Educators Take BirdsEye to the Amazon

BirdsEye users in the Amazon

Educators in the Amazon


Phil Kahler 
Tualatin Valley Academy 
Science Department 
21975 SW Baseline Road 
Hillsboro, OR 97123

In a collaborative effort BirdsEye, BirdSleuth (K-12 educational outreach of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology), and the Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest worked to put the BirdsEye bird finding app into the hands of thirty K-12 educators who participated in a ten day workshop exploring the Amazon Rainforest in Peru this past July. During a pre-trip webinar participants were encouraged to install the app on their phones and instructed to download content for offline use in the field. Giving educators the tools and training they need to become effective citizen scientists is an important goal of both BirdSleuth and the Educator Academy.

Each morning teachers were loaded onto small boats with local guides and teaching staff for an hour of intense rapid fire birding. It is a bit overwhelming keeping an accurate list of bird sightings when 2-3 species are being pointed out on opposite sides of the boat simultaneously. Data collection had to become a group effort, so teachers got together at the end of each day to create master lists. We were careful not to leave any of our new birders behind and gave them plenty of encouragement and helpful tips. The Bird Sounds of Peru was also a hit when we got a Common Potoo and a Spectacled Owl to answer!  The sound recordings also helped us narrow down a few tricky ID’s.  Several of the teachers used BirdLog SA or the eBird app to upload checklists to their eBird accounts. Overall our teacher group reported 221 species to eBird during our workshop.

Kirsten Franklin, one of the teacher participants now says, “I have been taking bird counts with eBird at my house 2-3 times a week. I have used BirdsEye to help me identify some of the birds by looking at the lists and photos of what other people in my area have posted. It’s been very enjoyable and now I am frustrated by the realization that there are a lot of birds that I really don’t know yet. But I will keep plugging away!”

If you are an educator who would like to participate in future trips please visit Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest at BirdSleuth is planning a special birding trip for educators in 2017. For more information visit

Smart Search for Android

Smart Search now in BirdsEye for Android

Focus in on Color, Size, and Habitat

With the latest BirdsEye update for Android, ver. 1.2, we’re happy to tell you of a new feature called Smart Search. Smart Search is a collection of intelligent filters that allow you to choose color, size, and habitat to narrow down the possible species.

Whether you’re looking for dragonflies or birds, BirdsEye Nature Apps are the best apps to learn what’s being seen nearby. BirdsEye is great in helping you identify what you are actually seeing.  Smart Search goes a step further to help you focus on likely birds as soon as you start entering information –   the list is filtered as enter information and sorts the species how well they match the criteria.

So, welcome to Smart Search…we think you’ll really like it.  We find it especially helpful when away from our home turf, and it’s really helpful for the budding birder or orniphile.

You can access Smart Search from the main menu, or under Nearby Birds or when searching a specific location.  Just look for the icon that looks like a magnifying glass with a ‘plus’ sign.

Smart Search is now available in both Android and iOS versions of BirdsEye.

Traveling? No matter where you are in the world, Smart Search will help you get more out of your birding. A couple quick taps combined with BirdsEye’s knowledge of the species in your area will let you spend more time enjoying the birds, and less time looking at the screen.

Birding a new area? You’ll appreciate the ability of Smart Search to sort the local species by abundance to narrow your options to the most likely species in the area.

New to birding? Smart Search is easy to use and a great way to narrow down the list of possibilites to just the species birds that match the one you are looking at.



Help us with the Dragonfly ID app!

The new Dragonfly ID app is a collaborative effort made possible through contributions of time, effort and money from hundreds of people. A project like this is by its nature a work in progress. Our immediate goal is to be able to provide users with high quality text and at least one good photo for every species in North America.


Would you be willing to contribute text for a common species in your area? Or maybe a photo of a missing species? Thanks to John Abbott who has generously offered to review and edit contributed text. Let’s keep him busy!

Description and ID text

Species text should be a minimum of a couple of paragraphs. There is really no upper limit to how much text the app can handle, but in general we should try to keep it brief enough that users in the field can quickly find the information they need.

Our goal is to have text for every species of around 50-200 words for each of the following sections:

Description: include a description of each of the field-identifiable adult forms
Identification: include a description of differentiating this species from similar species
Habitat: especially information that will help a user in the field find this species
Natural History:
(Optional) Seasonality and Distribution
(If applicable) Taxonomic or Nomenclatural notes

A great place to start is by reviewing Odonata Central’s “Identification pages” such as this one for Vivid Dancer. Note that the text on the Odonata Central “Identification pages” were originally targeted to the southwestern US, and so sections such as comparison species and range descriptions are not adequate for an app targeting all of North America.

It would be great to get some text contributions in French and Spanish as well. Or, if you are interested in helping with translating into these languages, please get in touch.

Of course, we would credit you in the app and anytime your text was used. The credits will look something like this (Note that this example is made up!)

Contributed: Dan Tallman Aug 30, 2015
Expanded: John Garrett Aug 31, 2015
Edited: John C. Abbott Sept 5, 2015
Revised and expanded: John C. Abbott Sept 30, 2015

So, if you’re interested head to dragonfly text submission form where you can find instructions to submit the text. If you have friends or colleague who might be interested please share this information with them and encourage them to get in touch with us. Everyone who contributes text for at least one species will also be eligible (if they wish) to participate in beta testing.

Thanks in advance,

The Dragonfly ID team


BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide 2.3

What’s New in Version 2.3

We’ve spent a long time working on BirdsEye behind the scenes to make it run faster, smooth, and offer better tools for world and local birders. Some of the more exciting features are listed below.

