How to make a 5MR Shopping List

EDIT: There are easier ways… :

After I wrote this, these two really easy methods popped up. Man, they are easy. I don’t like the way they display data as much as the csv format in my directions below, but… they are easy. Check em out:

https://birding.ninadthakoor.com/5mrplanner.php
or this place
http://www.chicorylane.com/ebird

So, you want to take the easy path, and just chase the best birds that have been seen in the 5 miles around your house?

You are lazy, and you should feel bad.
I know I do.

Anyway, here is how to find all of the birds that have been seen in the last 30 days in the five miles surrounding your house on eBird. Big thanks to Dick Vreeland for writing the API I am using in order to create this shopping list.

Step one. Find out your latitude and longitude.
Need help? Here is a link: Latlong.net

Got that, great, now you need to enter it in this fancy shmancy code thingy:

https://ebird.org/ws1.1/data/obs/geo/recent?lng=-122.570000&lat=45.530000&dist=8&back=30&maxResults=10000&locale=en_US&fmt=xml&fbclid=IwAR2gNjLeKRyGbuv-chcR461kYAPf_XKLo3rIvkxA-u0ELDEzlS5ocYbdsnA

See the lng= and lat= part? This is the number you are supposed to replace with the latitude and longitude of your house (if it is not working, make sure there are not empty spaces copied at front or back of the url). If you are in North America, the first number is a negative… Don’t mess it up!

It might be easiest to copy/paste this link somewhere, and edit it there.

Once you have the correct link up top, with your lat/long, copy that new link, and go here to the XML to CSV converter: http://convertcsv.com

Choose the enter url tab, and paste the link you edited

From here, it is as easy as pushing the “Load URL” button and exporting this to a csv file. I open these CSV files using google sheets, but you can use excel, or any open source spreadsheet program.

You did it! You are now free to do with this spreadsheet whatever you want! It should contain all of the birds that have been seen in the last 30 days in the 5 miles around your house, and their locations, regardless of the county/state they are in.

Feel free to make some new bookmarks of the links I provided to make this easier for yourself. I know I have been running through this process every night. I am getting fast!

Here is a snipit of what my 5mr info looks like once it has been turned into a spreadsheet:

There are about 5 columns of info that aren’t super helpful, but it tells you the birds seen, the date, and the location. From here, you can prioritize whatever you think is important and sort the information as you see fit.

Bird up!

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