A hat tip and block of suet to Zen Birdfeeder, which tipped me off to the new release from the New York State Ornithological Association. The NYSOA has released its quarterly journal, The Kingbird, as a free searchable archive. The current archive contains 228 issues that span from 1950-2007 — that’s about 8 million words on almost 16,000 pages. You can get direct access to the journals at http://nybirds.org/KBsearch.htm.
This is a nice setup they’ve got organized on this page. You can browse through a list of the issues and download the ones you want (they’re PDF files and about 8MB each.) There are also four indexes you can download instead, if you’re looking for several things. And, there’s a keyword search engine too. There’s a specify query syntax to find regional reports and wildcards are supported.
I did a search for suet and got 212 results, from “A Sparrow Hawk Dines on Suet” to “Region 5 – Fall 1971”. The snippet with the search results only gives you a little context, and unless the date is referred to in the article title you’re going to have to figure out the issue of the Kingbird that’s being found via the file name on the PDF. Yup, these search results return pages as PDF files, though it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I wanted to check out “Short-eared Owls in a Suburban Housing Development” and the PDF downloaded quickly and was readable once I increased the zoom to about 150% (at 100% it was not readable at all on this monitor.)
Nicely done, NYSOA! A large archive of bird data that’s very easy to both browse and search through.