You are here

Search and Replace Bird List Humor

This may not make as much sense to those who aren't birders but I enter all my birding data into an Access database (and later to a MySQL database - jb-bird) using the 4 letter alpha codes that bird banders use. Lately I've also been uploading all my data to eBird which is a website that makes good use of all that kind of birding data and makes everyones data available to anyone interested.

Its great for keeping up with bird sightings all over the US and even elsewhere. Unfortunatly eBird uses the birds full names instead of the 4 letter codes so I have to either explain to eBird that ROST is Roseate Tern, RECR is Red Crossbill, RTHU is Ruby-throated Hummingbird. SNOW is Snowy Owl, and CORE is Common Redpoll (remember these 5 code-name pairs) or I can change them myself. I've opted to do the latter using a little (not so clever after all) search and replace. I'm doing the search and replace within Excel after querying the data out of Access. I made the mistake of not checking the "match entire cell contents" box when doing this which led to some funny results. The project goal was simply to search and replace the 4 letter codes with the birds full name but in addition it changed my birding locations and some of the birds full names which had already been changed earlier.

This led to such interesting species as Least Sanderlingpiper, Pectoral Sanderlingpiper, LaWrentitce's Goldfinch, Bufflehead-breasted Sanderlingpiper, and Snowy Owly Egret. Some of the locations that I've birded got changed too. Examples include the town of Frostburg where I live which became "FRoseate Ternburg". The Core Arboretum in Morgantown, West Virginia became "Common Redpoll Arboretum" even though I've never even seen Redpolls there ! Arthurdale, West Virginia became ARuby-throated Hummingbirdrdale. The best one was the Laguna Mountains Recreation Area in California. It became the "Laughing Gullna Mountains Red Crossbilleation Area". I couldn't stop laughing.

Its all fixed now and the file is (I think) ready to upload to eBird. Yay !