Version 3.7

November, 2012 v3.7.109 and later …!

  • Added new feature to the Backup window that will allow users to upload their database to Tech Support when requested for solving issues. This new feature replaces the web site File Upload page which was unreliable on low-bandwidth internet connections and used the HTTP protocol which is unreliable for large file sizes. The new feature uses FTP protocol which is the industry standard for file transfers over the internet; especially for large files. This requires no user action other than to check the new Upload checkbox when performing a standard Diary backup. After the backup completes, the file will be compressed and then uploaded to a secure location on the website. The user will be able to see the progress of the file upload and notified when it is complete.
  • Fixed bugs and various issues related to the Special Reports TAB found in the Reports window. Various counts produced some minor errors. These were found and corrected. Slight modifications to the window controls and other usability changes.
  • A new Range and Comments popup window, available from the second Reconcile Sightings window, the Checklist Editor (new “R” button), and the Cross-Reference window (available in many places in Birder’s Diary). This new window displays the Cornell/Clements range comments and revision notes (e.g. splits, lumps, etc) for a selected species and any subspecies depending on the taxonomy being used at the time. This window can be resized to any size and moved to any location. It will remember these settings and use them the next time it is displayed. The notes displayed will from the latest version of Clements present in your database.
    • This window will show all things from the selected taxonomic list in the same Genus as the selected Thing. For example, if you were to ask for information on Treron axillaris amadoni (a subspecies of the Philippine Green-Pigeon) using the Clements 6.7 taxonomy, you would get all things (species and subspecies) in the genus Treron, according to Clements 6.7.
    • In addition, the specific thing asked for, will scroll into view and be highlighted in red text (see above).
    • Also, key words (e.g. split, lump, delete, etc.) in the description will be bolded and colored orange for easy recognition.
    • To access this information/window from places other than the Reconcile window, use the cross-reference window. The cross-reference window is available from many locations (usually via a popup menu displayed by clicking your secondary mouse button on a window) such as both sightings entry windows, taxonomy viewer, checklist editor, etc. To display this new window from the cross-reference window, simply select a row in the cross-reference window.
    • To display the cross-reference window from places such as the Taxonomy Viewer, right-click on a species or subspecies and choose “Cross reference selected thing”
  • To initiate a Desktop Sharing session, the user no longer has to go to Many users found the intricacies of downloading a program (DiaryTechSupport.exe) from the web site to be a complicated task due to how different browsers perform this action and to how difficult it is to find and run the file after downloaded. This is an evolved feature of most browsers intended to protect users from malicious programs downloaded over the internet.
    You can now initiate this from within the Birder’s Diary application. To get to this new feature:
    • Click on the “?” toolbar icon on the main Birder’s Diary window.
    • In the window that comes up, choose option #6, Desktop Sharing.
    • Read the instructions before use please.


April, 2012 v3.7.75 and later …!

  • Added ability to change preferred common name for any thing from the Taxonomy Viewer. You can specify any Common Name and it will be added as an alias to the thing in question and set as the preferred common name for the tax list in the viewer. This is available via a popup menu by selecting a species or subspecies in the treeview and right-clicking for the popup menu.
  • Brought back the “Check off things already seen” to the Checklist report. It works in combination with the new highlight lifers feature introduced in 3.7. It will show you 3 different kinds of marks depending on when and where you saw something. a) if you saw it at the checklist location, this year; b) if you saw it at the checklist location, not in this year; and c) if you saw it outside the checklist location. These things will NOT be marked if you are highlighting all 3 levels of lifers – as that information is redundant. Also, the number of things checked off will be reported, and a key at the bottom left of the report will indicate the marks for the three different kinds of sightings.
  • Fixed bug in Locations import that fails with RTE 3022 when you have duplicate child/parent import records in the import file. Duplicates are now ignored.
  • Fixed bug in Trip maintenance window that reports “run-time error 3014 – cannot open more tables”.

March, 2012 v3.7.66 and later …!

