| Collins Bird Guide | A field guide to Europe | NatureGuides Ltd | Latest Update 2020 | English, French, German, Norwegian Bokmål, Swedish |
| AppStore | 1.1GB | Requires iOS 9.0 or later | Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
| £14.99p |
| Google Play | Size varies with devices | Requires Android 5.0 & up | £12.99p |
‘It’s much more convenient than taking a big book with you…the Collins app is fantastic.’
– Chris Packham, Metro
‘The Collins Bird Guide app is destined to become a real triumph, the ultimate in field guide apps — and deservedly so.’
The Collins Bird Guide App combines world-class illustrations and comprehensive information with intuitive design to create the ultimate field guide for passionate birders and casual birdwatchers alike. The app is based on the landmark book by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström, universally acknowledged as the standard European field guide. This definitive work has been reimagined for iPad and iPhone by birders for birders.
The Collins Bird Guide App provides everything you need to identify a species quickly and learn about it thoroughly. Immerse yourself in the exceptional illustrations, maps, calls and concise text. Use the powerful search filter and curated confusion lists to focus in on a species. The Collins Bird Guide App is an essential companion always to hand on your iPhone, and available to browse in full glory on your iPad.
- Over 700 species covered
- 3500+ beautiful illustrations by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström
- Detailed text covering habitat, range, identification and voice by Lars Svensson
- Record sightings, location and date with the listing tool
- Powerful search filter
- Intuitive design to quickly and easily swipe through species
- Curated lists of confusable species
- Over 750 carefully selected songs and calls – many by Lars Svensson
- Select species names from 18 languages
- Expertly edited video clips for all 794 species in the app (In-App Purchases)
- Available in English, Swedish, Norwegian, French and German
- Weighs nothing!
As well as the optional video library, the app incorporates British Trust for Ornithology/BirdWatch Ireland/Scottish Ornithologists’ Club Bird Atlas 2007–11 mapping data as an in-app purchase, providing the most comprehensive location mapping of any bird guide app.
What’s new in latest update:
Faster search, new languages, new songs and calls, improved handling of lists and general improvements.
I was given the app when it was first developed and it’s been on my phone ever since and I use it all the time when birding.
The first part of this review was from a ‘guest reviewer’ and is somewhat dated, I note he was using a 5c iPhone… my latest is 11Pro. However, the description didn’t need changing. My brief comments follow…
Ease of use
It is a very simple app (at first appearance), open it up and you have a list of the bird families found in Europe (these can be listed taxonomically or alphabetically through the settings), touching one of the family groups will list all the birds in that category for you to browse through, you are then able to select the bird you are looking. All nice and simple.
What is there
Once you are looking at the birds, you will see a nice group of drawings (the images from the book) that can be zoomed into fully (ideal for identification) or you can look at distribution maps, bird atlas data (UK data via in app purchase of £1.99) video (assuming you have paid for and downloaded them) or similar species comparisons. You will also find a call button (sorry can’t think what better to call it) by pressing this you can hear the bird call (assuming there is one in the system, not all birds have one). Below all this is the excellent text from the original book, as well as the option to add the bird to lists (life list is the standard but you can add new lists yourself).
How well does it work
So far so good, I used it just the other day to make sure I was looking at what I thought I was looking at while in the field. So far, the only limitations are with the iPhone not the app (I have a 5c) sometimes things are a little small, but you can zoom up, and the calls can be a little quiet (you can turn them into looping via the settings). I’ve not found a single issue so far (and I’m quite confident I won’t), it is really easy to use and really useful to have with you (sure saves carrying a book around with me, and I have the calls for instant playback if I hear something I’m not sure of.
An excellent app, intuitive, useful and nice to use, full of all you could want/need to identify the bird you have found, and right in your pocket (assuming you have a smartphone). Every European/UK birder with a smartphone should own this app! High praise indeed. My only gripe is having to pay extra for videos (2 sets) and the bird atlas (although as some money goes to organisers of the atlas – The BTO – so I’m not worried about that, I just think you could increase the full cost and have them already there).
Ashley Beolens Urban Lake Photography
I (Fatbirder) can certainly add my endorsement of all of the foregoing and more. I downloaded the maps and regard them as essential… if I were the Collins App people I would have built this in and up the price accordingly as I consider it en essential part of the app. In app purchases are possible.
I went all the way and downloaded all the videos – and am glad I did, perhaps no essential but a welcome addition, which was well worth paying for.
As for the App itself, there is a great deal more to be discovered… like comparing confusion species built in and the ability to search by multiples such as searching for all birds with a crest that are found in France… I am sure there is still more to discover even after years of use.
The Collins Field Guide to Europe has hardly been matched and not surpassed since its publication… if you are not too technically challenged you will find it has now been surpassed by doing all it did on paper and adding in what is possible on an smart device.
If I had three thumbs they would all be up for this – Europe’s best birding app by far.