Birding Apps and checklists can keep you up to date with the latest information on what birds are being seen in a given area. In other words, if you are a birding enthusiast, it can keep you birding ‘fit’.
Today we are going to take a look at some Apps to help you identify and get facts on birds. We also take a look at some birding checklists that you can download to have with you while birding, and then some birding competition sites that you can list your sightings on (just for those that are a little competitive).
There are a number of these worldwide the cover different geographical regions. They range from free options to paid versions and can be incredibly useful when starting out to identify family groups, colours and calls, or even when you are experienced to make sure you are correct when it comes to similar species. Let’s take a look at some of these Apps.
#1 iBird Pro Guide
Whether you are an experienced birder, a bird watcher or a beginner at birding, iBird’s intelligent search engine and comprehensive species accounts will turn you into a birding expert. From well-known birds to exotic rare species, iBird works like magic, revealing a list of birds that perfectly matches your search choices.
This can be purchased for the UK and North American regions. There is a free version available.
#2 Merlin Bird ID
Merlin is more than just a field assistant to help you identify birds, Merlin is a customizable field guide for birds around the world. Get identification help and discover what birds to look for near you with Merlin Bird ID. You can download the app here.
#3 Audubon Bird Guide
The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you’ve seen, and get you outside to find new birds near you.
#4 Song Sleuth
Song Sleuth turns your Android phone or tablet into an automatic bird song identifier covering the 200 most common vocalizing land birds in the U.S.A. Not just for beginners, the App also has features for intermediate birders who might need an identification hint or wish to study the included example recordings to take their birding ‘ear’ to the next level. Advanced birders who don’t need any identification help will appreciate the ability to make and keep recordings for further study.
#5 Newmans Birds Southern Africa
Includes over 1000 high-quality photographs of 975 bird species (i.e. ALL the species for the region). There are detailed descriptions (including species’ status), illustrations and distribution maps and accurate illustrations of each bird as it is seen in the field, with labels showing diagnostic features. The App includes over 800 bird calls with multiple call types (song, duet, alarm, mating). Buy the full version here or try the free version first (download here).
#6 Roberts Bird Guide
Roberts Bird Guide displays Southern African birds on full pages of the book for instant comparison and identification. Search the family list or swipe the pages for a bird, play the sound, view the distribution, add to your list, view and compare similar birds, open the Bird Page for text and photographs, or open the Bird Guide list for the selected bird. This can be purchased here.
For some birding checklists of species in Southern Africa, see the different options below:
Birding Tracking Lists
Tracking which species of birds you have seen and where you spotted them, is good fun. You realise as the numbers start adding up how many different types there are and also which birds you are more likely to see in different areas.
Here are some Bird Tracking List sites:
BirdLasser is a fun, easy way to record your bird sightings and share with friends, your community and contribute to conservation. You can also share that special sighting with your fellow birders in real-time via email or post a trip report.
Record all your wildlife observations with any device. Import all your past records and create your personalised Tree of Life. Manage your wildlife observations and photos from all over the world. Get prepared with personalised country checklists. You can visit the iGoTerra website for further details.
eBird Mobile makes it easy to record the birds you see in the field, and seamlessly link these observations to eBird with a global online database of bird records used by hundreds of thousands of birders around the world. This free resource makes it easy to keep track of what you see, while making your data openly available for scientific research, education, and conservation.
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