Thursday, August 09, 2012
My little brother blessed me with a gift card for a recent landmark sort of birthday.
My son bought me a smart phone.
A couple of days ago he also helped me through the process of buying and installing the iBird Pro app on said phone with five bucks from the gift card, which made for a sweet combination.
I love it. As I already own a selection of field guides, which I read for fun...yeah...really, what I wanted was the recordings of bird calls and songs.
Already yesterday I used it to back up a tentative ID in the back yard. I was pretty sure I was hearing a great crested fly catcher, but it was so much quieter than most of the ones I have heard. Played the call on the phone. Yep, that blur over in the little elm was a great crested for sure.
He wasn't a new bird to me or even new to the 2012 Northview Backyard and Barnyard count (stalled at 51 with the addition of a ring-billed gull in case you were wondering) but it was cool to really be sure, right on the spot, what I was hearing.
The app has turned the phone from something I mostly use to text back and forth with the kids when they are away to something I am not going to be forgetting in the barn again any time soon. I think as I practice using the app it will become even more useful. I would recommend it even for strictly non-pro birders such as I am.