Traveler Readers Invited to "Test Drive" Prototype Website For Birding in the National Park System
OK, Travelers, this is your chance to add your input to how the National Park Service develops its websites. A prototype that revolves around birding in the parks is now in the testing phase, and we encourage you to see if it meets your demands!
As envisioned, this site can be a great tool for birders. Basically, you can view certified species lists, click on column headers to sort by that criteria, and download the data.
The detailed grid shows order and family in addition to the columns in the simple grid. If you click on a species name, it opens another page with information about that species. On that species page, the above-the-line NPS-specific information will include maps showing what other Park Service units that species is present or absent in, and there are additional buttons to search the NPS taxonomy service for other names, and the NPS documents catalog for documents, datasets, maps, images, about that species, either in that particular NPS unit, or in any NPS unit.
Additional links will lead you to external, but trusted, sources of information about the species, such as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
At first blush this seems like a great resource...although the technical woes that have troubled the Park Service's websites of late can test one's patience. Another possible shortcoming that hopefully can be addressed is a lack of images. While there are links that will take you to other sites that carry photographs of the birds in question, it'd be nice to see a photo next to the basic information provided for the species so you don't have to leave the NPS site.
So....check out the site, and leave your comments below. We'll see that the proper Park Service personnel see them.
Once the final version is developed, individual parks will be able to add a birding page that's specific to their park.