A review of iBird, a birding app.
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Old 02-20-2017   #1
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Default A review of iBird, a birding app.

You’ve just seen a new bird and managed to get some shots of it, great. Now you need to ID it. What do you do? You could ask your friends or even post the images on the internet, and ask there for an ID. Wouldn’t you rather be able to do it yourself? With this in mind I decided to do a review of two apps that are available for Android as well as iOS. These are iBird Pro UK and iBird Pro for North America. There are loads of other apps available but having looked at them I’ve come to the conclusion that these 2 apps are streets ahead of the others. I will concentrate on iBird Pro UK in this review although most can be applied to the North America app except for revision level, database size and cost.
The apps are available from the Mitch Waite Group and can be found in Google Play Store and Apples app store. At the time of writing the Android app is at V7.0.203 UK / V7.0.525 NA. If you go to Google Play Store there are very good description of the apps and it would be pointless to just copy them here verbatim, so here is my take on them. If you want to see a complete review of the app then go to https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...m.whatbird.pro
I have installed both apps on a Huawei P9 lite running Android V6 (marshmallow) and on a Lenovo Tab3 8 also running Android V6
To reduce the amount of space the apps take you can access the databases from the cloud but obviously you will need an internet connection. Alternatively you can download the databases for offline use and they will take up approximately 750Mb UK/ 1.2Gb NA. This obviously takes a while depending on your internet connection but to me it seem well worth it for the ability to use it in the field. On opening the app you’re presented with a list of birds and the way this is displayed can be changed to suit your own preferences with set view / sort mode. Please excuse the screen captures which aren't the best, but this is a problem with my tablet and not iBird.

Screenshot_20170216-173339.jpg


and the way this is displayed can be changed to suit your own preferences with set view / sort mode.


Screenshot_20170216-173623.jpg

When selecting a bird you are presented with a number of tabs.


Screenshot_20170217-123303.jpg


One of the really good features is there is a tab for drawings as well as a tab for photographs, the only app available that has both. With the drawings it is possible to switch Field Marks off or on which is a great feature.

Screenshot_20170217-123308.jpg

Other tabs available are
Range – a range map showing migration, Winter or Summer visitor, Ocean or Land.


Screenshot_20170217-123327.jpg


Sounds – There are selections of professional recordings for each species including alarm and mating calls.
Similar – a list of similar birds
Flickr – a link to more photos of the selected bird
Nest – material, number of eggs, incubation time etc
Identify – Size, colours, shape, bill shape etc
Ecology – location, vulnerability etc
Facts – random interesting facts including group names
Notes – for personal comments, dates etc
Behaviour – most of the above but on a single page.
Family – Order, family including pronunciation
Birdpedia – add your own images

As well as all this information there is a very good search facility with 31 different search criteria.

This means you can search for colour, size, head pattern, bill shape etc. Certainly enough to help ID the bird.


Screenshot_20170216-173720a.jpg


So, loads of drawings, photos and information. Good search function and the ability to write your own notes. Even though the app looks better on my tablet due to size, it still looks good on my phone and with the ability to zoom in 400% without losing image quality I wouldn’t hesitate to use my phone in the field.
What if your phone crashes or you update your phone, do you lose all of your data that you’ve entered like sightings? No, the good people at Mitch Waite Group have thought of that and offer the option to save all your data to the cloud using your Google account ( I presume the same can be done with crapple )

So far all is good, but what are the bad points? To be honest, there are very few.
There are a few species without any photos, or a lack of winter plumage shots but I’m sure this will change as they update the database. The only other thing is they have missed out Great Egret from the UK app, a fairly regularly visitor in recent years from the list of UK birds, but again I’m sure this will be rectified on the next update.
So to conclude, two great apps with loads of images and information that’s continually updated and all for the princely sum of £8.99 UK / £12.49 NA. You couldn’t get a decent book at that price and definitely no updates.
Since getting these 2 apps I've deleted all other apps for these areas off of my devices as they were taking up valuable space and I never used them. They certainly get 5 stars from me.

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Old 02-20-2017   #2
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

Very nice write up and review so applause for you doing this.

Looks like a pretty informative application(s) and one that a lot of folks here can benefit from. For some of the missing bird images and winter plumage's, who knows, some of the members here can have the missing pieces they need in the application.

Again, nice write up and application(s).
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Old 02-20-2017   #3
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

Nice review Kevin, thank you. I use the Cornell site in conjunction with Ebird but this appears to provide more information possibly. I will take a look at it.
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Old 02-20-2017   #4
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pickles View Post
Very nice write up and review so applause for you doing this.

Looks like a pretty informative application(s) and one that a lot of folks here can benefit from. For some of the missing bird images and winter plumage's, who knows, some of the members here can have the missing pieces they need in the application.

Again, nice write up and application(s).
Thanks Craig. They are always open to good quality images and will use them if given permission. I think I've sent over 100 images and they've used quite a lot of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Texas View Post
Nice review Kevin, thank you. I use the Cornell site in conjunction with Ebird but this appears to provide more information possibly. I will take a look at it.
Thanks Bill. I've sent images to Cornell and Ebird and they've both used them. Since finding these apps I've stopped using them as I'm so impressed with iBird.
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Old 02-20-2017   #5
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

Thanks Kevin, I'm going to give it a try.
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Old 02-20-2017   #6
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

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Thanks Kevin, I'm going to give it a try.
You will not be disappointed Wallace.
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Old 02-21-2017   #7
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

Excellent review Kevin.

For those in North America, there is also the Audubon Bird Guide app that is free:

Audubon Bird Guide App | Audubon
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Old 02-21-2017   #8
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

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Excellent review Kevin.

For those in North America, there is also the Audubon Bird Guide app that is free:

Audubon Bird Guide App | Audubon
Thanks Lee. I did say I'd tried other apps. Audubon Bird Guide failed to load on my Lenovo and I gave up after 2 attempts. Loaded on my phone but the images were very small and a lot of information was missing. I accept it's free and that's reflected in it's use and shown in the rating on Google..
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Old 02-21-2017   #9
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

Thanks for sharing Kevin, I also will check it out
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Old 02-21-2017   #10
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Default Re: A review of iBird, a birding app.

Nice review Kevin. I might want to spend the $14.99.


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