BirdsEye Nature Apps – Dragonfly ID app for iOS

Here’s the press release for BirdsEye Nature Apps‘ recently released Dragonfly ID app for iOS.

Credit: BirdsEye Nature Apps, 2015.

Credit: BirdsEye Nature Apps, 2015.

We are excited to release a brand new app, targeting another charasmatic group of flying species.

  • Available today for iOS devices – FREE!
  • The power of BirdsEye and OdonataCentral for dragonflies and damselflies
  • Species list for with abundance charts for anywhere in North America
  • Smart Search to quickly ID by color, size, and habitat
  • View sightings and sync your lists from OdonataCentral
  • Stunning photos contributed by users
  • Text is still somewhat limited; If you are seriously interested in identifying dragonflies you will also need a good field guide. If you would like to help other users by writing text for a few species in your area, we and they would welcome your contribution!

Dragonfly ID is a collaboration between BirdsEye, OdonataCentral and the Xerces Society with special thanks to the membership of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas and the users of OdonataCentral, the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership, and Pondwatch for their contributions.

We are thankful for the generous contributions of several individuals who wish to remain anonymous. A special thanks is also due to the dozens of people who have made this project a reality through app design, beta testing, pre purchasing and photo and text contributions. We would especially like to thank John Abbott, Celeste Mazzacano, Dennis Paulson, Marion Dobbs, Alison Sheehey, John Garrett, Mike Moore, Dan Tallman, David Hollie, Kristy Baker, Jenna McDermott, Andrew Theus, and many more. Each of these individuals has gone out of their way to make this project a success, from submitting photos, providing feedback during beta testing, and more.

Download for iOS.

Work has begun on the Android version and we hope to be beta testing within the next month. We invite you to help support the Android version by donating. Those who donate will be able to participate in beta testing before public release and will be the first to receive the app when it is launched. If we receive enough support we hope to be able to make the Android version available for free as well.

We are also seeking donations to support ongoing improvements to the iOS version. If you share our passion for birds, odes, citizen science and learning about the natural world, please consider helping us make these apps better!

Prepurchase for Android

BirdsEye Hotspots App – Get it!

I’ve been beta testing BirdsEye Hotspots for iOS, a co-produced app by BirdsEye Birding and Nemesis Code, for a few weeks now. I use it multiple times a day when I’m birding. It comes in handy when I’m not entirely sure where a birding hotspot is located or when I want to bird somewhere new. The app is essential for a fun-filled, smooth day of birding! (P.S. This will be crucial for navigating to spots during a Big Day.)








BIRDSEYE HOTSPOTS: Worldwide hotspot finding

BirdsEye Hotspots is a simple tool for birders. It makes it quick and easy to find nearby hotspots so you can quickly get there and start birding!

  • County listers rejoice! Always know which county you are in and which county your hotspots are in.
  • Get driving, walking and transit directions to any hotspot worldwide in your favorite apps. Hotspots currently works with many of the popular map and navigation apps.
  • Link directly to the new BirdsEye apps to view local abundance charts of the birds found at each hotspot. (requires BirdsEye NA or any of the other regional BirdsEye apps)
  • One tap button to copy the latitude and longitude of a hotspot or your current location to quickly share with others.
  • Local weather data – you need to know what the conditions will be when searching for your next birding spot. That spot that is excellent in sunny conditions can be brutal when its stormy while rainy weather can prompt you to head to nearby lakes to look for waterfowl.
  • Sunrise and sunset times so you always know how much more daylight you have to twitch that rarity.
  • World wide access to eBird hotspots

Note: Requires WiFi or data connection to access hotspot data.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Every birder should own this app. For $4.99 you can’t beat it!

Get the app here!

Phone Skope Video Compilation!

Here’s a video compilation I made using iMovie for iOS. The video, Phone Skope Birding, is comprised of birds digiscoped with an iPhone 4S + Celestron Regal M2 80ED & Phone Skope Adapter.

Be sure to check out for your smartphone digiscoping needs! Also, follow Phone Skope on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google +, and Instagram!

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in southern Delaware!

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck in Rehoboth, DE on 18 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

A pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were first reported on July 15 at King’s Creek Country Club in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks are casual vagrants in Delaware with eight previously accepted records.

Image provided by eBird ( and created 31 July 2013.

