Creating and Editing Trips and Ticks in J-Bird (Version 0.5.2)
Summary of trips
- Trips are displayed in a hierarchical tree when the "browse/edit trips" is selected as the main task.
- To create a new trip, click on the "Create new trip" menu item, or
right-click (ctrl-click on Mac OS X) on any entry
in the tree and select "Create new trip".
- A form will appear. Fill it out and dismiss it.
- Use a date of the form YYYY-MM-DD.
- Type in the name of a region, or select one from the pop-up list.
- Provide a locality.
- Keywords and notes are optional.
- When typing notes, skip lines between paragraphs. Pressing return
begins a new paragraph.
- Species can be ticked immediately after the dialog is dismissed,
or ticking can be deferred.
- Clicking on triangles opens and closes branches in the tree of trips.
- Right-clicking (ctrl-clicking on OS X) on a trip in the tree of trips,
brings up a menu of possibilities including:
- View/edit species ticks,
- View/edit trip information (that was entered when the trip was
- Display trip report,
- Create new trip,
- Delete trip.
- The hierarchy can be changed by selecting the view button. Possible
- Region -> trip
- Region -> year -> trip
- Region -> year -> month -> trip
- Year -> trip
- Year -> month -> trip
- Year -> region -> trip
- Year -> region -> month -> trip
- Several trips can be selected at once by holding down the ctrl key
while clicking on them. On Mac OS X, hold down the apple key
- Ticks from several trips can be edited at once by selecting them and
then right-clicking on one of the selected trips and selecting
"edit all selected trips"
- Several trips can be deleted at once by selecting them
then right-clicking on one of the selected trips and selecting
"delete all selected trips"
- When finished with trips, dismiss the tree window and select an alternative
selection from list of tasks.
Summary of ticks
- To tick species observed on one or more trips, select the trips as
described above in the summary of trips, right-click (ctrl-click on Mac)
and select the option for viewing/editing species lists. If checklists
are available, you will be asked to select a checklist for ticking.
Otherwise, the master species list will be used.
- Species are ticked from a table in which rows are species and
columns are individual observers on trips.
- The table contains family names. Families can be opened or closed by
clicking on the ">"s or "V"s that appear to the left of family names.
Tables with 800 species or more open with all families closed.
- Species names displayed can be common or scientific. Use the View
menu to toggle between common names and scientific names.
- Species can be ticked as present/absent, or counts can be recorded.
Use the View menu to toggle between ticks and counts.
- If ticking, presence is represented by checkboxes.
If notes have been made, "n"s
are displayed to the right of appropriate checkboxes.
- To tick or untick species, click on the checkboxes.
- To add, edit or delete notes, right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) on the
appropriate checkbox, and select from the
menu that pops up.
- If recording counts, unseen species are denoted by an underscore,
counts, counts by the appropriate numbers, and presence by "X"s.
If notes have been made, an icon of a canary-colored sheet of
paper appears to the right of the appropriate counts.
- To enter a count for a species, click on the appropriate table cell.
A cursor will appear. Type in the number. Zero or blank
deletes the tick.
- To add, edit, delete notes, right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) on the
appropriate table cell, and select from the menu that pops up.
- Ticks can be added/deleted by right-clicking on them and selecting from
the pop-up menu.
- To tick species that do not appear in the table but are present in
the master species list, use the View menu
to select "Alternative checklist ..." and choose a more general
checklist. Species that have been seen on a trip, but are not
in the checklist that is currently being used will be displayed.
- Individual columns of the table can be toggled between ticks and counts,
by right-clicking (ctrl-clicking on Mac) in the column titles and
selecting from the pop-up menu.
- Individual columns can be dropped from the table
by right-clicking (ctrl-clicking on Mac) in the column titles
and selecting from the pop-up menu.
- When finished ticking, dismiss the table window.
- Images can be displayed and/or sounds played for life ticks and for
J-Bird is organized around the idea of observing birds on trips. Trips
are displayed in a hierarchical tree. You can use the tree to create new
trips, to select trips and edit information about them or edit the species
that have been seen on them, and also to delete trips (and all ticks
that are associated with them). You'll select a trip from the tree and
right-click (ctrl-click on Mac OS X) on it select from the pop-up menu that
appears. In response to your selection, dialogs will appear that can be
used to enter/edit information about trips or for selecting species and
creating notes for species that have been observed. Dismiss the dialogs when
you are finished with them.
The tree of trips
To display the tree of trips and work with it, use the main task tab to
select "create/edit trips and ticks". A dialog will appear and display
trips hierarchically. Before you create your first trip, only a single
entry will be present.
a number of trips, the tree might appear like the tree to the right.
