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App Round-Up – Birds (Part 1: Identification)

bird app roundup

There are now a multitude of apps available to assist ecologists in the field.  In the second of Inside Ecology’s App Roundup series, we focus on birds…

Collins Bird Guide By NatureGuides Ltd.
The Collins Bird Guide App combines world-class illustrations and comprehensive information with intuitive design to create the ultimate field guide for passionate birders and casual birdwatchers alike. The app is based on the landmark book by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström, acknowledged as the standard European field guide.

Features include: over 700 European species covered, 3500+ illustrations, detailed text covering habitat, range, identification and voice by Lars Svensson, record sightings, location and date with the listing tool, powerful search filter, curated lists of confusable species, over 750 carefully selected songs and calls, edited video clips for all 794 species in the app (In-App Purchases).

As well as the optional video library, the app incorporates British Trust for Ornithology/BirdWatch Ireland/Scottish Ornithologists’ Club Bird Atlas 2007–11 mapping data as an in-app purchase.

Compatible with Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


Bird Id – British Isles Identification Guide including all RSPB BGB bird watching survey birds By Mullen & Pohland GbR
Bird Id includes images and songs of all birds covered by the RSPB BGB survey of the British Isles. Many other species are included too, 253 bird species in total.

For the bird enthusiast there is anatomical, ecological and taxonomic information too.

Bird Id can be used to keep a log of your bird sightings making it easy to build a record of all the birds you’ve seen. It has been created by professional published ecologists, and uses propriety image and audio libraries.

The app does not need an internet connection, all content is downloaded when the app is purchased.

Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Birds of Britain Pro: A Field Guide from iSpiny By Spiny Software Ltd
Birds Of Britain Pro is a guide to over 300 British birds, professionally produced bird songs and calls, and carefully selected photos showing a variety of plumages.  Photos show a selection of male, female, juvenile, alternate plumage, flight image and nest. For many birds, an annotated photo shows key features, to help distinguish similar species.

Specially written text covers rarity status, distribution, appearance, habitat, diet, lifespan, nesting habits, and more.  There is also a European distribution map for each bird.  A ‘Here and Now’ feature shows birds in your part of the country and this time of year. Sort alphabetically by name or second name, by taxonomic group, or by length.

Use the ‘Bird Finder’ for fast identification of unknown birds.  Results are presented as a display of photos so that you can quickly spot the best match.

You can add your own photos to the app. In addition, the developer claims that is the only bird app to include extensive record keeping features, with iCloud syncing to keep your data safe. You can transfer your sightings to someone else’s device by using the email back-up. The app knows the names of a further 350 species that have visited or might visit Britain in the future.

Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


Birds Of Britain By CityDroid
Simple and easy to use list of all the birds you can see in Great Britain. Also shows what birds are likely to be in your area at the moment. Now also includes songs for most common birds.

Search by name or part of name to see basic bird details such as size, habitat and colours. You also have the option to see full bird details on line. Browse all birds or select by family (option to exclude rarities). Choose filters by combinations of size, colour and habitat.

Compatible with Android devices.

UK Birds – Birdwatching App By Thom Shutt
Bird watching app containing photos and information for over 600 birds that either live or have been spotted in Great Britain and the British Isles. Works completely offline, with no need for additional downloading. Filter birds based on type, or status in the UK or search for them by name. Enlarge the images for easier viewing by touching them.

You can now listen to the songs of over 40 of the birds, with more to come in future updates.

The app lets you mark the birds that you’ve spotted to help keep track of which species have been seen.

Compatible with Android devices.


Bird Id – British Birds By Sunbird Images
All the RSPB annual survey birds are included. Garden birds, woodland birds, birds of heath and moorland, summer and winter visitors, waders and sea birds. Includes high quality images, plus songs and calls. No internet connection is needed all the information for birds is downloaded when the app is purchased.

Created by professional published ecologists. For the bird enthusiast there is anatomical, ecological and taxonomic information too.

Bird Id can be used to keep a log of your bird sightings making it easy to build a record of the birds you’ve seen. It uses propriety image and audio libraries to help make bird identification quick and easy.

Uses state of the art taxonomic keying system designed specifically for use on mobile devices and is ideal for bird identification while birdwatching.

Compatible with Android devices.

Birds of Britain and Ireland By Pinnacle Apps Ltd
Birds of Britain and Ireland is a high quality interactive field guide covering over 230 bird species that are found in and around Britain and Ireland, covering all the British Isles.

The app includes: multiple high definition photos for each bird, showing different plumages where they exist, audio files of bird calls/bird songs for each bird, extensive information on bird distribution, habitat, diet, identification description.  No internet connection is required, the app functions completely offline.

Compatible with Android devices.

What has your experience been of using these apps in the field?  Do you use any other bird apps not listed above? Let us know in the comments box.