BirdsEye Smart Search

Find New Birds


Use color, size and habitat to quickly narrow down the list of nearby sightings to find what you are looking for. Just stepped off the plane in Sydney, Australia and want to know what that blue and white swallow hawking insects around you is? A couple taps and you’ll know that you are looking at a Welcome Swallow!

Smart Search is targeted to the traveling birder and new birders, helping you quickly learn the birds wherever you are in the world.

Not happy with one of the Smart Search results? Just swipe left over the entry and click the Feedback button to let us know! We’ll keep improving the data behind the scenes to make it all work perfectly.


BirdsEye xeno canto viewExpanded Sound Library


A link to this amazing resource of bird calls and songs is now available in BirdsEye.  Tap the link icon on any bird description or map screen to get a direct link to xeno-canto recordings for that species!

As in earlier versions of BirdsEye, you also have links to see bird pictures in Flickr and to additional information on species in Wikipedia.

No Internet Required


Offline content like images and sounds are now more robust, so it is less likely to be deleted by your phone if you are running low on storage. We want to make sure you can always access the data you need no matter where you are!

Tools for Trip Planning


You can now select any month, or group of months, to filter sightings when checking out Hotspots or a spot in your Favorites. We love this feature for planning trip – create a group of Favorites along your route and choose the month you’re travelling – all of the species reported in the last 5+ years for those months and location will be shown along with their abundance for the locations. Plan ahead to get the most out of your birding!


  • lots of bug fixes, tweaks, and improvements for improved performance and stability
  • updated icons and images across the app

Enjoying the update? Reviews and ratings get reset for each release. If you are feeling generous, please leave a review. Thanks in advance!

We love hearing from you! Have a question, concern, or suggestion? Get in touch with support at, view our FAQ at, @birdseyebirding on Twitter, and

August updates to photo site

In mid-August we released an update to the website where we curate the images that appear in the various BirdsEye apps. These updates were targeted towards making it easier to see what is available in the apps, and supporting photo submissions for Dragonflies, Butterflies, and Bumble bees. As you can see in the gallery below, each category of species now has its own homepage if you are interested in just seeing submissions and photos from that category. When you submit your photos for dragonflies, you’ll now get a list of variants that make sense for that category, such as adult male, female (male-like), teneral, and more.

A mobile icon is now superimposed in the bottom left corner of any photos that appear in the apps. You can curate the best photos to feature in the apps by clicking on “Suggest Changes” under a photo and suggesting that a photo be included or excluded from mobile apps. Our goal is to include several high quality images for each class of a species (adult male, male in non-breeding plumage, female, teneral, immature, etc.) in the app, and you can help us get there!


Another improvement is that your photographer page now lists how many of your photos appear in the app, as well as how many photos you have in each of the categories (birds, dragonflies, butterflies and bumble bees). Another great way to track what you have been photographing!

View which photos of yours appear in the apps, and how many photos of each category you've submitted.

View which photos of yours appear in the apps, and how many photos of each category you’ve submitted.


Rare Bird Alerts come to Android!

Finding rare birds in your area is one of the most exciting aspects of birding. Now, with the BirdsEye Rare Bird Alerts, you can have your own portal to notable birds being seen nearby (anywhere in the world) as well as the rarest birds being reported across North America. If the update hasn’t automatically downloaded to your device yet, it should be available for you to download in the next couple days.

Rare Bird Alerts shows you notable birds being seen nearby (up to 250 miles away from your current location if you are a member). These sightings are flagged by eBird as out of range, or out of season. Each alert also has a direct link to the eBird checklist to see comments and photos that the observer included in the checklist. 

Additionally with a membership, BirdsEye provides all the true rarities being seen through out the ABA region*. This includes recent species like Sinaloa Wren in Arizona, Slaty-backed Gull in Washington, and Common Snipe in Newfoundland.

There are still a few differences between the Android and iPhone versions of BirdsEye. We’re trying really hard to make sure the same great features are in both versions. We’ve made a major step in that direction with the addition of the Rare Bird Alerts. Look for more to come.

*The ABA (American Birding Association) area covers most of North America north of Mexico. The BirdsEye ABA Rare feature includes species with ABA codes 3, 4 and 5.


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BirdsEye for Dragonflies and Butterflies

Help us build the next BirdsEye Apps

Like many birders, we are interested in more than just birds.  We think the functionality in BirdsEye would be fantastic for other flying creatures like dragonflies and butterflies, and we would like to support the outreach efforts of some outstanding citizen science projects.  We are working hard on developing new apps that will help you find butterflies, dragonflies & damselflies in your area, just like BirdsEye currently helps you find birds. If you would like to support this effort, we could use your help by making a donation, contributing your time or pre-purchasing one of the apps.


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New Photo Site in beta! launches today

We just launched a brand new photography site to compliment BirdsEye, to showcase our many excellent photographers, and to make it easier to contribute your own photos to the BirdsEye project.

You can explore the entire collection of photos, searching by region or photographer. Once you have created a free account, you will be able to submit your own photos, browse all the fantastic photos submitted for any species, vote on your favorites, and let us know if there are any identification errors.

If you have already contributed photos, we can associate your photos to your account once you have created your account on the new site. Just let us know at and we will get you set up.

Remember, you can contribute a high quality bird image to get a free BirdsEye membership to any region, for you or a friend.

We hope you enjoy this early look at the new photo site!