Birda App Can Help Photographers Find and Identify Bird Species
Birda is a bird-watching app that allows users to log birds and locations as well as use crowdsourced data to inform them of the species in their specific region, all data that is extremely valuable to bird photographers.
Bird photography is an incredibly popular segment of the photography space and camera companies have recently been packing cameras with features that specifically support it — there is a reason Sony, Nikon, and Canon all have implemented some form of bird autofocus in cameras over the last few years.
It’s one thing to be able to track and photograph a bird once it is in the line of sight of a photographer, which is already challenging despite these autofocus advancements, but actually locating a specific bird is a whole other level of difficulty. That is where bird-watching apps come into play, and Birda is yet another that might be a good resource for bird photographers to check out.
The company says that its goal is to turn every iPhone into a powerful tool for logging birds even if the user isn’t sure exactly what bird they’re looking at. It does this through what the company calls its “location-aware” species list. When a user logs a sighting record, the species list in Birda only shows them the birds that have already been seen in their general location (a radius of about 60 kilometers).
Birda says this makes it easier to find the correct species and avoid confusing similar-looking birds.
“More advanced birders can choose the taxonomy they’d prefer to use. Birda includes the IOC — International Community of Ornithologists — Clements and Birdlife taxonomies and will assign one to you automatically based on your country, but you can change this in your settings,” Birda explains.
If a user isn’t sure what bird they have seen, they can post a photo of it to the app and flag it as “unidentified.” When this is done, users’ followers are notified and asked to help identify it. On that note, while the app is useful for individuals, it gets more powerful when multiple friends or family members also use the app, as Birda also has a species “collection” and “achievement” system that allows users to compete with one another.
Birda says that the app is designed to make it easy to curate personal sighting collections and also values the privacy of its users.
“Rather than filing all your bird sightings on one ‘all-time’ life list, Birda generates sub-level lists based on time and geographic location. For example, you can see a breakdown of each sighting you’ve logged over the last month or year and where you saw it,” the company says.
“You can also have a ‘home list’; Birda will automatically add the sightings you log within a radius of 500 meters around your home to this list. This privacy zone means the exact location of sightings at, or close to, your home is hidden from everyone except you.”
Birda says that another one of its goals is conservation, and the data gathered from users is anonymized and can be used by scientists and environmental protection organizations to create a fuller picture of species movement, which the company says helps them put proper measures in place to support and safeguard them.
The Birda app is free and available from both the Apple App Store and Google Play.