Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sibley Bird Guide Droid App

I was very skeptical when I first heard that Sibley's Guide to Birds was coming out as a Droid Smart Phone App.  After loading it into my phone, however, I am a complete convert! You can look up single species, or compare species pairs.  The photo above shows a comparison between nonbreeding Pacific and Red-throated loons.  You can tap on each portrait and make the picture larger.  You can scroll down each species and see different plumages.  (Unfortunately my sample photo is of black-and-white birds--the portraits are in color!)  If I have my phone with me, I will never again be without a field guide!

Tap the buttons on the upper right on your phone, and you can usually pick from a list of various calls for each species.  The second button brings up a color range map for each species.  The third button allows you to make personal notes for the birds you see.  You can set the app to show only the birds known to be found in whatever state you are in (geographical, not mental).  Brief written species accounts accompany each illustration.

Off hand I can think of only think of two drawbacks.  First, when you play a call, the file can not be set to automatically repeat.  Second, this app is not free--I paid slightly under $30.  With this marvelous app, I can identify unfamiliar birds in the field and even study my ornithology while I wait for Erika in the mall! As a note of disclaimer, I have no ties, financial or otherwise, to Sibley or the sales of his app.  More information can be found at http://www.sibleyguides.com/2010/11/android-eguide-now-available and the app can be downloaded from the Droid Market. (I recommend downloading with the phone on a WIFI connection.)

8 comments:

  1. Dan nice review, could you tell us what phone you have?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have an Android Version 2.2 by Motorola. I believe there are also Sibley guides for Apple products. Check out the link on this post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. They also have an iPhone/iPod version. I agree, it is a great application.

    ReplyDelete
  4. But how does it compare to the new iBird HD or Audubon?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't answer that except to say that, already owning a droid phone, I am very pleased with the Sibley app.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How big is the app? Can it be run from the SD card? Does it require a data connection?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have insufficient knowledge on such technical questions. The program appears to be 373.2 MG. Some of it may well be stored on the SD card, but I am not sure. Sibley's web site might be able to answer your questions. When I downloaded the program, however, I did not notice any extreme loss of memory. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete