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BirdLog app provides easy mobile data entry!

By atulloch February 2, 2014

The BirdLog app provides in-the-field data entry for eBird. 

We are thrilled to introduce you to the BirdsEye BirdLog app for the iPhone and Android smartphones and iPad, which allows quick-and-easy data entry directly from the field, even in places without mobile phone coverage. To help celebrate the launch of Eremaea eBird in Australia, the developers of BirdLog have reduced the price on their app for entering checklists of birds in Australia on mobile devices such as smartphones, for a short time.  BirdLog ANZ is currently free from the AppStore for iOS devices, and 99c from Google Play for Android devices.

Almost since the inception of eBird, we have longed for the ability to easily record and submit bird observations in a single step while birding in the field. BirdLog is already transforming eBirding, replacing the field notebook with an integrated, simple process for tallying birds and submitting directly to the eBird database. The use of the phone’s GPS makes it simple to provide precise locations, and other automated checks ensure continuing high data quality standards and actually make it easier to submit highly accurate data to eBird. Species can be entered by scrolling down a list, typing the bird name, or using an abbreviated four-letter code, and can be tallied as you go for more accurate counting. BirdLog makes recording eBird checklists easier and more accurate, all at the same time. BirdLog now represents well over 10% of all eBird data submissions!

We have found that the time investment needed both to record birds in your notebook and then come home and enter them again in eBird is one of the biggest barriers to more widespread participation in eBird. Please tell your birding friends–this app makes participation in eBird a lot easier, which in turn increases eBird’s value as a tool for birders, scientists, and conservationists.

While the Worldwide version allows you to make lists anywhere in the world using a global bird list, the Australia-New Zealand version is restricted to just those species and subspecies groups that are known to occur in Australia or New Zealand, so the taxonomy takes up less memory and is faster to load and use in the field.  You can get the BirdLog app here, in either Australian or Worldwide versions:

BirdLog for iPhone (Australia and New Zealand)

BirdLog for iPhone (World)

BirdLog for Android (Australia and New Zealand)

BirdLog for Android (World)

We have found that the time saved by entering eBird data directly from the field is considerable, which makes BirdLog well worth the price. A portion of each purchase directly supports the eBird project, so we encourage you to consider making the investment.

For those of us that work as Editorial Committee for Eremaea eBird, this app has already changed our eBirding, allowing us to enter more lists and enter them more accurately. The app really does improve the quality of our checklists, given the ability to easily tally birds as you go (and thus count them more accurately), automatically capture the time and duration, and to use the phone’s GPS and map interface for greater precision with locations. We do encourage users to check our our ‘BirdLog best practices’ document as well and especially to make sure to continue to enter detailed supportive comments for rare birds that you observe.

As one caveat, make sure to have a way to keep your phone charged while using it during the day or to charge it up before the tally. You will probably want to have a notebook as a backup, just in case of a technological failure!

Below are some of our reactions.

“I’ve waited for easy in-the-field data entry for years and this is it!” Mat Gilfedder, Australia eBird reviewer.

“We hear phrases like ‘revolutionize birding’ all too frequently, but BirdLog will actually do it! BirdLog will fundamentally change the way we go birding, making it easier than ever for birders to share observations among themselves and with the science and conservation community. Let the revolution begin.” —Chris Wood

“My field notebook has always been the ‘middle man’ between my birding and my eBirding, but now BirdLog streamlines that process. I enter more checklists, simply because it’s so easy, and still have more free time at home. I’ve waited for in-the-field data entry for years, and BirdLog’s simple interface not only makes it easy; it maximizes your data’s utility for eBird, science, and conservation.” —Marshall Iliff

BirdLog is available for iPhone and iPad via the iTunes app store or at the Google Play App Store for Android devices. A portion of the proceeds goes to fund research and conservation work at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. BirdLog was developed by Birds In The Hand, LLC, of Virginia, creators of the BirdsEye bird-finding app, available for iPhone.