Birdata support and FAQs

  • Files must be uploaded in Comma Separated Values (CSV) format.
  • Two separate files must be provided: a survey file and a sightings file.
  • The first row of each file must contain column headings. The columns may be in any order. Unrecognized column names will be ignored.
  • The supported columns are listed in the tables below:
Column NameFormatNotes 
SurveyIDAlphanumeric (max 255 characters)A survey identifier which must be unique for the selected source. Typically this is a survey ID number from the original system in which the survey was recorded. This important reference is used to trace imported surveys back to their original source.


If the survey ID already exists in Birdata for a given source, then the survey will not be imported

LatitudeDecimal degrees (-90 to +90)Latitude of survey locationRequired
LongitudeDecimal degrees (-180 to +180)Longitude of survey locationRequired
AccuracyInMetresIntegerAccuracy of coordinates in metresOptional
SurveyPointNameText (max 255 characters)Name of survey location or shared siteRequired
StartDateDate (DD/MM/YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD)Date survey was performedRequired
FinishDateDate (DD/MM/YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD)Last date of survey (for multi-day surveys)Optional
StartTimeTime (HH:MM, 24 hour time)Time of surveyOptional
DurationInMinutesIntegerNumber of minutes spent surveying. For multi-day surveys, this should be the actual time spent surveying, not the entire survey period. For 2ha 20min surveys, this must be 20.Optional
NumberOfObserversIntegerNumber of observers participating in surveyOptional
SurveyTypeOne of:


  • 5_min_point_search
  • 2_ha_non_20_minute_search
  • 2_ha_search
  • area_search_within_500_m
  • area_search_within_5_km
  • bird_list
  • fixed_route_search
  • incidental_search
Survey methodologyRequired
UserIDNo longer supported.See next 3 columns for different ways that the observer can be identified.
RaisersEdgeIDTextThe observer’s Raiser’s Edge ID.One of these 3 fields required*
BirdataUserIDIntegerThe observers Birdata User ID. Use the ID 1 to assign data to a generic import user.One of these 3 fields required*
EmailValid email addressThe observer’s email address. The survey will be assigned to an account with the email address, creating a new account if necessary.One of these 3 fields required*
SurveyNotesTextSurvey related comments (note: there is also a comments field for individual sightings)Optional
AllSpeciesRecordedBoolean (true/false)Were all species detected during the survey recorded?Optional
WaterLevelOne of


  • dry
  • below_capacity
  • nearly_empty
  • at_capacity
  • flooding
Water level if applicableOptional
Column NameFormatNotes 
SurveyIDAlphanumeric (max 255 characters)This must match the Survey ID for the survey which this sighting belongsRequired
SpeciesTextCommon name of observed species. The common name must exist in the current Working List of Australian Birds in order for the sighting to be imported.Required
CountInteger (or ‘P’)Number of birds observed. ‘P’ or a blank value will be imported as a presence sighting with indeterminate count. Sightings with counts of zero will not be imported.Optional
BreedingActivityOne of:


  • none
  • adults_on_nest
  • diagnostic_behaviour
  • nest_with_eggs
  • nest_with_young
  • nonspecific_breeding_activity
  • recently_fledged_young
  • suggestive_behaviour
  • young_out_of_nest
Breeding activity observedOptional
VettingStatusOne of:


  • accepted
  • accepted_escapee
  • queried
  • rejected
  • unvetted
  • within_range
Vetting status (defaults to unvetted)Optional
SightingNotesTextSighting related commentsOptional