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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 01 Jun 2014 (Sunday) 16:18
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Sibley Birds of North America Smartphone App

"Now what?"
1,749 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Feb 2008
Location: Castle Rock, WA
Jun 01, 2014 16:18 |  #1

Has anybody bought the app Sibley Birds of North America for their smartphone? I of course have the book, but never take it into the field with me. I downloaded the LITE version as a trial, but it is very limited in what it has (30 species vs. 800+ in the full version). The full version is $19.99, pretty spendy for an app. Has anyone bought it and do you find it as useful and easy to use as the book is?

Here are the links:

Google Play
Full:​m …eas.eproducts.s​ibleybirds (external link)
Lite:​m …eproducts.sible​ybirdslite (external link)

App Store
Full:​om …ds-north/id354101483?mt=8 (external link)
Lite:​om …ds-north/id494214706?mt=8 (external link)

Windows Phone
Full: http://www.windowsphon​ …08-4666-a07f-f7d5934baa49 (external link)

Canon 40D w/ BG-E2N Grip| 400mm f/5.6L | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 | Gitzo GT3541LS w/ RRS BH-55

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Senior Member
888 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Feb 2010
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Jun 01, 2014 19:48 |  #2

I use ibird pro. Has illustration and photos along with info. New version look even better

Confused and Prone to Wander.........
Canon Canon 7D II, Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 II, Tamron 17-50 non-VCR

John ­ Haig
Mostly Lurking
10 posts
Joined Feb 2010
Location: Lansdowne, ON Canada
Jun 03, 2014 00:46 |  #3

I've had it for a few's outstanding. Works well, and has multiple calls available for each species. Well worth the price.

Junior Member
26 posts
Joined Jan 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 03, 2014 16:52 as a reply to  @ John Haig's post |  #4

The question that usually gets asked is "Should I get Sibley, iBird or Audubon app?" The correct answer is "Yes." If you can afford them get all three. Sibley is best for actual ids, but the other two have more information on general natural history of the bird species, and between them offer a nice set of photos to back up Sibley. All three offer songs and calls, often from different recordings. It would also be a good idea to add the kindle or nook version of Pete Dunne's Field guide companion.


Will Pratt
Emeritus Curator of Invertebrates
Barrick Museum, UNLV

1,328 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 195
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Hughson CA
Jun 05, 2014 11:36 |  #5

I bought ibird pro. I found this comparison (external link) of the differences between brands useful. Its about the same price as Sibley's app. "Pricey" is a relative term. While you may be used to getting free or cheap apps, I feel the price is worth it for how useful it is.

Canon 7D, T2i, EF 100-400mm L, EF 100mm 2.8 L, EF-S 15-85mm, EF 50mm 1.4 IS, 480 EX, etc.

1,327 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Jun 2009
Location: Oregon
Jun 06, 2014 16:08 |  #6

If you have the book, I find it quite redundant to have the app as well. There are a couple places where the app beats the book, portability and audio.

Audio is handy. Especially if you don't know your bird calls. However, if you are truly interested in birding, and spend some time at it, within a few months you will see the actual bird making the calls you haven't heard before. I find this is a much better way of learning calls, as you have the memory of the first time you actually ID'd the bird, not from a phone.

Portability is very nice, and this would be my main argument to purchase the app. However, once again I believe it would be redundant if you already have the guide. But if you think spending $20 is worth having it on your person rather than walking back to your car and looking, then go ahead and purchase it.

Again, if you are truly interested in birding, you should know how to identify most of the birds within a few months. And for those you don't know, you have your guide. I use birding as a way to get away from my phone, computer, work, etc. Bringing a mobile device with me would completely ruin that experience.

flickr (external link)

Senior Member
699 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 10
Joined Nov 2006
Location: Southern Oklahoma
Jun 06, 2014 16:22 |  #7

There is also Audubon Birds. The app (at least on my Android) has some quirks with it. If you leave it open then re-enter at a later time, sometimes the search doesn't work (it won't return any results). So you have to fully exit then open it again. Other times it will crash while opening.

For me, I can live with those quirks so I haven't tried any other apps. I think when I got it, it was $20, but has since dropped to $10 and they run sales a lot so you can get it for like 99 cents.

Also those of you on IOS, can get BirdsEye. I'm not too familar with it since I'm on Android and have yet to see the app, but some of my pics are in it.

Everyday use: 7D2, 1.4x v3 Canon TC (sometimes the 2x v2 Canon TC), Canon 500mm f4 L IS USM; 6D, 24-105L
http://www.southernokp​ (external link)

33 posts
Joined Aug 2009
Jun 08, 2014 12:04 |  #8

I've always used iBird Pro. I have Sibleys in book version and having iBird on my phone gives me complementary sources of information.

5Dii, 7D, SL1, and a bunch of lenses.

59 posts
Gallery: 26 photos
Likes: 76
Joined Apr 2013
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Jun 09, 2014 21:06 |  #9

I've used Sibley's and Peterson's for a couple of years. Both are to have and carry around at my fingertips at all times, much more convenient than the books. I also like the audio for calls that are available on both.

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Sibley Birds of North America Smartphone App
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