• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

RFI: Listing software for MAC (1 Viewer)

ACO

Well-known member
I just bought a MAC notebook and want to purchase listing software to keep all my birding records- any suggestions?

Thank you in advance,

Peter
 

Jim M.

Choose Civility
I just bought a MAC notebook and want to purchase listing software to keep all my birding records- any suggestions?

Thank you in advance,

Peter

I'd suggest you consider inputting all your data into eBird (see the link in my signature). It's operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and funded by the National Science Foundation, among others, and its primary purpose is to collate bird observation information worldwide and make it available to scientists as well as other birders. Secondary to that, it also functions as a bird listing website. So by contributing your data to it you are helping bird conservation and science as well as having your lists organized for free.

Best,
Jim
 

ACO

Well-known member
Have you ever tried www.bubo.org? Not a software, but a great listing website.

André

Looks interesting, but I am looking for software so I can keep my own data on my own computer. Not looking to place it on-line; already do use eBird for sharing data, but this request is for private use.

Thanks though,

Peter
 

ptickner

Well-known member
While I use it on my PC, I've been very happy with AviSys. It is a native Windows program, but I know it has been used with success in the past on Macs using Boot Camp or Virtual PC.
 

kitefarrago

Well-known member
I've been very happy with Scythebill. It's cross-platform, open source, and free. It keeps the data in an xml file - which means that if it is abandoned eventually (as happens with all software) the data is still accessible, and not in some proprietary format.

You have some choice of taxonomy (IOC or Clements), and the world list is updated regularly to reflect changes. Data entry might not be to everybody's taste (it's on a per date basis, and so not so good for entering trip lists, where a per species entry would be faster), and contains a lot of info regarding subspecies (often the geographical separation as given might be sufficient to allow you to determine what you've seen to subspecies level, preparing you for futures splits). It has an auto-complete feature, and now contains a lot of alternative names for species so you don't have to worry about, eg, US vs English names.

It allows you to mark birds as heard only/introduced, etc, and then gives you the option later to exclude such records when you produce lists.

You can build your own tree of locations, and you can do this to whichever level of detail you like. You can get it to export lists of all kinds (you can restrict locations, families of species, criteria such as heard only, etc) to useful formats, including one for EBird (you can also import lists from EBird).

Hence this allows you to keep your own data, but also to support EBird by submitting your lists without having to enter your data twice.

I'm just a satisfied user, but the developer has frequented birdforum in the past, and is prepared to listen to suggestions for additional features.

Andrea
 

steveMc

Well-known member
Without trying to sound like a commercial |:D|, you could always give the free trial of our software a try. SWIFT has been on the market for over 10 years and is not going anywhere. We also worked directly with the folks at eBird to have export capability so you can have the best of both worlds, your sightings are kept on your own computer and you can choose which ones to share with eBird.

You will need to run some sort of virtual software to run Windows as others have mentioned (Parallels, VM, etc..) to run SWIFT on a Mac.

In case you are interested in why there is a shortage of Mac-based listing software, I can give you an opinion from our years of experience; it is purely supply and demand. Our data shows that around 7% of folks who try our software are running Macs. Of those, most are perfectly happy running it on a Windows emulator on their Macs as they often have numerous other Windows programs they also use. So this leaves maybe 1-2% of folks who need a Mac-only solution. Since developing for both platforms is extremely time-consuming, economics makes it unfeasible to do so for all but the largest software companies.

Just thought you might want to know why you are having difficulty finding a pure Mac-based solution.

Thanks,
Steve

www.swiftbirder.com
 

temmie

Well-known member
I have been struggling with the same problem.
On a PC, I use the Willybase, made by the same guy as the new cloudbirders trip report website.

On a Mac, I fear there is not that much free and off line except for Scythebill, which I haven't tried yet.
Online has been mentioned: bubo, ebird and another one is observado (which is by far the best developed tool for the trade).
 

antshrike69

Well-known member
I have used avisys for many years and been very happy. I am now running it on a macbook with parallels software and it performs well. Definitely would recommend it.
 

awiner

Well-known member
I've been very happy with Scythebill. It's cross-platform, open source, and free. It keeps the data in an xml file - which means that if it is abandoned eventually (as happens with all software) the data is still accessible, and not in some proprietary format.

You have some choice of taxonomy (IOC or Clements), and the world list is updated regularly to reflect changes. Data entry might not be to everybody's taste (it's on a per date basis, and so not so good for entering trip lists, where a per species entry would be faster), and contains a lot of info regarding subspecies (often the geographical separation as given might be sufficient to allow you to determine what you've seen to subspecies level, preparing you for futures splits). It has an auto-complete feature, and now contains a lot of alternative names for species so you don't have to worry about, eg, US vs English names.

It allows you to mark birds as heard only/introduced, etc, and then gives you the option later to exclude such records when you produce lists.

You can build your own tree of locations, and you can do this to whichever level of detail you like. You can get it to export lists of all kinds (you can restrict locations, families of species, criteria such as heard only, etc) to useful formats, including one for EBird (you can also import lists from EBird).

Hence this allows you to keep your own data, but also to support EBird by submitting your lists without having to enter your data twice.

I'm just a satisfied user, but the developer has frequented birdforum in the past, and is prepared to listen to suggestions for additional features.

Andrea

Thanks, Andrea!

Indeed, I'm happy to listen to suggestions. And easier entry of trip data is definitely on my roadmap. The latest release (out two days ago) concentrated on better post-entry editing.

Overall, the goal continues to be keeping this software easy to use; seeing screens with dozens of controls and long menus drives me nuts. Powerful features don't have to be complicated. And I do believe that your choice of birding software - which can last a lifetime - shouldn't tie you to one operating system (or force workarounds like Parallels). From what I can tell, my userbase is about 50% Windows, 30% Mac, and 20% other (probably Linux).
 

msb123

Well-known member
I downloaded Scythebill on a windows laptop, but when I tried to open it it told me I needed Java, which seemed like more effort, and then I couldn't delete the file. If you are not very techy it may not be the best solution.
 

awiner

Well-known member
I downloaded Scythebill on a windows laptop, but when I tried to open it it told me I needed Java, which seemed like more effort, and then I couldn't delete the file. If you are not very techy it may not be the best solution.

msb123: if you're willing, ping me at [email protected] and I can try to get you a version of Scythebill that comes with Java bundled into the .exe. It'll be bigger than the standard download but rather easier to get started.

Installation on Windows is a few more steps than it should be, but I can assure you the rest of the program is not techie at all (it's far less so than the average listing software).

On MacOS - which is the subject of this thread! - there's no requirement to download Java (it comes with MacOS).
 

msb123

Well-known member
msb123: if you're willing, ping me at [email protected] and I can try to get you a version of Scythebill that comes with Java bundled into the .exe. It'll be bigger than the standard download but rather easier to get started.

Installation on Windows is a few more steps than it should be, but I can assure you the rest of the program is not techie at all (it's far less so than the average listing software).

On MacOS - which is the subject of this thread! - there's no requirement to download Java (it comes with MacOS).

thanks awiner - I have a mac as well (just not with me where I am at the moment) so I might just wait and try to install it on there. I appreciate the offer though.
 

awiner

Well-known member
I just tried Scythebill on Mac and was very pleased. For those who primarily want to keep a bird list, look no further. And it's free

Thanks!

By the way, to update earlier posts: Scythebill on Windows does now have a full installer that bundles everything together (so no extra downloads). So the installation process is a lot simpler there. It's still just as simple as it ever was on the Mac.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top