  • Improved algorithm for free-form checklist data import process. Improves name matching and shows common names in Analysis window instead of internal thing names!
  • Also, on the free-form checklist data import process, improved name-matching time required by 250%! And, allow the user to import directly from the Copy/Paste buffer instead of from a text file created by the Copy/Paste.
  • Added new feature to Checklist Sightings Entry Setup – the ability to highlight (e.g. Bold) things NOT SEEN. In prior versions, things already seen were always highlighted. Customers asked for the option to do the opposite, highlight things NOT SEEN. There is now a new option for this in v3.7.71 and later.

January, 2012 v3.7.44 and later …!

  • Implemented new NEWS window that shows upon Birder’s Diary startup. It will contain news downloaded from the Birder’s Diary server notifying users of new releases and updates for the main program as well as taxonomic lists and other things. You can also access this window from the Help menu.
  • Created new automated import process in Birder’s Diary! It will recognize when you have downloaded a new taxonomic list (if such a condition exists each time you start Birder’s Diary) and ask you if you want it imported automatically. No more watching videos. One button and everything is imported. You can also access this feature from the Help menu. You can still use the manual process if you like.
  • The SmartSearch Find field on the Checklist Entry window no longer auto-searches. This causes problems with it trying to auto-match before you are done. It now has a search button to search for the name once you have finished entering it.
  • Checklist reports now allow you to only output those sightings which would be lifers.
  • Fixed error in Keyboard and Checklist Entry methods resulting in RTE 35605. This error only occurred when the Locations window was opened using the Location button on either Entry window. Then, closing and reopening the Entry window without first closing the Location window.
  • Fixed problem with the View/Edit window where refreshing after an edit to the top record caused that record not to shown.
  • Updated ABA Annual report thresholds.
  • New Matrix report for ABA All Locations report type; plus other new power features of this report type.
  • Updated AviSys conversion process. The new process is much more dynamic and promises 100% conversion accuracy. It works on all versions of AviSys from v4 on up!

November 18, 2011 v3.7.35 and later …!

  • Ability to export Location hierarchy to text file for viewing, editing or printing. You can select any node in your location hierarchy or WORLD. The list will be opened in your system’s default text editor (e.g. NotePad) for viewing, editing or printing. This feature is available from the Locations Window popup menu. You must first select a location to serve as the root of the export.
  • New Birder’s Diary News and Information window will display upon starting Birder’s Diary each time. This option can be set to only display whenever there is new information that you have not viewed before. It can also be manually brought up under the Help | Show Birder’s Diary News and Info menu option. This new window will keep you abreast of the latest minor and major releases of the program and give you a direct link to update immediately! It will also alert you to new taxonomic lists and/or newer versions of taxonomic lists. Again, it will offer links to purchase these updates and obtain them immediately. This will eliminate the need for recurrent email newsletters. It can also be used to alert users to important issues or concerns with Birder’s Diary.
  • Updated Sightings Import feature so that it will now accept scientific names as well as common names for import.
  • Fixed bugs wherein the Log Y and Highlight Today settings were not retained across uses.

October 18, 2011 V3.7.30 and later …!

  • Importing sightings from another source will now ask the user where to place unknown locations. You can reassign them to an existing location, create a new location and/or assign them to a specific parent. This prevents many Orphaned Locations that you later have to re-parent by hand after a large sightings import.
  • The Tax Filter window now gives you a Preset capability for pre-populating the Classification fields. This is a great help when you don’t know the classification from Kingdom to Species. After presetting the classification fields, you can then clear any field you want and all classifications below that will be cleared. Note: Pressing the Delete Key on your keyboard in any SmartSearch field clears that field.

August 14, 2011 V3.7.25 and later…!

  • Updated UDF (data type  = text) field such that, if you enter a filename (must contain a full file specification including drive letter and directory path or a relative path to your Birder’s Diary directory) or a web address (must start with “www.” or “http://”) into one of your UDF text fields, you can right-click on that field in the View/Edit Grid and have it automatically open your file or web address for you. This is valuable if you want to attach photos, Word Docs, text documents, web addresses, etc to a sighting. If the field contains a filename, the default program for the file (e.g. “.DOC” will be opened by WORD, .txt will be opened by NotePad, etc) will be activated and open the file specified. If the field contains a valid web address, your default browser will be opened to that address.
  • Redesigned the Split Wizard (Compare Taxonomic Lists) feature to be much more intuitive and useful. This feature will now correctly identify your most likely choices for a split or lump 95% of the time, and provide a list for you to choose from. This new design is going to greatly simplify you annual upgrades to taxonomic lists and making sure that your sightings all transfer correctly and quickly.

V3.7 initial release – March 2011

  • The notorious and infamous RTE 13 but that has been around since Vista – has finally been located and resolved. No more of these in v3.7!
  • New Checklist Editor
    Allows for much more efficient maintenance of world-wide checklist data.
  • Updated Checklist Import features
    Ability to import free-form checklist data for updating information in Birder’s Diary on which things occur where. Many more additional enhancements to checklist import/export functionality.
  • Updated and improved SmartSearch functionality.
  • Checklist Entry Find feature now resolves duplicate name matches.
  • Checklist Entry now allows you to modify column widths and have those modifications remembered.
  • View/Edit Sightings window allows you to create, save and restore unlimited number of layout definitions.
  • This updated Online Help Manual!!!
  • Updated Video Tutorials.
  • Updated Checklist Report options.
  • Fixed Checklist report options not being saved correctly.
  • Fixed Restore selection to allow restoring from read-only media
  • New feature available from the popup menu in View/Edit window that allows for thing cross-referencing
  • Allow for importing sightings from outside source based on scientific names and band codes in addition to common names.
  • Updated Petey dialog for each Birder’s Diary window
  • Enhanced checklist report formats when including subspecies
  • Ability to modify the layout of the Keyboard Sightings Entry window
  • Proper highlighting of “Highlight Things Already Seen” in Checklist Entry
  • Ability to specify a Name in View/Edit setup and have it match on all subspecies of specified tax list. In the past, you would only see the sightings of the thing specified. Now, if the selected tax list has subspecies and you have sightings of those subspecies, those sightings will be listed as well!
  • Ability to have background sightings report based on selected observer. (View | Options – Background TAB)
  • Fixed taxonomy refresh after editing tax list in Taxonomy Editor.
  • Ability to configure name matching in Keyboard Entry mode. You can specify any of the following: common name, scientific name or band code. In the past, matching was automatically done on all three. Now you can specify to match on only the types of names that you will enter.
  • Removed fixed formatting for Group By report fields in all report formats. You can now select the font, weight, color etc for any group by fields just as you would with the others. The background highlighting has been removed. You can also select to show counts or not for the group by fields.
  • You can now specify Underline and Strikethru attributes on report fields. This is available from the FONT button on the Output Columns subwindow of the report designer.
  • Fixed bug when trying to close Birder’s Diary while it is in a minimized state. It would hang.
  • New Quick Counts toolbar button that displays a window allowing you to quickly contain life/year counts for any location, observer or time-frame.
  • Fixed bug that incorrectly stored UDF fields of date, time or date/time types. The bug also caused problems when editing such fields.
  • Checklist reports now allow you to specify which location should be used for the options: “Include Only Things Not Seen” and “Check off Things Already Seen”. For example, you can ask for a checklist of Texas, but to check off things already seen from your backyard.
  • Fixed issue where clicking on Filter button on View/Edit window would result in View/Edit window being hidden behind other windows if any present.
  • Change caption of View/Edit window to include first selected taxonomic list selected in Filter window. This also shows up in the Window menu. Also, on the bottom of the View/Edit window, it shows all selected taxonomic lists.
  • In previous versions, importing sightings into Birder’s Diary required that the name in the import file contain internal Birder’s Diary thing names. With 3.7, this option still works best for importing files created by exporting sightings from Birder’s Diary. Now, you have the option of importing sightings files which have taxonomic common names in them. This greatly improves the process of importing sightings previously kept in other programs or in spreadsheets.
  • Two new abundance graph reports! Nice reports that work on your existing sightings data collected for any location, observer, etc.
  • Fixed issue when doing a Restore operation on the Birder’s Diary database. The Restore operation closes Birder’s Diary and forces you to restart it manually.
  • Fixed issue with new Checklist Editor that allowed the user to inadvertently and unknowingly remove checklist data for a given location. Now, the name search/add field is not activated until the user clicks the Load button.
  • Fixed issue with end-dates on multiple screens. If a sighting was entered with a time other than the default of “0000”, then that sighting would not be captured by the View/Edit window or any reports if the end date was the same date as the sighting. That is because it was specifying an end-date of “mm/dd/yyyy 0000”. Now, unless a time is specifically set by the user, any end-date is appended with “2359”.
  • Fixed a bug in the Checklist Entry method that occurred when a time was specified along with the date. It reported an error even though the sighting(s) was entered correctly.
  • Added new features for taxonomic list creators. These new features help the taxonomy creator in Birder’s Diary maintain the annual updates with much greater ease. These features will not be visible nor available to the average user. If you are a taxonomy creator or want to be, contact support for information on how to enable these features.
  • Added new Split Wizard feature to help users migrate to updated versions of taxonomic lists. It shows you possible sightings that may be orphaned and require reassignment when going from an older version of a taxonomic list to a newer one – and assists you and making those reassignments. It also shows you the changes between versions of taxonomic lists. You can export changes to a CSV file and open that in a text editor or a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. Here is the problem that this new window assists the user in solving… when you upgrade, for example, from Clements 2008 to Clements 2009 you need to know if any of the changes from the old version to the new version affect any sightings you have; specifically, have any of the sightings you recorded against the older version been orphaned because things were lumped? This new window’s default settings will show you all such sightings you may have and assist you in reassigning those sightings. In addition, you may wonder why your life list count went up or down. This will show you things you have sightings for which may have been split or lumped thereby affecting your life list count.
  • Updated the Sightings report type to highlight lifers (World, Year-birds and location lifers) for any sightings report. This is an optional feature that you can turn on or off. Highlight none, one, two or all three categories of lifers. It also counts each category and puts the totals in the report header. You can select the highlight colors you want to use if you don’t like the defaults. In the example below, yellow highlight designates an ‘Annual Lifer’ (first of the year at the report location) and the green highlight designates a ‘Location Lifer’ (first time this species has been seen at the report location). ‘World Lifer’ indicates first time the species has been seen anywhere.
  • Family and Order descriptions (in English) are updated and complete now. And this new feature will allow them to stay updated from release to release.
  • Added Taxonomy and Location filters to Sightings Export functionality. Now you can be more specific about the sightings you want to export and share.
  • Updated Checklist report type to highlight potential lifers for your checklist location (World, Year-birds and location lifers). This is optional and you can turn on or off any of the three. You can set your highlight colors. It also counts each requested category and puts the totals in the report header. Now you can go out and target the birds you want more easily.
    Header Counts:

