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iBird vs Sibley for iPhone – ability to create customized list for trips (1 Viewer)

IBird Pro vs Sibley Birds 2nd Edition (North America)

I’m considering one or the other and want to ask if either of these have the ability to create customized watch lists for individual trips. For example, I’m going to the Thousand Islands in a few weeks and I’d like to have a short list of the unique birds that I might encounter up there as part of a reference package for easier identification.

iBird has a “Birds Around Me” add-in and a separate Journal App that each require additional $$ and I’m reluctant to pay piecemeal only to find they don’t provide what I need.

Sibley gets good reviews on this forum, but they don’t have a “Lite” version to try out in advance. I hear they do have a list function, but I can’t find out any more about it.

I do have a copy of eBird on my phone and it does have the ability to create custom lists, but it doesn’t directly interface with any reference apps, so it’s a little clunky to work with. Also, eBird appears to draw its lists from other people's observations. That is useful on one hand because it corroborates what species are out there, on the other hand it's somewhat limited in that it relies on other people entering data in recent time.

I’d also be interested in any other suggestions. Thanks in advance.

Dave G.
 
Last edited:

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Only a partial answer but hope this helps anyway:
Ebird is as you say built on other people’s observations but I think in North America you will not be disadvantaged by this. The online version allows you to see Barr charts of birds in hotspots, counties, etc. those should therefore be helpful in allowing you to look at relevant species. If you click a species name in such a list, there is more information including photos.

I realize there is no direct integration, but I still prefer Sibley as the resource to help me identify a bird I have seen.

I have not used ibird

Niels
 

Dan Miller

Avicasual Birder
Supporter
United States
I use all of the apps you mention, but have never tried to create a custom list, so I can't help you there.

One thing you can do is to subscribe to eBird alerts for both needs and rarities. Jefferson County will cover most of the Thousand Islands and the northeast shore of Lake Ontario. St. Lawrence County will cover the US side of the River downriver towards Ogdensburg and Massena, if you care to go that far.

If you want to cover the Canadian side, that would be Leeds and Grenville County.

Are you looking for anything in particular?
Dan
 
Only a partial answer but hope this helps anyway:
Ebird is as you say built on other people’s observations but I think in North America you will not be disadvantaged by this. The online version allows you to see Barr charts of birds in hotspots, counties, etc. those should therefore be helpful in allowing you to look at relevant species. If you click a species name in such a list, there is more information including photos.

I realize there is no direct integration, but I still prefer Sibley as the resource to help me identify a bird I have seen.

I have not used ibird

Niels

Thanks Niels, actually that helps a lot. It seems that perhaps an integrated checklist isn’t that important after all. If you don’t mind, could you share how most starting birders keep track of their life lists?

Dave G.
 
I use all of the apps you mention, but have never tried to create a custom list, so I can't help you there.

One thing you can do is to subscribe to eBird alerts for both needs and rarities. Jefferson County will cover most of the Thousand Islands and the northeast shore of Lake Ontario. St. Lawrence County will cover the US side of the River downriver towards Ogdensburg and Massena, if you care to go that far.

If you want to cover the Canadian side, that would be Leeds and Grenville County.

Are you looking for anything in particular?
Dan

Dan, I’ll be at Charleston Lake, on an island just outside the Provincial Park. So let me turn the question around: beyond the Loons and gulls, what do you suggest I look for in August?

I’ll explore the eBird site a bit... it looks promising.

Thanks for the feedback!

Dave G.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Dan, I’ll be at Charleston Lake, on an island just outside the Provincial Park. So let me turn the question around: beyond the Loons and gulls, what do you suggest I look for in August?

I’ll explore the eBird site a bit... it looks promising.

Thanks for the feedback!

Dave G.

Take a look at this page: https://ebird.org/barchart?r=L566934&yr=all&m=
It was made in Ebird.org by hitting Explore, then on the right side choose hotspots, type in the start of Charleston Lake and choose Charleston Lake Provincial Park among the options that drop down. On the next screen I hit bar charts. You can limit the output more than I have done: last 10 years is often good if you want to know what is possible at your next visit instead of including things that got extirpated 50 years ago.

Niels
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Thanks Niels, actually that helps a lot. It seems that perhaps an integrated checklist isn’t that important after all. If you don’t mind, could you share how most starting birders keep track of their life lists?

Dave G.

For this part I am going to assume you mean within Ebird. All the sightings you submit to ebird will count towards your different lists. If you have a life list list you can add that to ebird in this format: https://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/973912 - and here is the more general page on how to enter data in ebird: https://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1972661-how-do-i-enter-sightings-in-ebird-

Looking at your lists within ebird means going to the tab named MyEbird

If you want another offline option, then my personal preference is Scythebill https://www.scythebill.com/ Works well together with Ebird (both export and import options).

Niels
 
For this part I am going to assume you mean within Ebird. All the sightings you submit to ebird will count towards your different lists. If you have a life list list you can add that to ebird in this format: https://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/973912 - and here is the more general page on how to enter data in ebird: https://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1972661-how-do-i-enter-sightings-in-ebird-

Looking at your lists within ebird means going to the tab named MyEbird

If you want another offline option, then my personal preference is Scythebill https://www.scythebill.com/ Works well together with Ebird (both export and import options).

Niels

Thanks for the advice... that’s a bit to digest. I appreciate it!
 

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