Looking at eBird records (pictured above), Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks are common vagrants throughout the eastern half of the country. There was a single bird in northern Maryland during the same time the birds in Rehoboth Beach were present. Golfers at the country club said that there were five birds present, but birders only observed two, max. I was fortunate to see only one of those birds. It took me about a dozen tries and a few afternoons/evening of solid birding to find one. I think only three other birders were able to track down this bird.



Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks seek refuge in marshes in the southern US, feed on aquatic plants, grains, grass, insects, and mollusks, and nest in tree cavities.

During my visit, I watched the bird from a distance for about five minutes. It was not associating with the flock of Canada Geese directly, but outside of the golf course it most likely was. It spent most of its time feeding during my stay, but also started calling as I was leaving. It was doing a similar call to the recording below:

I was able to obtain a decent digiscoped video from a distance with my iPhone 4S + Celestron Regal M2 80ED & Phone Skope Adapter (Watch on 1080p for best quality).

This bird was gave me 388 for my ABA Year List and 199 for my Delaware Year List. I dipped super hard on it in southeast AZ and all of my searching/recon in southern Delaware paid off. It is a great addition to my Delaware Life List, which is now at 243. Here’s to hoping more vagrants start showing up in Delaware!

Literature Cited:

Andrew Spencer, XC102174. Accessible at

James, J. D., and J. E. Thompson. 2001. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis). In The Birds of North America, No. 578 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Sullivan, B.L., C.L. Wood, M.J. Iliff, R.E. Bonney, D. Fink, and S. Kelling. 2009. eBird: a citizen-based bird observation network in the biological sciences. Biological Conservation 142: 2282-2292.

Upcoming Release: BirdsEye Hotspots for iOS

“Do you need fast directions to a new birding spot? Traveling and have no idea where to go birding? Hotspots does all this and more…coming summer 2013!”

Be sure to check out and sign up to get the latest updates on BirdsEye Hotspots and be notified as soon as it hits the App Store!

The NEW BirdsEye!

We use BirdsEye, a lot. Well, you can say we are addicts. The old BirdsEye is awesome and the NEW BirdsEye looks to blow it out of the water. Here’s why:

“To address these problems we have embarked on a ground-up rebuild of BirdsEye and are adding some cool new features in the process. In this first version the new BirdsEye already provides some useful new features not in the original, including:

  • import eBird life and year lists for any country, state or county
  • display local abundance charts for all nearby birds based on a radius that you select from 1 to 50 miles
  • see which of the local birds are “needs” (i.e. they aren’t already on your list)
  • provide regional versions covering much of the world
  • you can change the naming convention for birds from a large number of eBird naming options including US, UK and Australian English, Scientific, Spanish and French

The latest version of the New BirdsEye NA and regional versions are now roughly on par with the Original BirdsEye, although there are pros and cons. The latest update of BirdsEye NA in the App Store includes the ability to browse Hotspots and see recent “Notable” sightings near you.

We have not made a final decision on how to roll it out to existing BirdsEye users. The issues here are somewhat complex. First, it isn’t ready yet. Second, it will never be identical, and some people love the original just like it is, so we think many people will not want to change. Third, the model of selling apps is probably not sustainable for us in this niche market of high-end birding apps. We cannot afford to improve and support our app as much as we need to, despite relying mostly on low-paid and/or volunteer labor. At some point I believe that we need to transition to a subscription approach and the rollout of the new BirdsEye may be the right time to do that.  

We want to roll it out for Android when we have sufficient financial support to do that.  Supporting Android is likely to be unprofitable, but it is important for our mission of promoting eBird, especially among younger users and birders outside of the US.”

All information used with permission from the BirdsEye Birding Team

Wing-tagged American White Pelican

A few weeks ago, I spotted two large white birds floating several hundred meters out at Hart Mine Marsh. I couldn’t tell what the birds were through binoculars so I decided to scope them. They turned out to be American White Pelicans! While glancing through the scope, I noticed one had a red tag on its right wing. Although distant, I was able to read the number 508 from the tag.

Wing-tagged American White Pelican at Hart Mine Marsh on 11 May 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

I’m always interested in seeing where the tagged birds were originally banded. Reporting sightings of tagged birds is crucial in understanding complex migration patterns. Report sightings to

The pelican was banded in July 2008 at Minidoka NWR in Cassia Count, Idaho as a fledgling that was too young to fly. More details below:

I spotted the bird approximately 650 miles (as the bird flies) from the original banding location.

Distance between banding and resighting locations. Credit – Google Earth.

The bird was not present my next time birding the marsh, so I wonder where it will end up next!

Good birding,