    Highlighting: (note: the checkbox outlined indicates that it would be a ‘world annual’ sighting as well.)
    Footer legend:
  • Added ability to adjust right margin of report from 0.5″ to 1.5″ from edge of paper. Default = 0.5″.
  • Corrected problem with Life List Disabler setting on user-defined fields (UDF). In the past, if you changed this value on a Yes/No UDF field, your sightings would not be updated to reflect this change. This is now corrected.
  • Fixed bug in the Language/Region Editor. When applying a name-set to a taxonomic list more than once, an error would occur at the end of the process. The error did not affect the application of the name-set to the taxonomic list, but it forced Birder’s Diary to close and you had to restart it. This has been fixed.
  • Review/log window for Sightings Entry (keyboard mode). A new optional window is displayed when in keyboard (text) entry mode for sightings. It allows you to see the sightings you have entered during the current session, and edit/delete any of those sightings as you go.
  • Improved “Select Thing from Ambiguous Name” window. Made it more intuitive; easier to understand and use.
  • Fixed bug in Location import where Comments in import file were not stored and habitat, description and comments fields contained incorrect data.
  • Fixed bug in Sightings Entry Setup window. If you do not specify a location filter and had previously ignored the warning message concerning this, it will ignore the Continue button when you click it.
  • Updated and improved ambiguous name checking. Performance is much better; user selection is much more friendly and intuitive.
  • New Web Search feature allows you to search Wikipedia or Google for any name (Common or Scientific) in your database; or any thing whatsoever you want to search for. It auto-launches your default browser with your search string to either Wikipedia or Google.
  • The toolbar has been revamped with new images and your choice of two sizes. Since 3.5 the toolbar buttons have been 64×64 which resulted in very large buttons taking up lots of space. On small screens, the buttons would disappear of the right side. The new default buttons are 32×32 with an option of reducing them even further to 16×16. Text labels have been removed to further reduce the real estate requirement; while the tooltip popups still occur in order to remind you what any button does.
  • Added Alt+F2 functionality to all SmartSearch fields. Pressing Alt+F2 will bring up the Web Search window pre-populated with the contents of the SmartSearch field. This allows for quick web searching on any text in any field; e.g. scientific name, common name, location name, etc.
  • New most recent sightings grid optionally displayed at the bottom of the main Birder’s Diary window! You can configure the sightings by observer(s), location, and multiple taxonomic lists. You can also set the number of sightings automatically displayed each time you start Birder’s Diary from 20 to 250. You now always know exactly what you have recently seen, every time you start Birder’s Diary. You can modify the size of each field and the height of the grid area. You can also edit any sighting in the grid.The configuration for this setup is available under View | Options, Background TAB.

