[Tweeters] Updated Version of WA County Checklist Available

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 1 16:52:15 PST 2008

Hi Tweeters & Inland NW Birders –

I've just completed the latest update to the excel version of the WA County Checklist [this is the blank checklist you can use yourself, not the county year-list project I emailed about last week!]

This newest version of the excel-based county-by-county checklist of Washington birds is available online. The excel file can be found at:
(thanks Washington Birder, Laurie & Ken Knittle, for hosting this).

This version is based on the latest county first updates compiled by Washington Birder through September 2008. In addition to several county firsts, this latest update includes the addition of 2 new birds for the state list [Variegated Flycatcher and Hawaiian Petrel]. This brings the WA Birder state list to 501 species.

In addition, the newest version of this checklist incorporates the latest updates from the AOU checklist committee where relevant. For the most part, this entails a re-ordering of the gulls, with several changes at the genus level.

If you are looking for a quick reference for how common a given species is in any county, this excel file can be handy. Further, if you are interested in keeping track of your county lists, this file works as a checklist for each county and the state as a whole.

There are now 4 different sort orders available - the 'old order' [the way most books were long organized], 'newer order' [the most radical reordering the AOU completed that moved the geese up to the top of the order], the ‘2006 order' [based on AOU’s 47th supplement, with a few shuffles of the sort order], and now the ‘2008 AOU 49 Order’ with the gulls re-grouped. As needed, the list can be sorted back & forth between any of these. Beginning with the next update, I’ll probably eliminate a few of these sort orders to simplify things a bit.

Thanks again to the Knittle's for making this data available in Washington Birder, and thanks to those who have sent questions, comments or suggestions. Let me know if you have any problems working with the sheet or ideas for changes.

Finally, for anyone already using the old file who wants instructions on how to transfer your information from that one to this new one, read on (for everyone else, I'd recommend skipping the dry instructions that follow).

Short version: Use the same tax order to sort both your old file and the new one. Add blank rows the where new species will be inserted. Copy color-coded cells portion of old file, and paste "values" only into the new file [using paste-special].

Longer Step-by-step Explanation:

1. Download newest file from webpage and save under a different name than your own file]

2. Open both the new file and your old one.

3. Make sure both old and new files are sorted according to the same taxonomic order. To do this, select the entire file and click
'sort' from the 'Data' menu. Check the box for Header Row, then select the desired sort order in the top box, with the default setting of Ascending selected.

4. On your [old] file, insert blank rows [using the 'rows' option on the Insert menu] where new species will be added. For example, to make space for Variegated Flycatcher, insert a row beneath Ash-throated Flycatcher and above Tropical Kingbird. For Hawaiian Petrel, insert a row below Mottled Petrel and above Cook’s Petrel.

Those changes will leave your data ready for transfer.

6. On your [old] file, highlight all of the cells in the region with the color coding and press control-C to copy this section [or use the 'copy' option from the Edit menu]. In the present file (once you've added the blank rows for the new state species) this would be all the cells from F4 to AS502.

7. Click on the G4 cell in the new file, and then choose 'paste special' from the edit menu. In the dialogue box that opens, select 'values' under the paste section [instead of 'all']. It is important to paste only the values -- otherwise you will bring over all the old color codes too!

All your data should be pasted into the new file.

8. Do some double-checking to ensure the formulas are adding up to the same numbers they did in the old file. Also check to be sure you haven't brought over the old color codes [check a ‘county first’ like the Adams County Willet to confirm the square is now colored red instead of blank (white)].

That should do it. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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