eBird reviewer utilities—browser extension

Kent Fiala

Version 1.3.35, released 3 March 2024

Link to install Firefox extension—Click link then “Add to Firefox”

Link to install Chrome extension—Click link then “Add to Chrome”

Link to install Edge extension—Click link then “Get”

This browser extension provides a number of enhancements for the eBird review web pages. Note that eBird review web pages are available only to eBird reviewers.

To install in your browser, just click the appropriate link above, and then "Add" or "Get".

The extension works with Firefox, Chrome, or Edge on a desktop or laptop, and with Firefox on Android. Mobile support is unavailable on iOS due to Apple restrictions, and on Chrome due to Google restrictions.

What's new

(1.3.34) Red highlighting of stale values

(1.3.33) Now available for Android Firefox

(1.3.31) Back button for Quick Review

Enhancements for the Review Observations page (traditional review)

Added functions pull-down

Showing the position of the Add-ons button

At the top of the Review Observations page, the extension adds a hyperlink labeled "Add-ons".

Showing the Add-ons menu when opened

When you hover the mouse pointer over "Add-ons", a list of clickable links to added features pops up. You can click the feature that you want to use.

These are the added features accessible from this list:

Display enhancements

Per record enhancements

Keyboard enhancements

It is now possible to perform all actions on the Review Observations page without using the mouse.

When you press the up or down arrow keys, one row of the table will have a brown background, which moves up or down with the arrow keys. This is similar to but independent of the yellow background color that is displayed for the row that the mouse pointer is on. I say that the highlighted row has "keyboard focus" because keyboard input acts on this row, as described below.

Pressing the "Home" key or "End" key moves the keyboard focus to the first or last row, respectively. Once a focus row has been initialized, clicking on any row moves the focus to that row.

When you press certain letter keys, an action is performed on the row that has keyboard focus, as shown in the table below.

EnterToggles the comment and media rows open or closed
xThe selection checkbox will be toggled checked or unchecked.
sOpens the Submission page
bOpens the Birds of the World page
uOpens the User window
qOpens Quick Review
fOpens the Filter page
hOpens the History page
cOpens the Checklist
escDisables keyboard focus, removing these special keystrokes. For example, it restores Ctrl-F to "Find" instead of "Open Filter". (But note that you can also use F3 for Find.)

For most keystrokes that open pages, the page opens in the current tab. If you want it to open in a new tab, press "Ctrl" with the key.

When you press the "j" key, you Jump to the "Review decision" pull-down. You can then use the arrow keys to select "Accept" or "Mark Unconfirmed". Then press the tab key to move to the "Reason" input and again use the arrow keys to select a reason code. Then tab to the "Notes" input and finally tab once more to the "Change" button, which will be highlighted when you tab to it. While it is highlighted, you can press Enter to submit.

In the "Reason" pulldown, you can use first-letter keys to jump to a reason code. Thus, pressing "d" once or twice takes you to "Documentation-Field Notes" or "Documentation-Photo/Video/Audio", pressing "r" jumps directly to "Record-Not exceptional" and "s" jumps to "Species-Known to be at location". If you are keyboard-oriented, once you get the hang of it, this is faster than mousing.

(Note that in this last paragraph I am mainly just describing native features of the standard application. Only the "Jump" action and the "Change" highlighting are uniquely provided by the extension.)

Select all. If you press the up arrow when keyboard focus is on the top row. select all mode is activated. All visible rows are checked as if you had clicked the “select all” checkbox. At this point you can press the J key to Jump focus to the “Review decision” input. If you press any other key besides J, the select all is canceled and the rows revert to their previous checked state.

Enhancements for Quick Review

A set of enhancements for Quick Review appear between the top panels and the “DOCUMENTATION” heading, as illustrated below.

Screenshot showing new features

One other enhancement:

Back button for Quick Review NEW

A “Back” button is paired with the “Skip” button on the Quick Review page.

Back and Skip are not precisely complementary; they work slightly differently.

Key things to know:

  1. I refer to two queues. What I call the “Quick Review queue” is the subset of the Review Queue that standard Quick Review presents in sequence. Deferred records and records with no documentation are in the Review Queue but not the Quick Review queue, because Quick Review skips them. Unconfirming, deferring, or accepting a record removes it from the Quick Review queue; skipping keeps it in this queue. This extension has no control over the Quick Review queue.
  2. This extension implements a new “Backward queue”. Each record that is viewed in Quick Review is added to the Backward queue when you go to the next record. Clicking Back successively goes to previous entries in this queue. Clicking back can take you to any previous record, even ones that you have just removed from the Review Queue and/or Quick Review queue. Clicking back on a record removes it from the Backward queue.
  3. When you click Back, you switch from the Quick Review queue to the Backward queue, and thus the first time that you perform Accept, Defer, Unconfirm, or Skip on any record you've gone back to, you will exit Quick Review and go back to the Review Observations page. You will not go to the next record in the Quick Review queue, as would be the case if you hadn't used Back.
  4. When you re-enter Quick Review, you retain any Backward queue from a previous session. Moving forward adds records to this queue, as described above, and clicking Back moves backwards through this queue. When you exhaust the queue of newly-added records (by returning to the record at which you entered), you can still click back and you will jump to the last entry of the previous Backward queue retained from the previous session.
  5. I envision people accumulating Backward queues of perhaps hundreds or thousands of records, so I arbitrarily limit the length to 25 records. If you add a 26th record, the oldest record is removed, keeping the length at 25.
  6. If you close your browser entirely, any remaining Backward queue is discarded.

The Back button function somewhat supersedes the earlier Recall feature. For now, I am retaining both features, as they have some differences.

Enhancements for Quick Review email

Enhancement for the History page

There is one addition to the History page.

Showing the eBird species map button on the history page

At the upper right corner is a link labeled “eBird species map for season”. This is the same map link as described under Enhancements for Quick Review, and it shows distribution of accepted records for the species in the vicinity of the checklist location, during the months around the checklist's date.

Enhancements for the Filter page

When you enter any of county, state, or country on the search page, the entered values become “sticky”, that is they persist until you change them. Searching is much faster with geography narrowed down, and having geographic parameters pre-filled saves even more time. This feature is on by default, but it can be turned off.

Enhancement for the Search Results page

If a search returns fewer results than the maximum that can be displayed, the standard interface shows that it is displaying the maximum number of results. This extension shows the actual number of results

Display of number of search results

All links provided by this extension open in new windows (or new tabs). I advise against following links forward or backward from any of these windows; it gets confusing. For best results, just close the window when you finish with it and go back to the original window.

I also have some other browser extensions and web applications that enhance eBird in various ways. You might find them of interest as well.