Branches of the tree (regions in this case) can be opened and closed by
clicking on them. The scroll bar can be used to scroll up and down over
The tree hierarchy can be changed. For example, instead of displaying trips
within regions, it is possible to display trips within years or to display
trips within years within regions. Also available are trips within months within years and trips within months within regions within years. Use the view
button to select the view that you prefer. Shorter views (i.e., trips within
regions or trips within years) are usually best until you accumulate some
Trips can be selected singly or multiply, and the process of selecting trees
depends on the type of computer that you have.
- Linux and Windows
- A trip must be selected before requesting a pop-up menu.
- To select one trip, click on it with the left mouse button.
- To select several trips:
- Select first trip by clicking on it.
- Add trips to selection by holding down the ctrl key
while clicking on trips.
- To obtain a pop-up menu, right click on any trip (the selection
will be unaffected by the click).
- Mac OS X
- Clicking to bring up a pop-up-menu also selects/unselects
the trip. If a trip has already been selected when
you request a pop-up menu, the trip will be unselected
before the menu pops up. Use the following instructions.
- To select one trip and bring up a pop-up menu,
ctrl-click on the unselected trip.
- To select several trips:
- Select first trip by clicking on it.
- Add trips to selection by holding down the apple key
while clicking on trips. Do this for all but the
last trip to be selected.
- To select the last trip and bring up a pop-up menu,
hold down the apple key and the ctrl key while
you click on the final trip to be selected.
To create a trip, click on the menu item "Create new trip", or right-click
(Linux and Windows) or ctrl-click (Mac OS X) on the tree to obtain a pop-up menu
and select "Create new trip". A dialog like that shown will appear.
- The date must be in the form YYYY-MM-DD. The current date is provided,
but it can be changed.
- Either select a region by clicking on the arrow tab, or click in the
text field and type in the name of the region. Regions can be
re-organized, so don't fret about the regions that you create.
- Locality usually describe where the trip was within the region. The
entry that you use will be what you see (along with the date) when
- Keywords are free-form. J-Bird displays them in trip reports
but does not use them otherwise.
- To make notes about the trip, click in the box and start typing.
Press return only when you want to create a new paragraph.
When displayed, paragraphs are separated by a blank line
(and are not indented). Copy/cut/paste are available
via the Edit menu. The text that you type is stored
as a web document (HTML). If you are fluent with HTML,
you can use the View menu at the top of the note box
to display HTML, and you can edit the HTML directly.
Be warned, however, that Java is very picky about
HTML and that you must enter complete HTML. For example,
you cannot get away with omitting the end-of-paragraph tags
and end-of-list-item tags.
- Unless you tick the checkbox, a checklist from which you can
tick species observed on the trip will appear as soon as
you dismiss the trip information dialog. It is useful
to delay ticking of species if you wish to create several
trips and tick the species seen at the same time.
- Click "Commit" to create the trip.
Ticking species that have been seen on trips
There are two ways to obtain a checklist from which you can tick species
that you have observed on trips: create a trip without ticking the check box
"Defer ticking of species"; and select one or more trips from the trip tree
and click to display a pop-up menu as described in the previous section and then
select "View/edit species list". You will be presented with a choice of
checklists to use if checklists exist, and then you will be presented with
the selected checklist from which you can tick species.
The checklist contains family names and species names.
All species will
be displayed if the checklist contains fewer than 600 species. Otherwise,
only family names will be displayed. Species within families can be
displayed by clicking on the ">" that precedes family names, and they
can be hidden by clicking on the "V"'s that precede names of families that
A column is present in the checklist table for each observer in the database
for each trip that was selected. Columns can be dropped from the table by
using a pop-up menu that is associated with column headers. Right-click
in the appropriate column header, or ctrl-click on Mac OS X, and select
"drop column" from the menu that pops up.
The Find menu allows you to activate the species finder. You can search
species names, family names or both by selecting the appropriate check boxes.
If hidden families are searched, they will be opened if species are found in
them. Otherwise, only species in expanded families will be searched.
To search, type a name or partial name in the text box and press return or
click the "Next" button.
Regular expressions allow you specify patterns rather than literal strings.
For example, to search for color or colour the pattern would be colou?r.
The question mark indicates zero or one occurrence of the letter before it.
If you you are unsure whether Night-Heron is hyphenated, you could
specify night[- ]heron. The square brackets indicate that any one of the
enclosed letters is OK. Here it was a hyphen and a space. More information
about using patterns is available on the finders page
You can tick to indicate which species were seen, or you can enter counts of
the number of individuals that were observed. Ticks will be displayed for
the first trip that you edit. You can switch between ticks and counts by
using the View menu on the window that contains the checklist. It is also
possible to tick from checklists in which some columns contain ticks and others
counts as in the checklist that is shown below. To change the
display of a single column, move the mouse to the column heading and
right-click on Windows and Linux or ctrl-click on Mac OS X. A menu
will appear that allows you to toggle between ticks and counts.
