BirdsEye Sound Files & Audio Collections

Some of the more frequent questions coming into our Help Desk (support@getbirdseye.com) are about the audio collections and sound files in BirdsEye.  Bird sound files are included for almost all species of North American birds, but generally if you are interested in calls and songs for birds outside of North America the additional purchase of an audio collection is required.

Key Points about BirdsEye Audio Collections

  • Audio collections are a one-time purchase that includes the sound files for the area, plus access to eBird sightings, images and text for the species that are covered in the sound package. An additional membership for the region is not needed.
  • Audio collections are available for the following countries and regions:
  • Rather than a separate app these are collections of sound files that are accessed and played using BirdsEye by tapping the sound icon.
  • When purchasing on our website (BirdsEyeBirding.com) there is also an option to buy sound package with mp3 format as well as the BirdsEye extension. This option is for users who want to use sound files with third party sound management applications that can be played on a PC or mobile device outside of BirdsEye.

Costa Rica
Australia
Mexico
Peru

Columbia
Brazil
Peninsular Malaysia

Nicaragua
Belgium and Holland
Venezuela
Northern Siberia

Audio Collections

The North America bird library in BirdsEye includes bird sounds provided through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library. BirdsEye pays royalties to the Library in order to offer these sounds to you. Unfortunately the royalties for bird sounds outside of North America would put the price of a BirdsEye membership out of reach for many of our customers. In order to keep these memberships affordable we decided to not include sounds with them. However, audio collections are available as an additional purchase for many regions

We are excited to work with the fantastic bird recordists at BirdSounds.nl to offer their extensive audio collections through the BirdsEye app. The sounds are accessed within BirdsEye, which you can download for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. They are available to you when you login BirdsEye with your username (your email address) and password. Just tap the speaker icon next to the bird and all the songs and calls for that bird will be shown.

Purchasing sound collections also gives you access to eBird sightings, images and text for the species that are included in the sound package at no additional cost. If you aren’t already using BirdsEye, simply download the free version of BirdsEye from the App Store or Google play and purchase the sound files as an in-app purchase. or at a discount through our website. **register with the same email address you used to make this purchase. Your purchased sound package will be at your fingertips. No additional purchase is necessary.

How Audio Collections Work In BirdsEye

Purchasing an audio collection gives you access to a large library of bird sounds, all within BirdsEye. It also gives you access to the BirdsEye images and text, as well as the eBird data available for the species that are included in the package.

You can download a collection to your mobile device for offline use and remove it to free up space as often as you wish. You can access this package on your Apple or Android mobile device, so long as they are all registered to your BirdsEye account.

To download all of the sounds for offline use, just go to “Settings” and then choose “Download for Offline”. Enjoy!

How to Purchase one of the Audio Collections

There are two ways:

1) Purchase an audio collection as an in-app purchase within BirdsEye

From the BirdsEye home screen, choose the “Memberships and Audio Guides” (Apple) or “Store – Field Guides and Audio” (Android) option. Scroll to the audio collection for the region you are interested in, select it and follow the prompts to purchase through your iTunes or Google Play accounts.

2) Purchase an audio collection from our website BirdsEyeBirding.com

You can also purchase audio collections at a discount from our website: choose the BirdsEye Bird Guide option form the main menu and then select “Audio Collections” from the menu.  Next, choose the collection you would like to purchase. After selecting the audio collection, there is a dialog box labeled “How would you like to download and access this sound collection?”. You can choose to access the sound files “through BirdsEye on your phone”, or “As an MP3 download (also includes access through BirdsEye app). The second option includes the audio collection in an mp3 format as well as the BirdsEye extension. This option is for users who want to use sound files with third party sound management applications that can be played on a PC or mobile device outside of BirdsEye.

