Saturday, March 24, 2012

You're Going to Want This

[Sample screen shot of the new Birds Eye Bird Log

Although I've only done 2 eBird checklists on it so far, I am really impressed by the new Birds Eye Bird Log, an app for iPhones and Droids that allows you to enter eBird checklists in the field.

One of my lists was a walk around of Cox Hall Creek WMA, where I went so far as to enter 10 WTSP (White-throated Sparrows,) then enter 5 more and the app added my total up to 15, and so on. You can enter data by typing a number of birds and then a banding code or the species name, or you can enter from a more conventional checklist. You can upload your lists from the field, or save them and upload to eBird when you get home.

I supposed the idea is that as you walk around and see stuff, you immediately stop looking at it and instead haul out your phone and diligently type in every junco, cardinal and chickadee as you see them. I don't see that happening much with me - who wants to be pecking at a smartphone when there are birds to watch? I do see the App replacing the clickers I often use for just a select set of species, to give me a few benchmarks on numbers when I get back home to enter the checklist. Only, now I don't even have to go back home, I finished up my Cox Hall Creek checklist in the parking lot. And, when I got home and had started cooking tonight's Filipino-style chicken adobo when I noticed my male Dickcissel was back at my feeder, I didn't have to go to my office, start up the computer, and open eBird to record the sighting - I just did it from the phone as I cooked.

Like I said, you're going to want this.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think so, Don. I know eBirds is helpful in letting others see your data as you see theirs, but I am tired of the people I see in the field with their bird calls on their iPhones, their GPS, etc. Technology takes the soul out of nature. The birds become just another tick on an electronic list. I am glad you like the convenience but I guess I am old-fashioned. Half the time I only go out with binoculars, although this last time in the Great Swamp it cost me a photo of a lovely male bluebird and a pine warbler as nice as yours of the other week. C'est la vie. I'll get around to registering on eBird at some point but for now I want my birdwatching to be as tech-free as possible.