I met Fiona Barclay of BirdGuides on Twitter a little while ago. I’d seen the lovely software they sell for iPhone and iPods and I wondered if BirdGuides had any plans to publish in other languages. So I sent Fiona a Tweet asking about the iDentify Field Guide and a few weeks later I was pleasantly surprised, when she asked me to test the beta release of iDentify Europese Vogels; the Dutch version of iDentify European Birds.
Having a digital field guide is a great help to a newbie bird watcher like myself. Spotting birds in the Netherlands is a lot trickier than spotting and correctly ID-ing birds like ostrich, emu and Southern Cassowary. (Okay, the Southern Cassowary was only half wild, I ticked it in a reserve in Queensland – from a safe distance)
iDentify’s digital field guide isn’t just a great tool for newbies, the more experienced twitcher will also like the software. And not only because bird watching with your iPhone or iPod Touch makes you look ubercool. The field guide is a complete library with illustrations and bird songs.
The guide covers 515 of the species occuring in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. All the files (1493) are labelled which makes it easy to quickly look up a bird. You can select all the songs and calls individually, which really helps if you just need to hear that particular call. As you play a track, the name of the bird is mentioned. It also shows on the screen with an illustration of the bird. Most birds have more than one illustration.
The ‘Europese Vogelgids’ fits on a 256 MB MP3 player, preferably one with a colour screen that displays album art, so you can see the illustrations. (iPod Nano, iPod Classic, iPod Touch, iPhone). The Dutch version is available at www.birdguides.com/iDentify