Birdwatching databases

Subject: Birdwatching databases
Date: 02 Jul 97 14:01:13 +1000
To answer Neils Question
>Can anyone out there recommend "Birdinfo for Windows"

In my opinion the first thing to ask yourself before investing in a
birding database is What will I be using it for?  If you do most of your
birding in Aus and you only really want to keep a tally of what you have
seen in what state or any part of Australia then I would recommend Simon's
program Birdinfo.  It has the advantage of being able to convert your data
automatically to what ever taxonomy you want to query including the ground
breaking Christidis and Boles work. It is also in my opinion is easier
to use than the American Program Birdbase.  Its only down side is that
data has not yet been entered for many countries so when you go someone
like Vietnam a checklist is not available for you to tick off from.  This
means that you either have to enter the data yourself or use the world list 
to tick off from.  Its also dead easy to make a new list of birds for an
area, eg I have made up a list of all the birds of Sydney, this can then
be used to maintain year lists etc.

However if you do a lot of overseas travel then Birdbase at this point in
time might be a better option as it now has a program called bird area
which lists all birds recorded in every country.  The difficulty with this
program for me was when a mistake is made it can be a nightmare trying to
get it all back in order.  Birdbase is particularly good if you want to
record every trip or even everyday as a separate trip, very time consuming
and a frightening task if you have done a lot of birding over the yearsand
now want to enter your data.  Reports I found somewhat limiting and not as
good as Birdinfo. Its also a lot more expensive if you intend to buy bird
area as well as birdbase. I have a copy that I am not using? Mmmmm I
wonder if it is legally possible to sell my copy 1/2 price? I doubt it!

The other program that I have been told might be worth having a look at is
the one by John Penhallurick.  I have not used it myself. Does anyone have
a copy in use?  John can you tell us what the advantages of your program
is compared to the above?

Tony Palliser
Phone.....+61 2 9900 1678 or Home +61 2 9427 7563
Fax.......+61 2 9900 1669

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