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 http://hotspots.launchrock.com/ 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

Less than two days to back Bird Photo Booth!

If you haven’t checked out Bird Photo Booth, you really should. This is an awesome product that gets you up close and personal with the birds. Less than two days are left to back Bird Photo Booth. Even though the project is fully backed, that doesn’t mean you can’t lend Bryson a hand. Plus, you can receive some cool rewards depending on how much you pledge. Check out Bird Photo Booth on their website, Facebook, and Twitter! If you like what you see, then throw a pledge up on their Kickstarter Page!

Bird Photo Booth — Water Test!

Check out this cool video from Bird Photo Booth on a water test they did to show how it will keep your camera, iPhone, or iPod safe from the rain! If you like what you see then check out the Kickstarter Project which is 56% funded with only 16 days left!

What I carry when birding.

This post is in response to Greg Neise’s post on North American Birding and Nate Swick’s post on the American Birding Association Blog about what they carry in the field while birding (links for each post at bottom).

For starters, I use Nikon Monarch 8X42 binoculars. These are extremely light and I believe are the best bang for your buck under $500. They work well in any kind of habitat, whether you are birding in the forest or fields. I have a lens cloth I received from a bird conference in Kearney, NE attached to my bins as well.

I carry a Canon Rebel XS with a 300mm lens for taking photos in the field and use a 55mm lens when banding birds and for scenery shots.

As for a field guide, I generally use my iPod Touch now with the Audubon Guide to Birds of North America and Peterson Birds of North America apps. When carrying my pack, which I will mention later, I have a Sibley and sometimes a Peterson guide stashed in there. I also use my iPod to keep a bird list, via Birdcountr app (which you can send your lists directly to eBird!), and for recording songs and calls. I use an app called BirdsEye for locating birds that haven’t found their place on my year, state, or county lists. In addition, my iPod acts as a replacement for a point and shoot camera. Generally, I will have a Rite in the Rain journal to take field notes in stashed in my pack as well.

I carry all of my gear in a Tamrac 5547 Adventure 7 Photo Backpack.

For clothing, I wear anything from Carhart field pants to gym shorts, depending on the habitat. My choice of footwear varies from work boots, to sneakers, to hiking boots, to sandals or flip flops. I haven’t found a good pair of hiking shoes or boots to bird in, so I switch it up a lot.

Reviews of birding apps for iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch can be found at:

http://www.nemesisbird.com/category/reviews/apps/

Birding apps can be found at:

http://www.audubonguides.com/field-guides/mobile-apps.html

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peterson-birds-north-america/id407825684?mt=8

Also in your app store on your apple device

In response to:

http://blog.aba.org/2011/06/what-do-you-carry-birding-equipment-in-the-field.html

http://www.nabirding.com/2011/06/02/what-i-carry/