New Boxborough Birders Web Site

Goals for the new design:

  • reduced web hosting costs
  • responsive design for viewing on mobile devices
  • theme (design template) that uses image dimensions that work well with photos of birds (square or portrait, rather than wide landscape)
  • showcase member photographers, with photos in the design and in photo galleries

Choices for Themes

  • Adaption (good)
  • Bushwick (good)
  • Imbalance 2 (header image dimensions good)
  • Publish (good header image dimensions)
  • Fiore (good header image, color choices limited, menu problematic)
  • Twenty Twelve (wide header image)
  • Writr (no menu for static pages?)
  • Zoren (wide header image)
  • Responsive (difficult to arrange desktop design)
  • Skylark (wide header image)
  • Expound (wide header image)
  • Sight (wide header image)
  • Skeptical (wide header image)
  • Origin (wide header image)
  • San Kloud (header image wide)
  • Hatch (wide header image)
  • Next Saturday (wide header image)
  • Widely (header image somewhat wide)
  • Ascetica (header image wide)
  • Esquire (no header image)
  • Coraline (current theme on old site, wide header image)

Notes about header image size: “While you can crop images to your liking after clicking Add new image, your theme recommends a header size of 345 × 240 pixels.”

This is a sample blog post. For the current Boxborough Birders blog, visit


Heath Hen Meadows, September 6, 2014

Heath Hen Meadows, September 6, 2014. Photo by Susan Page.

Heath Hen Meadows, September 6, 2014. Photo by Susan Page.

Today the Boxborough Birders Group explored Heath Hen Meadows in Acton. We walked from Mt. Hope Cemetery down to the bridge and across the end of Robbins St., then back partly by a different trail. Pine warbler, flickers, and many bluebirds were among the highlights.

Full bird list:

How to merge a personal location with a hot spot in eBird

In eBird, you may find that a public hot spot has been created for a location where you already have recorded sightings in a personal location.  The easiest way to reassign your reports from your personal location to the hot spot, is to merge your location into the hot spot.

  1. In eBird, go to the My eBird tab.
  2. Click on the Manage My Locations link on the right.
  3. Find the location you want to merge, and click on the Edit link in that row on the right.
  4. Your location will be shown with a green marker.
  5. Choose the Merge radio button. Any nearby hot spots will be shown with red flame markers.
  6. Click on the hot spot you want to merge your location with. The screen will show how many checklists will be merged (e.g. “Merge 2 checklists with Acton Arboretum”).
  7. Click on the Merge button, and confirm.


Steele Farm Oct 27, 2013

It was a cold but beautiful autumn morning for a visit to Steele Farm in Boxborough. When we arrived, a red-tailed hawk was sitting at the top of one of the dead trees with the morning sun directly on it, and it hung around long enough for Ginny to capture the photos below.

A Cooper’s hawk made a very brief appearance at the edge of the woods. Yellow-rumped warblers were everywhere, and we watched a large flock of them flitting through the woods eating poison ivy berries. A large bird with pointed wings and shallow wing beats flew over, possibly a peregrine falcon.

Click on the images below for larger views.

eBird Hotspot Explorer

eBird has introduced a new feature called the Hotspot Explorer.  It lets you zoom in on a map to see where all the hotspots are in a given area and compare the number of species recorded at each hotspot.

eBird Hotspots in and near Boxborough, Mass. (click for larger view)

eBird Hotspots in and near Boxborough, Mass. (click for larger view)

Species counts at various hotspots near Boxborough as of September 12, 2013:

Great Meadows – Concord 241
Bolton Flats WMA 202
Oxbow NWR 162
Assabet River NWR 156
Drumlin Farm 150
Kaveski Farm 141
Nine Acre Corner 130
Estabrook Woods 129
Nagog Pond 118
Hanscom Field 102
Jenks Land 97
Delaney WMA 94
Minuteman Trail 91
Littleton Heron Rookery 81
School St Fields 77
Rolling Meadows 72
Concord Rotary Prison Fields 61
Long Lake Park 54
Nara Park 16
Acton Arboretum 13

Read more about the Hotspot Explorer.

Sharing eBird Sightings

These instructions are for anyone who wants to share eBird sightings with others, but especially for Boxborough Birders Group trip leaders.

eBird Sharing Options

eBird Sharing Options

You’ve just had a great morning of birding, rushed home to record your list in eBird, and now you want to tell everyone about the exciting birds you saw, but the options can be confusing.  After you submit your sightings to eBird, there will be some options at the upper right. There are two ways to send your sightings to others, depending on whether they were with you on the trip and whether they use eBird, and you want to make sure you choose the correct option for what you want to do.

Share w/Others in Your Party 

Do not use the Share w/Others option to send your sightings to the entire Boxborough Birders Group. Use it only to share the list with people who were there with you on the trip. (Or more precisely, use it only to send to people who were with you, and use eBird, and whose email address you know.)  If you try to share an eBird list with someone who does not use eBird, they will not be able to see the list at all.

Email Yourself

For everyone else, the best way to go is to use the Email Yourself button to send the list to yourself first. Then you can forward the email to the entire group and they will be able to read it.

Nearest Sightings of a Species

Here is an interesting web site that shows you the nearest sightings of a bird species to a given location:

The data is drawn from eBird. To use the site, first drag the yellow dot to your chosen location:


Chose a species and adjust the other settings if you want:


Here are some resulting maps, as of early June 2013.

Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo

Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Note: If you search for certain species, such as warblers, you may get an error. I think the scientific names have changed and the web site hasn’t caught up yet.