Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Birds
in Photos and Audio
For iPhone, iPod, & iPad running iOS version 5.1 or higher
Bilingual, smartphone app based on the best-selling field guide:
Puerto Rico's Birds in Photographs: A complete guide and CD-ROM including the Virgin Islands (ISBN: 978-0-9650104-5-0)
This bilingual smartphone app provides at your fingertips a mini-encyclopedia for all of the birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with extensive text, visual and audio resources.
2900+ photos of 382 species, with 360+ audio recordings.
Puerto Rico Breeding Bird Atlas maps published for the first time.
Requirements: iPhone or iPod, iOS5.1 - iOS9; 351 Mb memory (will run
on iPad, but accessed in iPod section of iTunes store)
RELAX and ENJOY an audiovisual slideshow of birds found in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
FIND a bird species by your preferred method: scrolling through a pick list, searching on a name that you type in, or selecting combinations of bird features such as size, habitat, abundance, region, and/or nesting/migrant status.
STUDY birds in detail as the app leads you to an English or Spanish text account for each bird. Individual species accounts describe identification, habitat, range, abundance, taxonomy, etc., plus additional photos and audio. As you play a species' audio recording, a dynamic color spectrogram allows you to "see" the sound in real time.
READ the extensive essays on evolution, extinction, biogeography, migration, birding, conservation, plus a bibliography, and a sample tour route of locations to find birds.
RECORD your own field observations, including automatic latitude and longitude coordinates. You can then export your sightings in a CSV file for use elsewhere.
The app offers 4 sections for you to explore:
- The "Birds" tab at lower left of the app screen displays a pick list of individual species (organized in alphabetical or taxonomical order). A thumbnail photo of each species helps you decide which to choose. National flags to the right of the species name indicate whether the bird occurs in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or both. Click on a species and the app takes you to a detailed text account for each species. Individual species accounts describe identification, habitat, range, abundance, taxonomy, etc. plus additional photos and audio. When finding a bird species in the alphabetical or taxonomical lists, you can type in a word search, or use a "Find" feature to restrict your search for individual species by size, habitat, abundance, and/or region, e.g., only large species found in Virgin Islands wetlands. You can also restrict the list to only species you have seen before or species you have not seen. You can change from Spanish to English text or restrict your species list to birds only found in Puerto Rico or only those found in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. As you play a species' audio recording, a dynamic color spectrogram allows you to "see" the sound in real time.
- The "Slideshow" tab at the bottom of the app screen displays an entertaining slideshow of birds with one photo and audio clip for each species in the region you choose (or only species that meet criteria you have set in the "Find" menu).
- The "Settings" tab at lower right of the app screen, contains various settings for the app and also an extensive readings section with essays on biogeography, evolution, extinction, migration, birding, conservation, plus a bibliography, and a sample tour route of locations to find birds.
- The "Sightings" tab at the bottom of the app screen allows you to record information on species you have observed, including automatic latitude and longitude coordinates for your location if you choose. You can then export your sightings in a CSV file via an email attachment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why can't I find the bird I want?
2. Why can't I hear sound?
- It takes some practice to get used to any bird identification tool.
- If you are a beginner, the number of species will certainly be overwhelming.
Try starting by reducing the number of species in the list to a more
manageable size --- for example, the common species in your region.
Here is how: Click on the “Find” button at the top right of the list
of species. Then click on “Region” and choose the region you will be
exploring. Then at the “Find” menu (upper right in List view), click
on “Abundance” and choose “Common." Then click on the lower left tab
labeled “Birds” and you will see a list of just the common birds in
that region. Wherever you go, it is always a good idea to study the
common species thoroughly, so you know how to distinguish them from
the rare species.
- Be sure that you are looking at the correct region (In the bird list
view, Click on "Find" in the upper right to be sure the correct region
- If you are using the "Search" feature, be sure the bird name is correctly
- In the "Find" menu be sure that all the selection options are either
set to "All" or the specific criterion that works for your situation.
- If the number of species is overwhelming, click on "Find" and select
the Habitat or Size class that makes most sense.
There are several possibilities for audio problems:
3. Why can't I point my phone at a bird and identify it?
- The volume may be turned down on your device. The volume setting
for an app is different from your phone's ring tone volume.
- Some birds like doves and pigeons with low-pitched vocalizations
require better speakers than those found on tiny handheld devices. Try
plugging in good headphones.
- A very few of the species do not have audio recordings on this app.
We included audio for > 90% of species, but not for some species
that are uncommon, rare, or do not vocalize often in the islands.
- Many species in the islands only make very brief call notes, especially
migrants. Thus the audio recording here may be very short. You can hit
the "Play Audio" button several times to repeat a recording
to learn it well.
4. Why can't I upload my sighting records directly to eBird?
- Computers are getting better at pattern recognition. But they are
not yet good enough under ideal conditions to recognize all the variations
of shape, size and color of birds or the extensive variation in the
sounds birds make. More importantly, it is difficult to make high quality
audio recordings or photos that a computer can analyze: cellphones are
not yet equipped with parabolic microphones or long telephoto lenses.
So most audio and photographic recordings made with cellphones are contaminated
or low quality.
5. Can I run this app on my iPad?
- eBird is a cloud-based bird sighting database (http://www.ebird.org/).
The developers of eBird have not published specifications for an interface
for other software packages. However you can manually copy your sightings
to eBird, or upload your sighting information to eBird using a commercial
package, BirdLog (http://www.birdseyebirding.com/). For PC desktop computers,
AviSys (https://www.avisys.net/) also allows file export to eBird.
- You can download the iPhone version which will run as an iPhone app on your iPad. Currently there is no separate version just for the iPad.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are eager to answer any of your questions or hear any of your comments!