I’m pretty savvy around a PC, but other than that and an iPod, I haven’t been too tech heavy. So much for that, after this Christmas. I have my first smartphone, with a new iPhone 5. And, my wife got me a new iPad for Christmas as well. So I did what most people did this Christmas as soon as they got their new toys…looked for bird apps!!
OK, so maybe not everybody looks for bird apps, but there are some nice ones out there for casual or serious birders. Even on my old iPod, I had “BirdTunes”. I can identify pretty much anything here by sight, but I’m not too great at bird song. Bird Tunes is a wonderful app to have in the field, as it has multiple songs for pretty much every bird you’d expect to find in North America.
BirdTunes does have a simple photo for each species, but no real information other than songs, no identification characteristics, or no range map. One of the first apps I got for my new toys was iBird Pro. It’s $14.99, so not one of the cheap $0.99 apps you find on iTunes, but it’s a hefty program with a lot of content. One thing I immediately liked about it is that it has both artwork of birds, as well as numerous photos (usually multiple photos per species). I know some birders like the artwork-type presentation in some bird guides, and others like photos, so it was nice to see an app with both. iBird Pro also has nice range maps, “ecology” information, calls and songs, and “similar” birds. It doesn’t have the number of calls and songs as BirdTunes, but it certainly blows BirdTunes away for other content.
One more that I bought was National Geographic Birds: Field Guide to North America. I myself do like the artwork-type of presentation that’s provided in a National Geographic or Sibley’s guide, so appreciate the bird images provided with this app. Information is pretty extensive, as they certainly cover just about any bird you’d ever encounter in North America, including the extreme rarities. A couple of features I like about this software is that by itself without any additional add-ins, you can easily compile lists. I’m not much of a lister, but I know what I’ve seen, so quickly went through and created my own life list, a “South Dakota” list, and a “Yard” list. Fun. It also has bird quizzes, which is a VERY nice addition. My only problem…there are 10 quizzes with 10 questions each, and the quizzes are all static. I’d love an app someday where quizzes are more dynamic and the range of questions is a lot larger. It was still a nice addition however.
That’s what I’ve gotten so far. I know there are alot of other apps out there…any thoughts on the ones you like?