Birding App Review – Birdlog for Android

Posted by Dan Arndt

Note: This review is for Birdlog version 1.05. As apps mature and are upgraded to newer versions, some features may change for the better or worse, and new bugs may arise or be removed.

I’ve long been a fan of technology, and while I’ve only seriously been using eBird since January, there are so many times in the field that I had wished I’d been able to just post my exact location and what I saw there right to eBird, without having to stop, take notes, and try to remember where exactly this pond or that grove of trees was. I’ve got a bit of a talent for spotting locations using satellite or aerial photos, but remembering the exact time of day, all the assorted additional species around (and numbers), can be a bit of a task.

My wishes were granted when BirdLog was released for Android (along with iPhone, and iPad apps, if those are more your style) by Birds In The Hand LLC. Right from the App, you can find your location down to incredible precision using the GPS, which uses satellite photos from Google Maps.

Current GPS Location

Current GPS Location

Nearby eBird Hotspot

Nearby eBird Hotspot

From there, you can enter in the time you started your observations, and the list is sorted taxonomically, and split between the Likely birds in my area, to All reportable birds in my area, and lastly, by the birds actually seen in the report.

Likely Birds List

Likely Birds List

Every time I turn around, I am again amazed at what this thing can do. In the search bar, you can search for the bird species instead of scrolling through the list by name (Red-breasted Nuthatch), or banding code (RBNU), which saves a whole ton of time if you’re trying to record numbers in real time, while also lifting your binoculars or camera to try to get your eyes on the bird itself.

Lastly, before finalizing the list, submit the usual questions eBird uses to document the time, effort, and species data. How long it took, how the observation was made (Travelling, Stationary, or Incidental) along with distance covered, the number of observers in the party, and whether you’re listing all the birds you identified, or only a few species present. You can then choose to save it (in case you want to review it again before submitting to eBird) or just send it right there in the field, or from the pub, after you’ve stopped for your post-birding libations after recording your first ever sighting of your most recent life-bird observation.

Time and Effort Data

Time and Effort Data

Once you’ve submitted a checklist to eBird, if you decide you want to go back and view the list again, or make any changes to it, you’re greeted with this happy little screen, and a link to where you can edit the data on the eBird website.

Review

Review

And I was just getting into the habit of keeping a field notebook too…

One thought on “Birding App Review – Birdlog for Android

  1. Hello

    It’s pretty good, isn’t it! I’ve been using it on my iPad. Very handy. You may spend a BIT more time in the field setting up your location, but you avoid all that desktop data entry later. Makes me want an iPhone, though – smaller might be better for walks and hikes.

    Did you know there is a ‘google gadget’ you can put on your blog sidebar that shows all the recent eBird sightings in a radius? Here is a blog about it.

    http://www.birdventurebirding.com/p/ebird-recent-sightings-gadget.html

    I am hoping BirdLog and eBird will come out with an app that is not just for data entry, but more of a user interface, allowing various ways to explore, compare, and share data/submissions.

    Dianne C.
    BC

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