Ornithopedia offers a list of the 1144 birds species of Western Palearctic (Europe and Russia) in 19 languages. The app contains about 3200 photos, 29,000 streaming audio files and 2500 streaming Youtube videos of the 450 most common birds.
Download: Android 2.3.3 (35MB)
Languages: Spanish / Russian / French / German / Dutch / Italian
Runs offline: partially (connection required to access high resolution images and audio files, although there is an option to download them for offline query)
Last update: Android 10/08/2016 (v. 1.3.3)
Website of the developer: Ornithopedia
Ornithopedia Europe (there is also a version for North America) is an application that facilitates the identification of the most common European birds. To that end, this tool uses data sheets for each species in which images, videos and audio files are included. These information are supplemented with data on their populations and links to other data sources (Wikipedia, Xeno Canto, Avibase, eBird, etc.).
The application has 7 main sections:
- “Identification help”, which allows the sending of pictures of birds for their recognition. Within this section, there is also a guided search system (“Search by appearance”) in which the user identifies the main marks that characterize the bird (color of feathers, size, shape of the beak, etc.), resulting a list of direct or probable species. The other option located within this section, “My search”, displays a list of common birds according to habitat type or ecosystem.
- “Search by name”, with access to all records of the species included in the application. It offers an option to search by common or vernacular name.
- “Lists”, part in which you can create lists of sightings associated with a route. As the app itself warns, this option is being tested, with the possibility of being eliminated in future updates of the application.
- “Module”, section from which you can download various graphics and audio resources to use the tool offline.
- “Ornitho-trainer”, option that invites users to demonstrate their knowledges in birds recognition. The app allows to play selecting between images or audios.
- “Settings”, with different options to customize the application, such as the alternative to store the additional downloaded information in a different folder to the preset by the system, the choice of language or the option to change the app theme, which allows you to adjust visibility to the environmental conditions.
- “Info” with information about the creator of the application and resources used in it.
Ornithopedia (it’s advisable to take a look at the FAQ/HOW TO tab because it incorporates different videos and explanations about the use of the application).
Images: Screenshots 25/10/2016. © Ornithopedia
The apps for identifying birds can become a perfect excuse to get closer to natural environment, either with a desire to watch birds and enjoy of the rest of resources provided by nature or with the purpose of participating in activities or projects related with the citizen science.
Greenapps&web has had an opportunity to analyze some of the most used apps among birdwatchers, such as the Guide of birds of Spain, by SEO BirdLife, Audubon or Merlin Bird apps and proposals more modest but equally valid as Ornidroid. Ornithopedia, which could be encompass under the category of “modest app”, is an application that does not draw attention from the design point of view. However, it has extensive information to assist in the birds recognition, satisfying much of the needs that fans may have. The inclusion of a game in which the user can demonstrate his/her knowledge also is a point in favor of the app. Regarding aspect to improve, it would be necessary to enable an option to search by scientific name, since it has not been located any option that allows running this possibility. It would also be advisable to better explain what are the categories of protection or status of each species, since it is not clear in which catalog or legislation is based the “EU25 threat status” included on each data sheet, as well as cite the origin of the remaining data, especially the number breeding pairs. Similarly, it is advisable to review the inclusion of some species that traditionally inhabit North America and are not present naturally in Europe, as in the case of the American bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).