World Bird Sightings and iPhone Software

To: Frank O'Connor <>
Subject: World Bird Sightings and iPhone Software
From: Stewart Ford <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 12:28:51 +0800
A few additions to Frank's excellent summary of the program.  

I also use Wildlife Recorder but use the accessory mobile software Pocket Bird 
Recorder on a PDA to input trips into Wildlife Recorder.  I find this to be 
easier than entering them into Wildlife Recorder.  Pocket Bird Recorder 
integrates with the built-in or external GPS of your PDA, Palm or Android 
(upcoming) device, storing GPS co-ordinates in the field .  You can also store 
multiple GPS co-ordinates for the same location, e.g. if you were on a pelagic 
trip and wanted to enter multiple gps locations under a single title.  
Unfortunately I have not heard talk of an iPhone app at this stage.

I rarely use a notebook these days - I enter the trips, locations, times & 
species into Pocket Bird Recorder on the PDA and then sync with Wildlife 
Recorder on my desktop, at which point I have access to all of the features 
that Frank has mentioned. 

If you're going birding in a different state or country, you simply upload the 
relevant state or country list to the PDA from Wildlife Recorder and get going.

I've been very happy with the combination of Wildlife Recorder and Pocket Bird 



On 20/06/2011, at 5:11 PM, Frank O'Connor wrote:

> I purchased Wildlife Recorder from the UK. The normal version is fine if all 
> you want is to record your birds and mammals.  I bought the full Professional 
> version.  I am in the process of putting the Australian reptiles, frogs and 
> butterflies on. This involves sending Jack Levene the Excel files to create 
> the initial database and then inputting the distribution list and notes, and 
> alternate names.  Also a few things like marking a species as introduced.
> I am using the following references :
> Wilson, Steve & Swan, Gerry (2010), A Complete Guide to Reptiles, 3rd 
> Edition, New Holland Publishers. (Plus adding some alternate names from other 
> sources).
> Tyler, Michael & Knight, Frank (2009), Field Guide to the Frogs of Australia, 
> CSIRO Publishing (Plus alternate names from other sources)
> Orr, Albert & Kitching, Roger (2010), The Butterflies of Australia, Allen & 
> Unwin (Plus alternate names from other sources such as Braby)
> As for the birds and mammals, it does the job very well. Not all the mammal 
> sub species have been entered, so occasionally I have to enter one.
> For my overseas trips, it has species lists for every country plus for many 
> countries it has state / province lists (including Australia). You can print 
> this out before the trip so you can markup the trip list for lifers.  I find 
> that there are a few birds on each trip that haven't been included, and I 
> send Jack these additions.
> I use the IOU list.  This is updated several times a year, as is the software 
> itself.  This is generally an easy process, although the last IOU update made 
> massive changes (in particular it dropped a lot of sub species) which 
> required me to work through about a 1000 changes (maybe 200 different 
> changes).  The IOU list was my preferred taxonomy (but you can choose 
> Clements or Howard & Moore).  The IOU list is the closest to C&B2008, but 
> there are quite a few differences mainly to sequence but also names (e.g. it 
> has Short-billed Black-Cockatoo) and to species.  It is updated quite quickly 
> so it already has Swan River Honeyeater, Western Ground Parrot, etc.  It has 
> a few such as Western Fieldwren that are likely to get overruled and get 
> lumped again.
> Entering the data is fairly easy, although for an overseas trip this often 
> takes 15 to 20 minutes.  At the end of the trip I get a full list to check 
> sub species and to audit against my trip list.  I enter rough counts.  I also 
> enter statuses such as "Seen by others", "Glimpse", "Introduced", "Breeding", 
> etc.
> It did take quite a while to enter all my historical data. In fact I 
> prioritised my overseas trips, as that was my highest priority. I still have 
> quite a few historical Australian trips to add, and my Australian list is 
> about 50 or so species short at the moment (and hence my life list could be 
> that far out, although many of the missing records are from twitches of birds 
> that I may have seen overseas).
> The reporting is good, although it doesn't handle the statuses other than 
> "Heard" very well.  I can easily include or exclude "Introduced" from my 
> lists (I exclude from my World List and include in my Country and State 
> lists).
> It does mean that I can now very easily report year lists which I have never 
> done before (excluding Introduced).
> You can create locations within the existing locations, and nest these fairly 
> deep. e.g. Australia / Western Australia / South West / Perth / Herdsman 
> Lake.  You can input the coordinates for these locations, but the format is 
> very hard to remember.  You can then export the data to online applications 
> such as Ebird.  I haven't done this.  To be honest, when I have been birding 
> all day, I tend to enter a list for the whole day at the level with 
> encompasses everything, rather than break it up into a list for each location 
> for the day.  So if I did print out a list of what I have seen at say 
> Dryandra State Forest, it would only report a fraction of what I have 
> actually seen there.
> The program is stable, but there are things that could be done better. 
> Scrolling doesn't always work when you think it should.
> There is a voice data entry option.  I haven't tried this, but it is 
> recommended by other users.
> There is a mobile phone application for entering data, but again I haven't 
> looked into this.
> The help from Jack Levene is usually very prompt and very useful, although a 
> few times it has been delayed and I have to chase it up. It helps a lot to 
> include Wildlife Recorder at the start of the subject line, as his anti spam 
> software can delete other email sometimes.
> I certainly recommend the product.
> At 08:44 20/06/2011, Steve Potter wrote:
>> Dear Frank et al..
>> After a tip off from Martin Cake re iPhone site recording software called 
>> 'My Bird Observations' 
>> I have been perusing the archives again re World bird recording products and 
>> came across your excellent summary of such things in 2009.
>> Question to Frank: What did you end up going with and what is your 
>> assessment? Any Updates on this?
>> Question to List: Has anyone found any other products for world birding on 
>> the iPhone other than the above? Birdsite is great but only for a couple of 
>> countries as far as I can see.
>> Thanks
>> Steve Potter
> _________________________________________________________________
> Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
> Phone : (08) 9386 5694              Email : 
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