Testing BUBO Listing online software

I have been looking for a nice online service for such a long time, which supports the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) taxonomy list. Finally BUBO Listing made it possible as announced in late July.

After many years of use I finally have given up waiting for the taxonomy updates of Clements and switched my list to IOC. I am satisfied with it as updates are posted several times a year. BUBO made adding my life list possible without any hassle of cross checking for different name variations. I’ve been keeping my IOC life list in Apple’s Numbers but now I give it up and going to use BUBO Listing exclusively to keep my lifers.

Adding a list to BUBO Listing is very easy – maybe too simple. When list is created the IOC world checklist appears in taxonomic order. What I like the most in this software, that it gives you the feeling of real ticking, as there are a checkbox next to every species. By ticking the checkbox saving starts instantly making the process a bit slow. There is some fields available where I can add more information to the lifer such as date of observation and the location info as well as any other comment. There is also a checkbox in every row for sensitive species. By ticking it species will be hidden for the public.


Rolling the mouse over the species name a bubble appears showing the range info for the species. This is a nice and space saving feature.

Here is my wishes what I would like to see in one of the next versions of BUBO Listing.

  • Adding more columns to a record (e.g. trip when the species was first seen, continent and country columns)
  • Simple country or regional checklist creation based on the same world list taxonomy. At the moment I cannot create a Western Palearctic list copied from my IOC list as only AERC, Dutch Birding and UK400 Club lists are available.
  • By adding a country column in the table of the world list ticked species should be copied automatically into different other lists I created (e.g. WP, Europe, Oriental, or South Africa etc.)
  • Enabling to create fancy charts of the checklist (like completed families or share of lifers by continents etc.)

I like the idea to create a badge for my blog or website where the selected lists (up to 2) are visible with the total number of lifers and the latest list addition. This is automatically updated when new species is added to the list. The badge is customisable and several size is available. More info about the steps of creation is here. Result can be sen on the bottom my blog.

BUBO Listing does the job when official taxonomy updates are available for IOC or any of the other lists. When update is posted the relevant list of “My Lists” turns yellow telling that I need to review my records. If I wanna improve my world list in a spreadsheet I still can export my list in three different format.

All in all I am satisfied with this software and all the above mentioned suggestions would just make it even better. By the way, while completing my list I found a seen but non-listed species, the Racket-tailed Roller,in my spreadsheet. My life list then turned 2,044 – nice armchair tick.


One thought on “Testing BUBO Listing online software

  1. Thanks for using BUBO Listing and we appreciate the feedback. You make some interesting points so I have added some specific responses below.

    > By ticking the checkbox saving starts instantly making the process a bit slow.
    We originally had it so that saving was only done when you hit a button after ticking all your species, although several people ended up forgetting to do so and consequently lost their changes. Now the “tick and save automatically” avoids this at the expense of being a bit slower. However, if you are entering full details for a record, e.g. location and date, you can alternatively use the “edit” button at the end of the row, which only saves when you have completed the whole record. We also hope to upgrade to a faster server soon!

    > Adding more columns to a record
    For simplicity we keep this consistent between all list types and so just have generic location and comments fields per record. For example, if you are entering a Hungary list you clearly don’t need to have continent or country columns, and for a world list you could include this into the location field. However it would give more flexibility for reporting so we’ll keep it in mind. (We have a long list of potential enhancements!)

    > I cannot create a Western Palearctic list copied from my IOC list as only AERC, Dutch Birding and UK400 Club lists are available.
    We do allow copying across authorities so it is possible, for example, to copy your IOC world list to create a new AERC WP list, and BUBO Listing will “drop” any species that are out of range or not present on the AERC taxonomy, and highlight to you any species that AERC recognise but IOC don’t. What you can’t do though is create an IOC WP list. This is because we tend to follow the principle that a “wide region” authority is not as authoritative when applied to a smaller region and where a more specific, and official, authority exists. Generally it is not desirable to have too many authorities per region because it makes it less interesting for comparing lists, as well as more work for the user to maintain their lists. (Three as for the WP is the maximum we have, although most regions/countries have just have one.)

    > By adding a country column in the table of the world list ticked species should be copied automatically into different other lists I created.
    We think one of the key strengths of BUBO Listing is our use of the most appropriate authority for any location worldwide. However, it is also the aspect that causes us the most difficulty for implementation! Yes we could have a country column but ideally you’d need to allow multiple countries to be specified, and because the taxonomies for your world list differ from the particular country list it’s not necessarily the case that a species can be added to both. To avoid having to maintain all your lists individually though we do have a method whereby a species can be added to multiple lists at one time, in which case we report back any taxonomic differences.

    > Enabling to create fancy charts of the checklist
    Nice idea, and something we have thought about although haven’t got around to implementing due to other priorities. Other examples are year list progressions (i.e. a graph of number of species against date) and bar chart comparisons of different list totals.

    One point I should make is that we aim to make BUBO Listing as quick and easy for a user to keep their lists. We have avoided making it a full-fledged sightings entry system since this is much more onerous for the user, as well as being more complicated to develop of course. Most importantly, other systems exist under the http://www.worldbirds.org banner where your data is directly used for conservation purposes – we encourage people to use these rather than duplicate data entry effort elsewhere. Reporting capabilities, including some of the points you mention above, should be more comprehensive and easier to develop in such a system though.

    Thanks again, and please do keep the feedback coming so that we can continue to expand BUBO Listing as users would like it to!

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