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BIRDERS BLOG

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Introducing UtahBirders.com

posted by Tim Avery at
on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 

What a journey the last two years have been.  From the blog we created to talk about Birds and Birding in Utah, to UBIRD, the only listserv in Utah that allows an open dialogue, with the freedom to talk about anything bird or birding related, to the Park City CBC we created, and the now annual Gullstravaganza field trip.  Utah Birding is growing--the community is flourishing, and as things change for the better we want to keep up with the pace.

When we launched UBIRD in February 2011 we planned on launching a birding website to go along with it. But with school, careers, family, various other obligations--and the fact we wanted to spend much of our free time birding and not behind a computer, the website never quite came to fruition.  We actually made a lot of progress in 2011 and had a site  almost ready to launch by the beginning of 2012, but pulled the plug due to those above reasons.  We didn't want to release the site prematurely--lacking features we felt were needed to make the site worthwhile.

So we gave it a year looking at it again, and here we are January 1st, 2013 with the official launch of UtahBirders.com.  We are the Utah Birders.


Part of the reason we held off wasn't just for a need for relevant content, and tools for the birding community, but also to make sure we were using the right technology for a modern birding website.  No point in boring you with the details, but suffice to say we consider this new site to be a leader in the realm of birding websites.  One of the innovations we have taken to heart is the use of responsive design--meaning that the website you see is suited to the device you are using to view it.  Whether it be a 24" monitor,  a 15" laptop, and iPad, a Kindle Fire, an iPhone, or Android device you will see the content in a way that is easy to read and use on that device!


Along with the responsive design, we made sure the actual design was sleek, modern, and has a bit of a sporty appeal.  Birding has long been associated as a hobby left to retirees and obscure scientists who spend more of their time in the company of birds than people.  But we all know that is a view of the past.  Birders come in every shape and size, age, sex,  race, religion, skill level, and most importantly every unique personality.  Together we make up a group as varied as the birds we watch.


And with this varied groups come varying wants and needs--and also ideas worth giving a shot.  Things have been done one way for so long that for many it's just the accepted way.  But that doesn't mean it is necessarily the right way, or the way that works best.  Given this line of thought we decided to try a few things out and see how the community accepts or rejects these ideas.

First, we are pleased to announce the launch of the UTAH RARE BIRDS DATABASE.  Cutting straight to the point, the database is designed to replace a records committee.  Ted Floyd wrote an excellent piece on the ABA blog a few months ago with this idea of a database and whether or not a committee is necessary anymore.  After some discussion we thought this is the perfect place to try this out.  


With the rare birds database you can submit sightings, search through all historical sightings (coming soon), and view information, photos, videos, etc about recent sightings.  This is version 1.0, and will likely go through some major updates in the coming year.  But none-the-less we are excited that we've got this off the ground.  We have put up a couple example species in the recently submitted section to see what it will look like.

The second major addition is the MEET US section.   If you go birding in Utah, then you are a Utah Birder. As part of our effort to improve the birding community we've created this page to get familiar with other Utah Birders. We want to say hi and ask you what you've seen when you are out in the field and we hope you will do the same. Hopefully, this page will give faces to some of those names you see on UBIRD and encourage all of us to be friendly in the field!



For the month of January if you create a profile we will hook you up with a sleek Utah Birders sticker to throw on your car.  You'll also see us sporting them on ours so you know who we are.


We've also put together a small store with a number of items we use and recommend.  All can be purchased through Amazon at killer prices.  We do get a referral fee, used to pay for the domain names, site storage, and upkeep.  After all we aren't in this for the money--it really is about the birds.

These are just some of the highlights, you can check out the rest at UtahBirders.com. We hope 2013 is a great year for birds and birding in Utah.  We also hope our new site will continue to improve the community here in Utah!

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3 Comments:
OpenID herewasthere said...

I love the new look, design and logo. Nice job.

January 1, 2013 at 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Wow, this does look really good. I love that there is some color in the design now too! And the logo is bad ass! Nice work guys!

January 2, 2013 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Avery said...

@herewasthere: Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

@Sarah: Badass is what we were aiming for so I guess that's a success! Thanks!

January 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM  

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