Peterson Birds of North America for iOS a must for bird watchers

Feb 6, 2012
Tech

For some, bird watching is an obsession; for others, an excuse to get into the great outdoors and really look around. Whichever category you fall into, odds are you know the Peterson Field Guides that help identify the winged marvels you’ve spotted. Now information from eight of those guides has been compiled and adapted for […]

For some, bird watching is an obsession; for others, an excuse to get into the great outdoors and really look around. Whichever category you fall into, odds are you know the Peterson Field Guides that help identify the winged marvels you’ve spotted. Now information from eight of those guides has been compiled and adapted for iPhone and iPad. And even those of us who don’t know a wagtail from a warbler will be impressed by the interface and seamless transition from this most non-techie pastime to iOS. Peterson Birds of North America is so intuitive that nothing beyond knowing how to observe, tap and type is required.

At launch, the app presents a legend explaining what each icon does, and right from there I was impressed. This app does much more than help identify birds and log their spottings. Once you get past the menu, icons representing various types of birds from around the world appear. These can be arranged in any order, and they have pictures for those who don’t know species. A touch on any brings up the traditional guide information and illustrations, along with a sighting log, Life List, maps showing migratory patterns and audio clips of the individual bird sounds.

The log and Life List can be viewed and edited in their own sections, and the field guide itself has pointers including bird watching basics, an ethical guide, habitats, nests, subspecies and detailed molting information. The app also allows users to enter their own photos from the camera roll to the logs. The app’s presentation is rich, yet still has a paper guide feel. If bird watching is your thing, or if you only want to know what just flew past your window, this app will fill the bill.

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Lisa Caplan

Lisa Caplan writes app lists and guides as well as reviewing iOS apps and games on various tech sites, most recently on her fledgling iPhone and iPad giveaway blog, AppTudes. She is thrilled to be joining the stellar reviewing team at Appolicious. Located in a balmy Montreal suburb, Lisa has an advanced degree in Creative Writing, and has had an Apple computer by her side since 1979! She is a talentless art nut, bibliophile and accessory junkie. Lisa looks forward to sharing her gaming addiction and love for all tech that promotes culture, communication, social awareness and education at every level.

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