    Once you configure the grid, it will always come up with those settings whenever you start Birder’s Diary. Or you can quickly show/hide the grid from a new popup menu available on the main window.

  • Fixed bugs in Options window, Background TAB wherein settings for the background report were not properly restored each time. Also corrected the Taxonomy dropdown and ordering of fields.
  • Upon modifying sightings records, Lifer counts were not updated at the bottom of the main window. They are now updated when edits are made to sightings.
  • New background Lifer Bars can be configured and displayed for any combination of observer, location and taxonomic list. Each Lifer Bar shows the total species to be found at a location (as long as there is checklist data for that location), the observer’s lifetime number of species seen at that location and the observer’s number of species seen at that location for the current year. You can configure as many bars as you like and determine when they get updated (each bar requires about 1-2 seconds to recalculate after sightings entry). The data is either refreshed after data entry, or manually when you choose. It does not delay startup of Birder’s Diary as that data is pre-calculated from the previous events.
  • Outputting reports to eMail or Text format now places the contents of the entire report into your Windows paste buffer. Using Ctrl+V will paste the report into your editor or eMail program.
  • Exporting multi-column reports now produce more reasonable output where fixed-width spacing lines up the columns correctly. In the past, horizontal Tabs were used to format which create a ragged column appearance. If pasting a report in text format into an email, make sure you convert that pasted text to a fixed width font (e.g. Courier) for a readable and consistent layout.
  • Updated Report Print Review window. Rearranged buttons and features to make using it more intuitive. Hopefully we got it a bit better.
  • The old Ignore Years checkbox on Sightings Reports and View/Edit Sightings Setup windows has changed. It used to count Julian days of the year and therefore February 29th would count as a March 1st sightings on leap years. This checkbox has been changed to Seasonal. And it correctly counts days of the month as you would expect. In addition, the years in the specified date (when this checkbox is checked) act as limits. For example, if you checked the Seasonal checkbox, and specified beginning and end dates of “2/1/2000” and “3/31/2010” you would get all of your sightings for the months of February and March for the years 2000 through 2010. You can also specify dates that overlap a year boundary and get the results you would expect. For example, specifying “12/1/2000” and “1/31/2010”, you would get all of your December and January sightings from 2000 through 2010.