Spreading Our Wings: A New Reporting System

Harvey Tomlinson found and photo'd our first giant swallowtail of the year on August 28 at Coxhall Creek (Cape May Co).

Harvey Tomlinson found and photo’d our first giant swallowtail of the year on August 28 at Coxhall Creek.

As of today, September 1st, 2015, we have a new reporting system we are hoping you will try.

You may find that news so exciting that you want to skip the explanation here and jump immediately to the links at the bottom of this post. Go right ahead!

If you have used NABA’s Recent Sightings page to report butterflies there, our new system will look very familiar to you. Both were built by web designer David Reese — who also designed the Wisconsin butterflies site run by his father, Mike Reese, which has been collecting butterfly reports for more than a decade.

(Go here to see father and son’s wonderful site: Wisconsin Butterflies)

Mike also compiles the “Hot Seens” feature in American Butterflies each issue and moderates NABA’s Recent Sightings page.

David is now based in Philadelphia and contacted me last winter to see if we might be interested in adopting his system. Many of our veteran observers got together with him in February to see his Wisconsin site from the inside and were very impressed. We encouraged him to do what he could to create a similar site for the South Jersey Butterfly Project… and now, after much work by him (all entirely voluntary) incorporating and tweaking our eight years of data, customizing his design to our needs, and solving various difficulties, he has our new site up and ready for you to try.

David’s system has too many winning features to list all here. A few that jump out quickly:

Just Click: The feature you will notice first is that you need not type out (or copy and paste) common name, NABA code, and scientific name, e.g. “Eastern Tiger Swallowtail….21…Papilio glaucus…” Just click on the group name (“Swallowtails”) and choose Eastern Tiger from the drop-down menu.

Add Your Photos: The very neat feature you might notice next is that you can upload your photos directly — no urls needed. Just choose Image, browse to the photos on your PC, and upload. Other observers do not need to click on a link to see your shots — they are right there. And clicking on them enlarges them for easier viewing. Once you have uploaded them, they are saved on the server that hosts our new system.

Look Up Past Records: Go to the Sightings Archive to track down all past reports, going all the way back to our first year, 2008 — all with just a few clicks.

…and you will discover lots of other cool features!

The hope is that this new method will help expand our team by drawing in observers who enjoy butterflies but have not been comfortable logging their sightings in a spreadsheet mode. All of us know there are many butterfly enthusiasts in South Jersey who have not posted to our log. Now we have a new way to draw them in. Please let your friends know: “Check it out! It’s easy and fun!”

And we also hope the easier entering and the other features of this new system will encourage our veterans to continue to post their sightings. Our eight years of data is a wonderful record of active involvement by dozens of observers, many of them contributing hundreds and even thousands of observations over the years. The hope is the new system will keep them contributing for years to come.

Please note:

The system requires moderating. Just as on the NABA system, there will be a delay between the observer’s submission of the report and its appearance on the site.

Update:  As of 2020, the two Jacks below have been moderating for several  years.  If you would be interested in joining the team, please contact either of us.

Keep at it, everyone!

Jack Connor & Jack Miller

About Our New Site

South Jersey Butterfly Project Log-in Page

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