FAQs - using GBW Online

Why do I have to let you know whether I record other wildlife? 

It's important for us to know if you are looking out for other wildlife in your garden. Recording other wildlife is optional, so if you don't record any butterflies (for example) we wouldn't know if you were choosing not to record them, or if you didn't see any. Therefore if you tell us that you are looking out for butterflies, but you don't submit any, we know that this counts as 'zero'.  You can find out more about the importance of this in an article by Kate Risely. To make this easier, you are able to set your preferences by clicking 'edit my details', which is just below your GBW number on the right-hand side of the screen. 

How often should I enter my counts?

We would like you to enter your counts regularly, ideally weekly. However, it doesn't matter if you don't make a list every week, and it's also ok if you don't submit your data every week

Why am I getting a warning message when I submit my count?

The warning message is just to ensure that no records were ticked or entered in error. It will highlight any species seen either in an abnormally large number, a species that isn't regularly recorded in gardens in a certain area, or if a species was seen "out of season". If you are certain your records are correct, please ignore this and proceed with submitting your count. 

How can I update my email address?

You can do this by clicking on the MY DETAILS button on your GBW Data Home Page. Simply add your new email address in the box provided and click on the button to make the change. If it does not look as if it has been updated, click on the page refresh button on your web browser.

Why do I sometimes get asked for my Username and Password and not at other times?

If, when you first logged in, you ticked the 'remember my login on this machine' box, you will have enabled a small bit of code (called a 'cookie') to hold your login details. Each time you access the system, it checks for this cookie and, if present, it will take you straight in. If you did not set up this option, or if you have cleared out your cookies, then you will be asked to login. The cookie only lasts for 12 months.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of text that are stored on your computer that allow the BTO to recognise who you are. They are only used to store your BTO username and password. This facility, if enabled on your computer, makes it easier for you to access the surveys as they do not have to login while moving between different surveys, nor should you have to login again if returning to the site after some time.

Why do I need to register with BTO Surveys?

Anyone who wishes to take part in any of the BTO Online surveys must register for a specific Username and Password. The registration process is a one off (you should not have to repeat it!) and asks only a few details. You cannot access any of the surveys without registering. Having your own username and password gives you access to your own records.

Your site does not work well using some browsers

We have developed the website so it can be used by as many browsers as possible. We are aware that some older versions of some browsers may still have problems. We would appreciate if you do experience problems, that you could contact us (web.support [at] bto.org (subject: I%20am%20having%20a%20problem%20with%20GBW%20Online) ) with details of what exactly happens and we will do our best to help you.

I've forgotten my password and can't log on to Survey Home. What can I do?

You can request a new password here. As your password needs to have a certain amount of different characters in it, we suggest using a statement that starts and ends with a capital letter, and ends with a full stop. 

I've made a mistake when entering my data online. How can I edit it?

GBW Online has a correction facility that allows you to correct mistakes on records entered within the last few weeks.  From the GBW Data Home Page, click on: "VIEW/ EDIT WEEKLY COUNTS" in the "YOUR OPTIONS" box on the right of the page, to bring up the week that you wish to correct. You can select the week that you want from the calendar of ticks that comes up.  If it is recent enough, you will find that the correction links appear below the table of observations.  There is also an option that allows you to delete a whole week, so that you can start again if you wish.

Why is the Species List no longer in Alpahabetical Order?

Species will either be listed in Alphabetical ot Taxonomic order. However, the order can be changed in your account settings. To do this, click on: VIEW/ EDIT ACCOUNT DETAILS" on the top right hand side of the GBW homepage. Here, you will also be ale to remove certain Taxa from your weekly GBW count, change your species listings to be Alphabetical/ Taxonomical order, or change the layout of the screen from Horizontal to Vertical. We hope adjusting these settings can make things eaiser for you. 

Why does the Sunburst Diagram not show all the species of birds I have recorded in my garden?

The Sunburst Diagram is the large circular diagram that you see when you first log in to Garden BirdWatch online. Using statistics from our Garden BirdWatch data, the sunburst will only show the top 40 species of birds and other wildlife that are most commonly recorded by Garden BirdWatchers, rather than all of the species recorded by that user. We have to restrict the number of species included on the diagram, to avoid it becoming overcrowded.

If you would like to explore your own Garden BirdWatch data, the easiest way to do so is by clicking on the: "View All My Records" option on the right hand side of the Garden BirdWatch Survey Home screen.  

I am struggling to log in to Garden Wildlife Health, what should I do?

Please visit this page for more information on how to log in to Garden Wildlife Health.

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