eBird to AviSys checklist import (Version 1)

Note: To be current with eBird, install the current Taxonomy Update for AviSys.

File upload

Click to upload the selected checklist(s).
Options Summarize by

What's this?

What it is

eBird to AviSys checklist import will convert one or more (up to 20) eBird checklist files (in csv format) into an AviSys stream file with which you can import the data into AviSys (Version 6).

What you do

  1. Download an eBird checklist (by going to My eBird->Manage My Observations->View or edit->Download). Save the csv file on your computer.
  2. In the “File upload” form above, select the downloaded checklist file and click “Upload”. You can upload multiple eBird checklists in one batch. Each time you select a file, a new button for selecting another file is added. When you've selected your last file, click “Upload”.
  3. On the next screen that you see, each eBird location that is in your input will be displayed. If the corresponding AviSys place has a different name, you can enter the correct AviSys place name. Then click the “Do it!” button that you will see. More details on this screen will be shown when you get there.
  4. Your AviSys stream file will be downloaded. Save it on your computer, then run Avisys to import it.
  5. That's it!

About species names

If AviSys does not recognize a species name while importing a stream file, it will skip that sighting record. (It will tell you!) You might want to edit the csv file before uploading it, to make sure that all species names that will go into the stream file are ones that will be recognized by AviSys. Important: if you edit the file in Excel, be sure to save it back in csv format, not as an xls or xlsx file!

One prominent difference between eBird names and AviSys names is that eBird accepts certain names with parenthetic qualifiers, e.g., “Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)”. You don't need to worry about these cases! eBird to AviSys checklist import will remove the parenthetic part of the name and insert it at the beginning of the AviSys comment.

Another difference is that eBird allows “sp” entries. You can either delete these before importing, or just let AviSys ignore them.

Finally, there might be some real differences between the nomenclature of eBird and AviSys, depending on timing of updates, etc. If you know about any such differences in advance, you can alter names in your csv file before uploading. Otherwise, AviSys will skip the unrecognized name during the import, and you will need to enter the record manually, using the name that AviSys recognizes.

Can I import from other sources?

You should be able to import any validly formatted csv file that contains at least four columns headed "species", "count", "location", and "date" or "observation date", and optionally a "comments" column and/or a "country" column. The order of columns and presence of other columns does not matter. The date can be in most any recognizable format.

What about eBird's “Download My Data”?

eBird provides a feature to download all of your eBird data in one file. eBird to AviSys checklist import will process that file too! However, if you are going to import a large amount of data all at once, you really should set up a test data set in AviSys and do a dry run of importing the data there before you commit to importing it to your real AviSys database.

What's a stream file?

Read the tutorial on using AviSys stream files to import data if you are not familiar with the process.

Summarize by location or checklist

When you upload your checklists, but before you generate the AviSys stream file, eBird to AviSys checklist import gives you a summary of what you have uploaded. By default, the summary is by location. In other words, no matter how many checklists you upload for a location, the summary will only have a single entry for the location. This is "Summarize by location". In the summary form, you have the option to enter a global comment that will be added to all observations for that location.

Sometimes you might prefer to be able to enter a custom comment for each checklist rather than for each location. In that case, select "Summarize by checklist", and the summary will contain an entry for each checklist. Each entry will display the time and effort data for the checklist, so that you can recognize it.

Whichever type of summary you choose, the generated stream file will be the same, except for anything that you enter in the Global comment field.

"Summarize by checklist" requires that the csv file has columns headed "Start time", "Duration", and "Distance". Checklists downloaded directly from eBird meet this requirement.

eBird locations vs. AviSys places

In many cases, your eBird location names may not match up exactly with your AviSys place names, and you will need to manually enter your corresponding AviSys place name for each eBird location. As a convenience, eBird to AviSys checklist import remembers AviSys places from one session to the next. Once you "train" it by entering the AviSys place name for an eBird location, the name pairing will be saved for future use. The Places data is stored locally in your browser. This has a couple of consequences.


AviSys can only record dates between Jan 1, 1930 and Dec 31, 2029. Any dates older than 1930 will be recorded with a year of 1930. Dates after 2030 will be recorded with a year 100 years earlier.

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Questions or comments?