India is fast becoming a country with one of the largest number of nature enthusiasts discovering the amazing world of birds. With close to 1300 species of birds in the Indian subcontinent, and biodiversity hotspots like the Western Ghats, Himalayas and the North East, we can witness the spectacular variety of birds and their behaviours right here! Some members of the group BngBirds came together to use current technologies and make information available more easily to birders.
One of the challenges for a newbie is to identify a bird in the field. The first thing that one learns is to find out if the bird can be seen in the location as per the distribution maps, and if it is a resident or a migrant. Popular field guides are used for that. The app was inspired by the idea of providing this information to the user as a simple list based on the GPS location. This avoids the hassle of having to refer to the guide for every bird in the field.
How about experienced birders? The information on recent sightings and hotspots available in online databases are not easily accessible on a mobile. Seeing all hotspots around one’s current GPS location at the click of a button seemed to be the best solution.
The Bird Explorer app provides these features and a bunch more.
- Shows the birds reported nearby, which can be further shortlisted based on the season and size
- Browse the photos of birds that have been shortlisted
- Helps plan your birding trip, by showing all the hotspots in a selected location on the map, along with information on recent sightings. It also helps with driving directions if you are keen to visit right away.
- Notifies you of sightings of the bird that you have been itching to see. You just need to add the bird to the list and wait, the app will pick up information on recent sightings from eBird and inform you about it.
- Helps with logging of birds seen during a trip
The app is currently available for Android users and can be downloaded from Google Play.
A short video that describes the key features can be seen on YouTube.
Frequently Asked Questions are available on the website.