Birders in North Carolina are flocking to the recently re-designed N.C. Birding Trail website (www.ncbirdingtrail.org), which provides more detailed information on each of the 327 sites statewide that comprise the trail.
The key feature of the new website is a map from which visitors can browse sites by location, using a Google map interface, according to Scott Anderson, the bird conservation biologist for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. When visitors click on a site on the map, they will see a short summary of the site, including a description of the site, birds they might see or hear and the type of habitat surrounding the site.
The map also incorporates a “bird finder,” where birders can search for a particular bird.
“For instance, if you type in ‘American redstart,’ the map will display all of the birding trail sites where redstarts might be seen, as well as any recent sightings from other birders in the previous 14 days,” Anderson said.
Each NCBT site has its own webpage, which includes more detailed information about the site itself, including species of interest, habitats, access and parking, other amenities, directions and, for most sites, a complete list of birds that have been seen or heard at that particular site.
“The site pages provide birders with lots of great information in one location — a very handy feature, particularly if you’re in the field using your smart phone or a tablet,” Anderson said.
The N.C. Birding Trail is a partnership between the Commission and N.C. State Parks, the N.C. State University Extension Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, N.C. SeaGrant and the N.C. Audubon Society. The NCBT launched in 2005 as a way to connect people to birds and bird habitats by supporting sustainable bird watching, increasing the understanding of bird diversity in the Tar Heel state and encouraging patronage of local businesses.
Anderson, who coordinates the N.C.Birding Trail’s activities, has been working on the website redesign for six months, taking advantage of new internet technologies to provide simple and intuitive access to Birding Trail information.
News release by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.