Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages


Version 2.12

Important Notice

Development on the HTA version of BirdName has been discontinued.

I rewrote BirdName almost from scratch in C# to get a compiled program.

You can continue using this HTA version if you choose so, but it will no longer be maintained.

Click here to go to the current BirdName page.


Translate animal species (chordata) names from one language to another with this HTA.
This HTA uses Wikipedia to translate from a "local" language to the scientific name, and from the scientific name to one or more "local" names.
BirdName 3.07 Screenshot
Check "Use local language names" to list the available languages each in their own language instead of listing the English language names. Choose the number of simultaneous translations. Click "Hide Settings" to move the settings out of sight (until you restart the HTA) when ready.
These settings are not permanent. To make them stick, you will need 2 configuration files with the appropriate settings.
Click the "Configure" button to create or edit these configuration files.
Pressing F1 or clicking the "Help" button will display some help on usage and configuration/customization.
BirdName 3.07 Help Screen
BirdName, Version 3.07

This HTA uses Wikipedia to translate animal (chordata) species names from and to (m)any language(s).

You can use this program to translate a species name from one of the supported "local" languages to any of the other supported languages.
Start by selecting a class in the dropdown list "Class:
Next, type the species name in the empty field just below the class selection.
The program will first search the scientific name on Wikipedia and then translate that scientific name to the language of choice.
Alternatively, you can enter the scientific name yourself, and the program will translate it to the language(s) of choice.
With the buttons you can search Wikipedia interactively for the requested translations.


If Use local language names is checked, the list of available languages shows the local language names (e.g. "Français", "Cymraeg"), if not checked the English language names are listed instead (e.g. "French", "Welsh").

simultaneous translations controls the number of translations shown; it ranges from 1 to 4.

To change settings permanently, click the button, next to the "Settings" header, to open the configuration files in Notepad (see the chapter "Customization" for more details).

Click to move the Settings block out of sight (it will reappear next time the program is started).

Program Updates

This program automatically checks for updates.
If an update is available, a notification will pop up, asking you if you want to download the latest official release.
If you click "Yes" the BirdName download page will be opened in your default browser.
Unless you update the program, the notification will reappear next time the program is started.

If AutoUpdate is enabled, the program is updated "on-the-fly" without notification (see the chapter Customization for more details).


This program uses Wikipedia to find the requested translations.
Thus it depends on:
  1. the full name being entered, exactly as used on Wikipedia (e.g. "Great Bittern" instead of "Bittern")
  2. a page dedicated to the bird of choice in each language of choice
  3. redirection of the scientific name to the local name
  4. Wikipedia's page layout remaining more or less unchanged
It may be clear that these conditions may not always be met.
If no translation was found because there is no dedicated page, use the button next to the "Translation" field to search for the name yourself.

Ambiguity, multiple "local" names, or the use of an incomplete name or group name instead of the species' full name, may prevent the program to find the scientific name.
That is where the button next to the "Scientific Name" field comes to the rescue.
Click it to find the scientific name yourself, or look it up in a printed bird guide.
Once found, clear the "Bird Name" field and use the "Scientific Name" field to find the requested translations.
If you still can't find the translation that way, this program cannot assist you any further.


You may use a configuration file named BirdName.cfg, to customize the window size, default input and output languages and number of simultaneous translations.
BirdName.cfg is an ANSI encoded (or "ASCII") plain text file, located in BirdName.hta's parent folder.
Examine the default settings shown below to find out what you can customize and how:


Note 1: Each of these settings can also be specified on the command line, e.g.
BirdName.hta /ConfigLanguage=en /DefaultLanguage=fr
Note 2: AutoUpdate=1 will update the HTA to the latest version without any user interaction.

Besides the program settings, you can also customize (translate) the captions and button labels.
This requires an ANSI encoded (or "ASCII") plain text file named BirdName.lang, located in BirdName.hta's parent folder, where lang is the language code specified by ConfigLanguage in BirdName.cfg (e.g. en).
Unicode or extended ASCII characters in all text except button labels must be escaped (e.g. Ü for Ü).
You may have to experiment with code page settings when using extended ASCII characters in translated button labels.
Examine BirdName.en, shown below, to figure out what you can customize and how:

ClassActinopterygii=Ray-finned fishes
ClassChondrichthyes=Cartilaginous fishes
HideSettings=Hide Settings
NotActinopterygii=Not a ray-finned fish
NotAmphibia=Not an amphibian
NotAves=Not a bird
NotChondrichthyes=Not a cartilaginous fish
NotMammalia=Not a mammmal
NotReptilia=Not a reptile
OrAmbiguous=or ambiguous name
ScientificName=Scientific Name
Search=Search Wikipedia
SimultaneousTranslations=simultaneous translations
UpdateNow=Update Now
UseLocalLanguageNames=Use local language names

Open the configuration files by clicking the button, next to the "Settings" header.

Change one setting at a time and examine the effect.
If the result is a complete mess, just delete BirdName.cfg (and optionally BirdName.lang) to restore the default settings.

