Introducing filters and alerts for 'non-bird' taxa


Birders are, first and foremost, birders. However, in the summer months in particular, when birding is generally slow, many of us turn our attention to other walks of life within the natural world – butterflies, moths, dragonflies, flowers … and of course mammals can provide interest all year round.

Being no exception to this, the BirdGuides team has always valued receiving and broadcasting news of rare and unusual 'non-bird' finds, and we have recently been working hard behind the scenes to create a feature that makes reporting these as slick as possible.

As such, we're very pleased to announce that the latest enhancement to our news services – custom-built filters and alerts for non-bird taxa – is now live. This will allow you to build your settings and receive news of taxa from the following orders or classes, should you so wish:

  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Dragonflies & damselflies
  • Butterflies & moths

At this early stage, it's important to point out that any previously created filters/alerts you have in place will be automatically defaulted to our Birds taxonomy. Therefore, unless you want to start receiving news about any non-bird taxa, you won't have to make any changes at this moment in time.

You can build any combination of criteria covering non-bird taxa. For example, you might want to set up filters or alerts for certain butterfly species, but receive all news about unusual mammals. The new, non-bird taxa filters/alerts work in exactly the same way as the current incarnation does – with the criteria applied in the form of either Species or Rarity.

You will notice that there are now four – not three – dropdown boxes for each filter/alert trigger that you create. The second of these boxes is designated to select which taxonomy you wish to set up the alert for; the default is Birds, but you can also select Butterflies and Moths, Dragonflies and Damselflies, and Mammals.

You can create new email or text alerts to suit your non-birding needs! Choose any combination of species or rarity triggers. Remember, you can set up as many or as few different alerts as you wish, and switch any of them on or off at any time.

If you opt in to receive push notifications when setting up Filters for non-bird taxa, you can receive notifications such as the above.

Please note that, given the huge number of moth taxa (and the regularity with which new species turn up), we recommend that anyone wishing to receive news of all interesting moths should set up a rarity filter for Butterflies and Moths with the Ungraded rarity setting. If you wish to check the rarity level for any species, we suggest that you visit our Species Guide and search accordingly. Each species page has its relevant rarity status displayed below the species name, for example:


We are also very happy to receive news of unusual insect and mammal sightings from around Britain and Ireland: you can email sightings@birdguides.com, phone us on 0333 577 2473, or text BIRDS RPT followed by your message to 01915 804228. Alternatively you can tweet us (@BirdGuides).

As we progress into the spring and summer, we look forward to bringing you plenty of exciting non-bird news from around our isles – stay tuned by setting up your Filters and Alerts accordingly! In the meantime, if you have any questions or encounter any problems, please either call the office on 020 8881 0550 or email us at contact@birdguides.com.