Convert the filters defined in an auk_ebd object into an AWK script and run this script to produce a filtered eBird Reference Dataset (ERD). The initial creation of the auk_ebd object should be done with auk_ebd() and filters can be defined using the various other functions in this package, e.g. auk_species() or auk_country(). Note that this function typically takes at least a couple hours to run on the full dataset

auk_filter(x, file, ...)

# S3 method for auk_ebd
auk_filter(x, file, file_sampling, keep, drop, awk_file,
  sep = "\t", filter_sampling = TRUE, execute = TRUE,
  overwrite = FALSE, ...)

# S3 method for auk_sampling
auk_filter(x, file, keep, drop, awk_file,
  sep = "\t", execute = TRUE, overwrite = FALSE, ...)



auk_ebd or auk_sampling object; reference to file created by auk_ebd() or auk_sampling().


character; output file.


arguments passed on to methods.


character; optional output file for sampling data.


character; a character vector specifying the names of the columns to keep in the output file. Columns should be as they appear in the header of the EBD; however, names are not case sensitive and spaces may be replaced by underscores, e.g. "COMMON NAME", "common name", and "common_NAME" are all valid.


character; a character vector of columns to drop in the same format as keep. Ignored if keep is supplied.


character; output file to optionally save the awk script to.


character; the input field separator, the eBird file is tab separated by default. Must only be a single character and space delimited is not allowed since spaces appear in many of the fields.


logical; whether the sampling event data should also be filtered.


logical; whether to execute the awk script, or output it to a file for manual execution. If this flag is FALSE, awk_file must be provided.


logical; overwrite output file if it already exists


An auk_ebd object with the output files set. If execute = FALSE, then the path to the AWK script is returned instead.


If a sampling file is provided in the auk_ebd object, this function will filter both the eBird Basic Dataset and the sampling data using the same set of filters. This ensures that the files are in sync, i.e. that they contain data on the same set of checklists.

The AWK script can be saved for future reference by providing an output filename to awk_file. The default behavior of this function is to generate and run the AWK script, however, by setting execute = FALSE the AWK script will be generated but not run. In this case, file is ignored and awk_file must be specified.

Calling this function requires that the command line utility AWK is installed. Linux and Mac machines should have AWK by default, Windows users will likely need to install Cygwin.

Methods (by class)

  • auk_ebd: auk_ebd object

  • auk_sampling: auk_sampling object

See also


# get the path to the example data included in the package # in practice, provide path to ebd, e.g. f <- "data/ebd_relFeb-2018.txt" f <- system.file("extdata/ebd-sample.txt", package = "auk") # define filters filters <- auk_ebd(f) %>% auk_species(species = c("Canada Jay", "Blue Jay")) %>% auk_country(country = c("US", "Canada")) %>% auk_bbox(bbox = c(-100, 37, -80, 52)) %>% auk_date(date = c("2012-01-01", "2012-12-31")) %>% auk_time(start_time = c("06:00", "09:00")) %>% auk_duration(duration = c(0, 60)) %>% auk_complete() # alternatively, without pipes ebd <- auk_ebd(system.file("extdata/ebd-sample.txt", package = "auk")) filters <- auk_species(ebd, species = c("Canada Jay", "Blue Jay")) filters <- auk_country(filters, country = c("US", "Canada")) filters <- auk_bbox(filters, bbox = c(-100, 37, -80, 52)) filters <- auk_date(filters, date = c("2012-01-01", "2012-12-31")) filters <- auk_time(filters, start_time = c("06:00", "09:00")) filters <- auk_duration(filters, duration = c(0, 60)) filters <- auk_complete(filters) # apply filters if (FALSE) { # output to a temp file for example # in practice, provide path to output file # e.g. f_out <- "output/ebd_filtered.txt" f_out <- tempfile() filtered <- auk_filter(filters, file = f_out) str(read_ebd(filtered)) }