Welcome to the new face of 10,000 Birds! Those of you reading this via a feed reader or e-mail are missing a dramatic revision of the layout and look of our modest blog. The most obvious change is the color scheme; nothing says “badasses of birding” quite like charcoal on black. We’ve carried over the dark and light green tones but like the way this dark layout sets off our photos. We hope you will too. Here are some of the other fun features we’ve incorporated:

Dynamic Random Header Images
Long-time readers know that random bird photos, specifically OUR photos, have been part of the 10,000 Birds site design through many iterations. And why not? We’re really proud of our birds as well as what we’ve written about them. Every bird photo in the header will link to a post about it so if you see a cool bird, click through. The variety should be a lot of fun too: with just 100 photos in the mix in each of the three slots, we’ll have a million different looks. That’s only 300 birds… wait until we get closer to 10,000!

Power-packed Front Page
The layout of our last front page was rather ineffectual as it did little to help new readers navigate our tons of content. This new theme presents an array of options front and center. First comes the post tabs displaying the two newest posts in eight different categories. That’s followed by a slick Features gallery showing off the three newest posts deserving, in our opinion, of extra consideration. After that are excerpts of our two newest posts followed by a synopsis of just about everything that we have to offer. Consider this our welcome mat. Come on in!

Focused Post Structure
You may have noticed that we’ve thrown out the fluid layout in favor of a fixed width that, in conjunction with the color scheme, really accentuates the way posts are presented. You’ll find the celebrated ShareThis function after every post and page to facilitate all that e-mailing and social bookmarking you want to do! That’s followed by searchable tags, which would be a lot more useful out of the gate if the newest version of WordPress hadn’t thrown out all our old tags. Not to worry though. While we go back and retag our approximately 1,650 posts, you can benefit from the Related Post recommendations along with the random Blasts from the Past that follow every post. If you can’t lose an entire afternoon clicking through this cornucopia of content, you’re not trying hard enough!

Author Bios
Too many readers have complained that they don’t see enough photos of Corey, Charlie, and me. Despair no longer. Every post now includes an author bio that enables you to search for posts solely by that author. Finally, Charlie and Corey’s fans can avoid my incoherent drivel.

Loaded Sidebar
There are many schools of thought regarding what a sidebar should do; we just want ours to do it all! Whether you’re looking for links to our 10 latest or most popular (someday) posts, our many pages, or our current year lists, you’ll have them at your fingertips no matter where you are in the site along with plenty of other resources.

Phenomenal Foundation
While I did my share of tweaking to get things in order, the lion’s share of the credit must go to Justin Tadlock, creator of the amazing Options theme. Once the team here decided that a magazine style theme would be the best way to present our avalanche of insight and images, I reviewed just about every free and premium theme out there. Justin’s work is head and shoulders above the rest in quality and functionality. The fact that he tirelessly supports users (gratis, I might add) speaks to the pride he must take in his remarkable work. I, for one, am extremely grateful for his efforts.

So here it is. Play around with the new site, explore all the different options, and please, please let us know what you think. I’m sure we’ll be fixing problems for months so be sure to contact me if you spot anything egregious.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.