The pursuit of birding has been around for decades, but a handful of excellent mobile apps are revolutionizing how people go about it.
If you’re already a birder, you’ll love how these apps make it easier than ever to find, record, and study birds. If you’re not a birder already, these apps are so well made, they may just turn you into one.
So if you’re looking for a fun way to connect with nature, check out the following apps, two of which are on both iOS and Android. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone like the Samsung Galaxy, they’re ideal for planning simple day trips or far-flung vacations.
Audubon Birds – A Field Guide to North American Birds
Available for both Android and iPhone, I consider Audubon’s app the best all-around field guide and birding app.
To be sure, it’s a big app and a relatively expensive one, at least by the standards we expect for paid apps. However, app developer Green Mountain Digital did a remarkable job harnessing the resources of the Audubon Society to make an app that’s as useful as it is easy-to-use and fun to look at.
You’ll find entries for 771 species of birds, complete with audio files to hear various bird calls. The included photos are gorgeous. For many species, you will find images for both male and female birds and for variations in plumage.
The app takes advantage of GPS to show birds common to your area, and to help you create your own bird sighting records. Expert birders can search for birds by size, shape and other characteristics.
Whether you’re at home researching birds or out in the field seeking them out, you’ll love this app. It truly takes advantage of the capacities of the iPhone and Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy.
You can harness the power of the bird-watching community with this fantastic app.
BirdsEye Log connects you to the eBird.org database of bird sightings. You can log your own bird sightings and see those of others to better understand the aviary of your area. So if you’re looking for a specific bird such as a horned owl, you can see where others have found it and how long ago they saw it.
The app also denotes which birds are rare to the area. Increase your chances of finding these birds by quickly heading to the spot where they were last found.
Links: iPhone ($19.99), Android ($9.99 for North American version, $19.99 for International)
Chirp! Bird Songs USA
Oh, how fun it is to learn and listen to bird calls with Chirp!
This gorgeous app has a fast, intuitive interface, enabling you to look up specific birds or just browse bird songs out of curiosity. Kids will have fun playing with the app, which includes a bird songs quiz.
Unlike other bird song apps, this one features a playlist maker. You can play your favorite bird call or combine several to create soothing audio, whether you’re looking to sleep or just find peace as you work.
Link: iPhone ($3.99)
Ashlee McCullen is a staff writer for ApronAddicts.com, a site about fashionable aprons and kitchen style.