© 2013 Rob van der Woude

In the "Class" block, at the left end, choose a class (e.g. "Mammals"), then choose a "source" language and enter a species name in the field in the middle.
Select a language for each "Translation" block.
Click "Translate" to start the translation.
The HTA will first search Wikipedia in the selected language for the bird's scientific name, which will be displayed in the "Scientific Name" block, if found.
If no scientific name was found, a button "Search Wikipedia" will appear. Click it to find the scientific name yourself. Once found, clear the "local" bird name field, enter the scientific name in the appropriate field and click "Translate".
This may be necessary if the name entered is ambiguous for Wikipedia.
The translation fields will be populated with the search results for the scientific name on the "local" Wikipedias.
If no valid result was returned, a button "Search Wikipedia" will appear next to the translation field, to allow a manual search on the local Wikipedia.
Read the help screen to learn more about customization.
The following configuration files change the HTA into a Dutch version with 3 simultaneous translations.
Notes: Each setting from the configuration file may also be used on the command line to override the configuration file setting, e.g.:

Birdname.hta /ConfigLanguage=fr /DefaultClass=Mammalia /WindowWidth=800

Even when overridden, each setting should still be specified in BirdName.cfg.
NotAActinopterygii=Geen straalvinnige
NotAAmphibia=geen amfibie
NotAAves=Geen vogel
NotAChondrichthyes=Geen kraakbeenvis
NotAMammalia=Geen zoogdier
NotAReptilia=Geen reptiel
OrAmbiguous=of geen eenduidige naam
ScientificName=Wetenschappelijke naam
Search=Zoek op Wikipedia
SimultaneousTranslations=gelijktijdige vertalingen
UseLocalLanguageNames=Gebruik lokale taalaanduidingen
Notes: 1 These configuration files are included in the ZIP file; beta version configuration files should be deleted or modified.
  2 Configuration file may change with program updates.
As of version 2.12, the version number should be added to each configuration file.
This allows a check on configuration file compatibility, and a warning message in case the configuration files are for older versions:

BirdName 3.07 Screenshot
If your HTA version is not the latest "stable" release, an update notification will pop up, asking you if you want to download the latest official release now.
Clicking "Yes" will open the BirdName download page in your default browser.
Setting AutoUpdate=1 in BirdName.cfg will automatically update without any user interaction.


Change History

Version Release Date
2.12 2013-11-14 The HTA now checks for configuration file compatibility at startup; if an error is found, the default settings will be used, and a popup message notifies the user.
This feature is rudimentary right now, as it depends mostly on the version number being added to the configuration files; this will improve in future versions, where the version number must always be present in the configuration files.
2.11 2013-11-13
  • Improved update check and AutoUpdate routine
  • More case corrections in the code, to make it still work with Internet Explorer 12 😉
2.10 2013-11-10
  • Added command line support: each setting from the configuration file may now be used on the command line to override the configuration file setting, e.g.:
    Birdname.hta /ConfigLanguage=fr /DefaultClass=Mammalia /WindowWidth=800
  • Some minor fixes in the user interface: fields are now properly cleared when their content becomes meaningless
  • Errors are now displayed in red text
2.00 2013-11-09 This HTA can now be used to translate species' names from all chordata classes (i.e. amphibians, birds, fishes, mammals and reptiles), not just birds' names.
1.02 2013-05-21 Bugfix: a change in Wikipedia's HTML code required a modification in the regular expressions the HTA uses.
1.01 2012-03-12 Bugfix: a change in Wikipedia's HTML code required a modification in the regular expressions the HTA uses.
1.00 2011-12-20 First "official" release.
  • Added a "Configure" button to modify the program defaults and/or translations
  • Added a "Clear" button to clear all fields
  • "Search Wikipedia" buttons will always be shown
  • The Help screen now uses the captions and labels as configured by the user
  • Fixed an issue with configured window size greater than the actual screen size
  • Note: Configuration files created for a beta version will need to be updated or replaced
0.32 2011-12-18
  • Added AutoUpdate, allowing updates without any user interaction
0.31 2011-12-18
  • Added a prompt for confirmation to the update procedure
  • Fixed a bug in the update procedure
0.30 2011-12-17
  • The update notification area has been changed: instead of only a link to the download page, it now has "Download" and "Update" buttons; clicking the latter will replace the currently running HTA with the latest "stable" release, no questions asked
  • The single configuration file has been replaced by a separate settings file and translation file(s); previous configuration files can no longer be used
0.25 2011-12-14
  • Improved the regular expression to find the scientific names: it can now handle 2 different scientific names for 1 bird (e.g. Blue Tit)
  • If the "translation" returns the scientific name, a "Search Wikipedia" button will show up
0.24 2011-12-13
  • Improved the regular expression to find the scientific name (e.g. now finds the scientific name for the Dutch "pimpelmees")
0.23 2011-12-12
  • Slightly improved accuracy by limiting the search to birds
  • Added new customization options
  • Pimped the window background
  • Updated the help text
0.22 2011-12-09
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes prevent the "Search Wikipedia" button to appear if no scientific name was found
  • Fixed some issues with the GUI when a local and scientific name were entered at the same time
  • Updated the help text
0.21 2011-12-08 First public beta release.


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page last modified: 2022-10-22