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Best bird guide/apps for South East Asia? (4 Viewers)

S_Man

Well-known member
My first idea is to replace my paper guide with an Android app that (also) works offline.

Of course some added features would be nice, sounds, geolocation, lists, but not too complicated to use.

I think I tried eBird long ago but although interesting it was not practical for me at this time, and not a guide anyway. But apparently you can save the pictures in advance on your phone to have them offline on the field, is that practical (ie can I download all the hundreds of files in one go, for a specific country in Asia?). I'm not a maniac when it comes to lists, but some form of logging is always useful, if easy to export...

Else I could justo complement the guide itself by checking ebird.org/hotspots website before visiting a new place...

Sound recognition is also tempting, does Merlin work with "exotic" species? Reading some recent posts here it seems that Birdnet is more efficient in these places, but as a piece of software, not an Android app...

I suppose one needs some serious memory to store all this, I have a 7-8 years old phone right now, max 32 Gb micro SD.

Any suggestion or advice?
 
Merlin works somewhat like an offline field guide, use the explore option. I do not know about their bird packs for SE Asia, how developed they are.
Niels
 
Merlin works somewhat like an offline field guide, use the explore option. I do not know about their bird packs for SE Asia, how developed they are.
Niels
Not greatly, at least for sulawesi. The images were there, mostly, the calls largely absent. This is why you wish they'd partner with xeno canto and stop the Cornell chauvinism
 
Merlin works somewhat like an offline field guide, use the explore option. I do not know about their bird packs for SE Asia, how developed they are.
Niels
Yes, Merlin and its bird packs is a great free resource/app put out by the eBird folks that utilizes eBird data and has gotten better and better over the years: Bird Packs Though, I'd be reluctant to replace a paper field guide with any app unless I already knew the birds well.
 
Ebird as a field guide sounds very convenient at first glance, but we need to be careful. It is a good resource for birds that have previously been seen in the vicinity.
But, if you are lucky enough to find something rare (e.g. first for a county, or even perhaps first for a hotspot), it won't be listed, and you could find yourself struggling when you most need the help.

Also the focussed view that ebird and Merlin offers you for just listing birds "not on your life list", is really asking for trouble!
 
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So no solid offer here. I can only find field guides sold as .pdf, no app or real e-book!

I just downloaded Merlin's pack for SE Asia and checked some well-known site, only using explore. It looks well covered, photos look great but won't always replace drawings to compare species, obviously some sounds are quite limited (eg your hear more Sparrows than the species of interest) but many are fine, with song, calls... And you can switch between a local list and the whole pack to make sure you don't miss a bird.

I need to have a closer look, clearly it won't replace a good guide as you said, and you can't even check a species without a connection to ebird, so it's a bit of a mixed feeling.
 

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