If ticking species, click on the check boxes to tick or untick species.
If entering counts, click in a cell to edit the value. A cursor will appear.
Enter an appropriate number: positive numbers reflect numbers of individuals
seen, 0 indicates that the species was not seen. You can use an X to indicate
that a species was observed but not enumerated. You can press return when
finished with a count or move the mouse out of the cell that you have been
Notes can be associated with individual species. They are represented on
tick checklists as "n"'s and on count checklists as canary-colored sheets
of paper as shown in the checklist above. To enter or edit notes for
an observation, pop-up a menu for the appropriate cell by right-clicking
on Windows and Linux and ctrl-clicking on Mac OS X. Select the item
"Edit notes". A dialog will appear in which you can click to
activate and then type notes. As with trip notes, press return where you
want paragraph breaks to be. Notes are stored as web documents (HTML), and
it is possible to see and edit the HTML using the View menu of the dialog.
Again, Java is picky about HTML and does not tolerate deviations from the
standard that are gracefully handled by most web browsers. Dismiss the notes
window when finished with a note.
Notes can be deleted in two ways: select the "delete note" entry in the pop-up
menu that is associated with a cell, or select "edit note" and use the
Edit menu -> Clear item to clear all text before dismissing the
J-Bird can pop-up images and play sounds to celebrate life ticks,
region ticks and trip ticks. These features can be turned on and
off by editing your preferences (Edit -> Preferences).
J-Bird is installed with sound turned off to prevent problems
on computers that do not have sound cards. The sounds are
- Life tick - Canyon Wren
- Region tick - Rufous-browed Peppershrike
- Trip tick - Pale-billed Woodpecker
- Duplicate trip tick - Red-cockaded Woodpecker
As indicated in the License section, these recordings are
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics,
Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology,
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, all rights reserved.
You can use alternative sound files. Use the preferences
dialog (Edit -> Preferences) to specify alternative files.
Click on the name of the file, and a file-chooser dialog
will appear. After you've chosen a file, you will be able to
edit the credit. The following formats are supported by Java and
should be usable:
- AIFF (not tested),
- RMF (Rich Music Format - not tested), and
- MIDI (type 0 and type 1 - not tested).
Note that Java cannot deal with some methods of compression, and
that it is difficult to determine from documentation which methods
are supported and which are not. Your best bet is to try, and to
fall back to older methods of compression until you find one that
(Note that components of the preferences editor that allow you to
set a sound file to be played in response to errors have been disabled
because, J-Bird is not yet capable of playing sounds in responses to
Trip reports list information about a trip including: date, region, locality,
keywords, trip notes, observers, species observed and species notes. Reports
can be configured to contain some or all of the information just listed.
They can be displayed in the default web browser or written to files as
web (HTML) documents. J-Bird provides no means of printing trip reports.
To print a trip report, display it in a web browser and used the browser's
To prepare a trip report, select a trip in the tree of trips and pop-up
a menu by right-clicking on the trip on Linux or Windows and by ctrl-clicking
on Mac OS X. A dialog will appear that can be used to configure the
- Destination: may be browser or file. If file, a file selection
dialog is used to name the output file. It should appear when you
select File as the destination or by clicking on the file name
if you have already selected File as the destination.
- Trip notes: include or omit. Note that the * between the date and
locality indicates that there are notes for this trip.
- Species notes: include or omit. Has no effect on format if no note
- Species counts: include indicates that counts will be displayed.
X's indicate that species were observed but counts were not
recorded. They are used for all species if counts are omitted.
- Observers: if included, a table will be prepared in which rows are
species and columns are observers, and if omitted, species
observed will be listed.
- Checklist: if checklists have been defined, it is possible to include
a checklist in a trip report. The idea is to list species that
might have been seen but were not seen. If included, a pop-up
checklist selector appears, and the name of the selected checklist
appears below the include/omit selector.
- Click on "OK" to produce the report. To cancel, either click "Cancel" or
dismiss the window.
Trip report tip
Trip reports can be converted from web pages (HTML files) into Microsoft Word
documents using recent versions of Microsoft Word.
- Set the destination of a trip report to be a file. It will be saved as
an HTML file.
- In Microsoft Word select Open in the file menu.
- Configure the file browsing dialog to list all types of documents.
- Browse the file system and select a trip report.
- After the trip report is opened by Word, select "Save as ..." in the
- In the dialog that appears, set the document type to "Microsoft Word
Last update 20 March 2007