| Sibley Birds | Birds of North America | My Digital Earth | 2nd Edition | 2017 |
App Store | 785.9 MB | £19.99p | Requires iOS 9.3 or later |Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch |
Google Play | 12MB | £18.99p | Requires Android 4.0.3 & up |
The Publisher’s View:
The Sibley Guide to Birds – the most popular, most comprehensive, and fastest-selling printed field guide to North American birds – is now available in digital form as an app for several mobile phone platforms.
The iPhone and Android versions are essentially identical to each other in content and functionality, with only very minor differences. The biggest differences will be seen in the lower resolution screens of some devices running Android OS, but when comparing the app on devices with similar screens users should see virtually no difference between them other than a few inherent differences in user interface.]
All of the content of the printed book is carried over to the electronic edition:
• Over 6600 images of 810 species
• Every species illustrated in flight and perched, and every major variation of age, season, or sex is shown
• Detailed descriptions of songs and calls, comparing similar species
• Detailed coverage of subspecies and regional variation
• Detailed maps show winter and summer range, and also migration and rare occurrence
• Measurements of length, wingspan, and weight for every species
In addition, the eGuide does things a printed book can’t do:
• Play audio recordings of over 2300 different calls and songs, contributed by Lang Elliott, Kevin Colver, and others, the most complete collection of North American bird sounds available in a single package
• Filter species to show only the birds found in a single state or province, or only the most commonly-seen species
• Filter species by color, shape, size, and habits
• Personal sightings log
• Many future improvements planned
Easy and intuitive navigation:
In designing this app I wanted to make the navigation easy and intuitive, requiring a minimum of “taps” or “clicks” to get to the important information.
Find any species in seconds by typing a few letters of its name, or by scrolling through the list (either alphabetically or taxonomically)
Swipe left or right from any species to view the previous or next species in the list
Swipe up and down to scroll through the full series of images for each species
Tap images to view full screen, and rotate to landscape mode for even larger images
Tap text to view full screen Icons lead to map, audio, and list features
Filter species by region, and also by the most commonly seen species in that region
Filter by size, color, shape, and habits
The only eGuide that allows you to compare two species images, maps, or sounds at once on the same screen
Ever since it was first published ‘Sibley’ has been my fieldguide of choice for North America. I rank it number two in the world as a fieldguide to ‘Collins’; the best guide for Europe. So, I came to this app with some positive prejudice and yet I was still blown away by it.
Everything good about the book is there. However, now there is another level you can use the app to build trip lists (one day maybe this feature will be good enough to be the preferred method), you can easily compare hard to distinguish species and even set it up to only show the birds that you might encounter wherever you happen to be birding.
Of course, its biggest plus over the book is that you can hear all the bird songs and calls too. As a tin-eared birder this is fabulous, if I have any sort of clue as to what I might be hearing I can quickly run through a bunch of songs to check.
It is also a product useful to the beginner and the expert alike with detail maps and solid text anyone can get something out of this app. If, like me, you think in taxonomic order and want to search that way its set up to oblige. If you are a newbie and want to search by shape or colour and list everything alphabetically then this is there for you too.
I could see that some developmental improvements could be made, and these have been addressed in the 2nd edition with a couple of species also added.
I found nothing to criticize about this app at all – and for me, that really is saying something!