• 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.

Sticky thread for best birding apps (1 Viewer)

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
At this point the market for birding apps for phones / tablets is starting to mature a bit it seems. There are a good number of apps that I'm aware of and use, but there are, I'm certain, a good number out there that I don't know about and don't use.

The best guides by region threads are tremendously useful. Having something similar for apps seems like it would be equally valuable.

By region, here are the best quality apps that I am aware of:

USA/Canada - Sibley, iBird Pro
Europe - Collins Bird Guide
Peru - Birds of Peru
South Africa - Robert's Multimedia Birds of SA

A second tier of more localized apps, photo based apps, and the like, includes these that I'm aware of:
Argentina - Aves Argentinas Guia de Campo Digital
Costa Rica - Birding Field Guides Costa Rica
Panama - Birding Field Guides Panama

There are also the Sunbird apps for Ecuador and Colombia but as they are based on Restall artwork I've not tried them yet.

What other great digital field guides and other apps are out there?
 

DMW

Well-known member
Great idea. Off the top of my head:

- Faansie Peacock's LBJs guide for southern Africa is superb.

- Morcombe & Stewart Guide to Birds of Australia is pretty good - can't claim it's the best Aussie bird app as I haven't used any others.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I don't see the Faansie Peacock / Chamberlain's guide to LBJs available as an app. I see it as an eBook but that's something quite different.

The Morcombe & Stewart Australia app looks first rate!
 

Dan Miller

Avicasual Birder
Supporter
United States
In addition to several mentioned above, I also use eBird on a daily basis, and BirdsEye with regularity.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Alright I'll try to keep this list up to date somewhat then, based upon recommendations:

Bird Guide Apps - The Best of the Best
USA/Canada - Sibley, iBird Pro
Europe - Collins Bird Guide
Australia - Morcombe & Stewart Guide to Birds of Australia
Peru - Birds of Peru
South Africa - Robert's Multimedia Birds of SA -and- Sasol ebirds
Middle East - Birds of the Middle East

Bird Guide Apps - incomplete species content / photo based apps / etc
Argentina - Aves Argentinas Guia de Campo Digital
Costa Rica - Birding Field Guides Costa Rica
Panama - Birding Field Guides Panama

There are also the Sunbird apps for Ecuador and Colombia but as they are based on Restall artwork I've not tried them yet.

Non Field Guide Apps of great use
eBird
iObs (observation.org's app)
AvesVox
BirdsEye

What other great digital field guides and other apps are out there?
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I like "Aves Vox" for bird songs

Is it possible to get Aves Vox to do something like, say, download the top N tracks for every space in a country or department or the like? So you have them for offline use?
 

fugl

Well-known member
For US/Canada, I’d add the Peterson “Birds of N.A.” app, far better in my opinion than any of the sloppily written and edited Waite apps, iBird Pro included.
 

SteveClark

Well-known member
Birds of East Africa - Stevenson and Fanshawe
Birds of Australia - Pizzey and Knight
iBird (UK)

Very few options for se Asia as far as I can see.
 

Wimpy

Well-known member
For Costa Rica, I can recommend

Costa Rica Birds Field Guide by Birding Field Guides

Great images, usually three per bird, maps and data and most have calls and sounds. There is a facility to enter your sitings. It also contains an excellent filter system with 11 entries to help filter. When we went to CR I took "The Birds of Costa Rica" by Garrigues and Dean and it stayed in the hotel. Out in the field, the app was a great benefit to me as I had no previous knowledge of the birds of CR.

There was a small charge for the app.

Check it out. Available for both IOS and Android.

http://birdingfieldguides.com/costarica.html
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I've just finally updated my Sibley birds app to the new 2nd edition. In my opinion it is a worthwhile if not massive upgrade. The app itself functions better, it includes a few more species and some more art, but notably the text descriptions are updated, a bit more verbose, and presented in a better layout (broken out into habitat/voice/description instead of all run together). I wouldn't say it's going to help you ID any birds any better, but neither does the new edition of the print Sibley guide. However, the difference between the old and new app is perhaps even more notable than the difference between the old and new guide.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I've also just bought the new SASOL eBirds 5th edition. The app functions about as well as the old app, no major changes there, but there are more species, updated taxonomy, updated art for raptors and seabirds, and photos are included at no additional price. An initial look through the new seabird art and it's a dramatic upgrade. I've posted some comparison screenshots in this thread: https://www.birdforum.net/threads/sasol-guide-birds-of-southern-africa-5th-edition.403086/
 
I have to give IBird Pro a thumbs-down.

I just started fooling around with it. I saw some Black Ducks recently and wanted to check exactly how they differed from female and eclipse Mallards. So I looked up the Mallard and...there is only one image, a very familiar male Mallard. The Sibley app, which I've just downloaded, has 20 separate illustrations for the Mallard. And it allows you to run the Black Duck illustrations side by side. No contest really.

The iBird search feature is more detailed than most (although I think all the apps do this wrong). I tried looking for ducks with yellow eyes and the results were good. Added my location, Massachusetts, and the Tufted Duck, Least Grebe, and Greater Scaup disappeared. Huh? I could understand (but not approve) if the Lesser Scaup disappeared as we are at the edge of its northern winter range, but the Greater Scaup is much more likely.

I'm not even sure I will keep it on the desktop.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top