Marked Birds Database – Version 2.5.0 available

I’m happy to announce the release of the Marked Birds Database version 2.5.0. It contains new features, various improvements, some changes, and fixes.

Existing users: please continue reading until the fixed issues section, it contains information that may affect you.

For a full list, see the bottom of this article.

A link to the download file as well as instructions about installing, setting up and using the database can be found on the Marked Birds Database page.

Users who are using a previous version can import their data into the new version.

New features

Two new features have been added: support for tracking bird relations, and a Visual Display for ELSA rings.

The introduction of tracking relations between birds makes the database almost (if not fully) feature complete. I believe it is now a broad and solid platform for tracking ringed birds in detail.

Tracking bird relations

It is now possible to track the different relations between birds such as partners, offspring, siblings and so on.

This can be done for known birds that already exist in the database or for unknown birds (such as birds that are unringed or that are ringed but where the code has not yet been read). When creating a relation, the reverse relation for the other bird can also automatically be created.

Relations are tracked based on the year in which they took place. This makes it possible to for example follow which partner a bird had for each year. For relation types other than ‘partner’, the birth year can be used.


  • Bird A was a partner of bird B in 2019.
  • Bird A was born in 2019 and has bird B as a father and bird C as a mother.
  • Bird A and bird B had bird C as a son/daughter in 2019.

For a detailed description, see Working with bird relations.

ELSA rings

A Visual Display is now available for ELSA rings, typically used for White Storks.

It is now also possible to manually add White Storks that are fitted with ELSA rings:

The Visual Display for ELSA rings is also automatically assigned when using the BirdRing app and the form for ELSA rings has been used. It can also at any time be assigned manually.


Various improvements have been made.

Observations: bird origin now shown

The overview that shows all observations of a particular date now shows a flag of the country in which the bird was ringed. This makes it much more visible where the birds originated from. Use the sorting option to group together all birds per country.

Observations: easily access reporting totals

One of the main features of the Marked Birds Database is to keep track of all observations that still have to be submitted and all life histories that still have to be received.

It is now possible to more easily see and access this information. This is done by two groups of buttons that have been added to the Bird Overview screen. They are labelled ‘Not Submitted’ and ‘Not Received’.

One group of buttons show the totals for the currently viewed bird; clicking either will show a popover with the related observations in which the Submitted or Received buttons can be clicked. Use the Close button to update the totals in the button labels.

Another group of buttons at the very bottom of the screen brings up a report related to all birds in the database. This is basically the Search Extra Observations screen.


Various changes have been made.

Visual Displays

The ringing information that is displayed below the Visual Displays has changed as follows:

  • Only 1 line of information is now shown. This is the ringing data of the oldest ring that the bird is currently fitted with. Previous versions could show a second line of information, but this did not work properly.
  • The Visual Display for birds fitted with uncoded rings or flags now also shows the ringing information.


Because of the new implementation of tracking relations, the following has been removed:

  • The field ‘Paired with’ which was shown at the top of the Bird Overview and Observation Details layout.
  • The tab Bird Settings > Partner > Paired With.

Adding a Marker and Event

The form for adding a Marker and Event to an existing bird has been simplified: it now always shows all fields; ignore those that are not applicable to the bird that you are adding. For example: when adding a bird which only has a metal ring, ignore the fields that are to do with colour rings.

Upgrading from a previous version

When upgrading from a previous version, the database now needs to be closed before it can be properly used.

Fixed issues

Note: I found out that when importing records from a previous version of the database, that inscription colours are re-set to their default values. For example: if you would have changed the inscription color for a white ring from the default black to another colour, it would have been re-set to black during the import. This issue has been fixed in this version, but be aware that you might have inscription colours that are incorrectly set as a result of a previous import. These will have to be adjusted.

  • MBDB-21 Option for adding bird relationships
  • MBDB-282 All Observations: show flag of country ringed
  • MBDB-447 Incorrect number of ringing details shown in Visual Display when navigating between birds
  • MBDB-479 Incomplete ringing details shown in Visual Display
  • MBDB-677 Stork rings: add support for ELSA rings
  • MBDB-804 Incomplete ringing details shown in Visual Display
  • MBDB-1128 Add ringing details to Visual Display for uncoded rings/flags
  • MBDB-1150 Visual Display Flags & uncoded: aluminum ring below display not shown
  • MBDB-1179 Improve display of ringing data below Visual Displays
  • MBDB-1180 Open overview of all non-submitted and non-received observations from Bird Overview
  • MBDB-1182 ‘Top’, ‘middle’, or ‘bottom’ positions cannot be chosen in ‘Add Marker and Event’ for some markers
  • MBDB-1185 Show the total number of observations still to submit and life histories still to receive
  • MBDB-1188 Add Marker and Event: simplify the form
  • MBDB-1190 Import process resets inscription colours to default

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