Review: BirdsEye BirdLog

Drew WeberApps, eBird, General News and Info, Reviews7 Comments

Finally. An app to submit eBird checklists was just released and I am pretty pumped about it. BirdsEye BirdLog has been available for Android and in testing for iPhone for quite a while as they worked out the kinks and made it better. With its official release today, I expect to see an uptick in submissions as people latch on to the new and easy way to submit sightings.

The premise of the app is simple– provide a quick and easy way to upload sightings from your iPhone to eBird. Several other apps have already done this to some extent, allowing you to email yourself a file that you can upload to eBird containing your sightings. BirdLog sets itself apart by submitting checklists directly to eBird, taking out the extra steps and making it even easier to submit checklists on the go. A lot of thought has gone into the design to make it easy to use, as well as functional. It is easy to enter comments for species, comments on the checklist, use different protocols etc. Entry is quick either by flipping through the list of likely species, or using alpha codes.

My favorite use of the app so far is to enter those incidental sightings of raptors or flocks of birds that I see along the road while driving. BirdLog automatically creates a name based on the coordinates of the location which is much nicer than having to create a name for each random incidental location I see birds at. BirdLog makes it easy to enter observations that in the past may not have warranted the effort to jot down a location and the species. Now, entering them from the iPhone means you can use your GPS to do the hard work of creating the location and just concentrate on the birds.

Any birder with an iPhone should definitely buy this app. It also works well on the iPod Touch but that device lacks GPS and a data connection to submit checklists in the field. Pick it up for a limited time at $9.99 (normally $14.99).

Below I took some screenshots of the app that walk you through the process of entering and submitting a checklist. Click on the photos to zoom in and then use left and right arrows to move through the photos.

BirdsEye BirdLog -- North America - Birds In The Hand, LLC

  • Just put it on my iPhone and looking forward to using it and reviewing over the next couple weeks.

  • Thanks Drew!  We are really excited by the reception that BirdLog North America is getting.  Several eBirders have reported that they actually went out and bought a smart phone once they learned what BirdLog can do.  I’ve been running the beta version for several months, watching it improve over time as we got user feedback as well as feedback from the folks at eBird. 

    BirdLog has thoroughly changed my use of eBird, for the better.  I was conscientious before (the top eBirder in my county, by species and by checklists [although the species competition is close!]). But BirdLog makes everything so much easier.   I’m sending in more reports, and I know that they are more accurate because of the way the BirdLog keeps track of how many of each species I have entered.  Much more accuracy, much better precision.  Much more data, because it’s so easy. And hey… when I get back to my house I don’t have to turn on the computer to build and send checklists to eBird.  That’s already done! I can watch 30 Rock!We’ve got great plans for BirdLog, including a global version in the near term. Feedback from users will be really helpful in making this even more of the killer app it can is.  We’re not done with this app.  I think it will be a major force in eBird’s revolutionary contributions to birding and ornithology.  Ideas wanted.

    And to learn more about BirdLog and BirdsEye, our first app, visit BirdsEyebirding.com

  • Rusty Moran

    When I went to install BirdLog on my Android phone, the permissions included reading my contact information. I was put off by that. I see no good reason for the app to be able to read my contact info, or I should at least have the option of granting permission within the app. I didn’t purchase the app. Do iPhone users get that too? Is anyone else concerned about this?

    • I didn’t get that on the iPhone. I would contact the developer because there is no reason for them to need your contacts.

      • Rusty Moran

         I sent them an email several days ago and have not received a reply. Appreciate your thoughts.

  • Robert McLemore

    $20 for the world version and $10 for the North American version is an incredible “introductory” price. Why wasn’t this included in the (wonderful) BirdsEye product? I can get the same log your birds capability in most every other bird identification app. If it is the automatic entry to eBird – then why is Cornell charging for the data that drives a lot of their research? BTW, Drew – Did you pay for this or did you get an “evaluation copy”?

    • The app is not put out by Cornell, it is an independent developer. I was a beta tester for the app and so I did receive a free copy, but I would have bought it in a blink of an eye. 

      As for the listing, BirdLog is much easier to use for this than any bird identification app, and the direct submission to eBird makes it my most frequently used app on my phone.