire action fails. The implementation
is a first approximation and may be completely rewritten in the
- Switch between common names and scientific names.
Fully functional, but slow going from scientific names to
- Sound-file selection and playing. Mostly functional.
It is possible to enable and disable playing of sounds
for life ticks, region ticks and trip ticks as well
as to select sound files that are not distributed with
J-Bird. It is not yet possible to play a sound file in
response to errors.
- Logging. Fully functional. J-Bird logs messages to a
file as well as too a window that can be exposed and
hidden at the will of the user. Additionally, pop-up
windows appear to report certain errors or warnings.
Pop-ups can be suppressed and messages that would have
popped up will appear in both the log window and the log
file. Information logged about database transactions is
not as sophisticated as it might be.
Plans (subject to change without notice)
- Version 0.2.0 - Query/export individual ticks.
- Version 0.3.0 - Checklist building and editing.
- Version 0.4.0 - Species ticking from checklists - including counts.
- Version 0.4.1 - Checklist improvements.
- Ability to search for species in checklists.
- Preferred checklists for regions and trips.
- Import checklists.
- Internal table of species synonyms for imports (populated gradually
by the user).
- Version 0.4.2 - Region/observer improvements.
- This release fixed a show-stopping bug in 0.4.1.
- Version 0.4.3 - Region/observer improvements.
- Add a main task panel for manipulating regions.
- Add a main task panel for manipulating observers.
- Trips - Get rid of commit button on the dialogs for creating/editing
information about checklists (as for trips).
- Version 0.4.4 - Move J-Bird interface from hybrid AWT/Swing to entirely Swing.
- That means getting rid of the isolated windows for the
tree of checklists and for the tree of trips.
- Drop the add/edit ticks main task in favor of ticking from
- Version 0.4.5 - Improvements to master list builder.
- Convert master list builder from Java AWT to Java Swing.
- Master list builder to uses
steps like those used for importing checklists.
- Add capability of building master species lists from
- Version 0.4.6 - Unplanned - bug fixes.
- Version 0.5.0 - Import ticks.
- Version 0.5.1 - Separate data from software and distribute Mac OS X disk image file.
- Version 0.5.2 - Add keyboard accelerators and improve keyboard navigation.
- Version 0.5.3 - Keyboard navigation on ticking and checklist editing dialogs.
- Version 0.5.4 - Keyboard navigation on imports, although this may not come
to pass because it will be difficult to implement key strokes on the clickable
- Version 1.0.0 - all of the above.
- Ticking - import, manual, export.
- Checklists - build, import, export, use for ticking, available
for trip reports and species lists.
- Trip reports.
- Tick imports, queries and exports.
- List queries and exports.
- Species counts queries and exports.
- Version 2.0.0
- Taxonomy editing.
- Rename taxa.
- Reorder taxa using drag and drop.
- Add/remove taxa.
- Query ticks based on text in locality, keywords, notes.
- A browser/editor from which one can do most anything that's possible
Last updated 2 April 2007