How to Access an Audio Collection

Once you have purchased a audio collection on the site, here is how to access it on your device:

1) If you don’t already have BirdsEye, download it to your mobile device (for free) from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
2) Register or login to BirdsEye using the same email address you used for your purchase and your sound collections will be immediately available within BirdsEye, just tap the speaker icon for any of the listed species.
3) You can download the sound collection for offline use, or access it via the internet as you need it to save space. It’s up to you. You can clear the sounds from your device and download as many times as you want.

Just contact the BirdsEye Help Desk if you have any questions or trouble getting set up. We are happy to help!

Remember, you can focus in on just the birds in a specific sound package or membership group. In the Search by Name section, select the “funnel” icon in the upper right, scroll to the “Bird Sounds of Mexico” or whatever the region, and tap it. That should put you back on the “Search” page with just those birds listed.

BirdsEye Photography Tips

Custom Lists

Screenshot of Custom List in BirdsEyeWe love getting suggestions from our fantastic users, and are even more excited when we can make a request a reality! We were recently contacted via the Help Desk recently with a question about adding a custom list that would display in their BirdsEye “Needs”. John wanted to keep two separate ABA lists: one for his life list, and one for list of birds that he has photographed.  The idea is to be able to have a custom list of “Needs” for birds that John wants to photograph. Great idea, but not something BirdsEye currently supported. However, one of the great things about BirdsEye is that we can add new features much easier than before and make them available to all members.

With just a little programming magic, BirdsEye now supports two additional lists available under “Major Regions” in the region selection.

  1. Custom: maintain a list for any purpose, whether its a big day, yard list, or your ‘birds-on-a-wire’ list.
  2. Photo: use this list to track how many birds you have photographed

Here’s how it works (using the Custom list as an example):

  • From the BirdsEye Home screen select the “Life List:____” option.
  • Select the “Edit” button in the upper right corner.
  • Select the “Set Region” option.
  • Choose “Major Regions”
  • Select the “Custom” option from the list.
  • You can now choose whether to edit/view your Custom list for the current year, or as a Life List

It’s that easy! You’re all set to start adding birds to your own Custom list. Use it for keeping track of birds you’ve photographed like John, or use it for tracking any special needs. Perhaps you just want to keep a list of birds for a Favorite location, or a list while you’re traveling on vacation. All of the birds you add to the list will be filtered out automatically under the “Needs” tab in “Nearby Birds”, and you’ll just see the birds not already on your Custom list. Additionally if your birding by Location, your “Needs” will be shown there as well.

Note: Once you create a Custom list, or any other list in BirdsEye, you can easily switch between lists by choosing the “List:____” option from the Home screen, selecting “Edit” > “Set Region” and then choose from “Recent Lists” to move between your lists.

Using the BirdsEye Smart Search

So you just jumped off the plane on your dream birding trip to Ecuador. You bought the book and you’ve been studying it and think you have a handle on the 1660 species listed. Or maybe you’re just on your first trip to the Texas Coast for Spring Migration. A small yellow bird darts by. All your study flies right out the window. Where to start the search? Was it a finch? A warbler? Something else you’re not considering? The BirdsEye Smart Search can help.

smart search orioles

You can access the smart search from either the home screen or the from the nearby species screen. Touch the magnifying glass next to the search bar on the Nearby Species screen. The Smart Search lets you filter the results by colors, size and habitat. You are first asked to pick the colors. Don’t stress too much about selecting the exact colors– the Smart Search algorithm is looks for the closest colors.

Let’s search for that little yellow bird. You also saw some black on it so select black too. Did you also see some white? Select white also.

Next touch the ruler and select S for small.

Birds are usually very tied to a habitat and the Smart Search lets you select for that. Touch the tree icon and you can select by up to two habitats. You have 6 habitats to choose from: wetlands (water and cattails), grassland (green grass), woodlands (trees and hills), backyard (shrubs and birdfeeder), urban (buildings), and nocturnal (moon and soaring owl).

Imagine you’re at High Island so let’s select a woodland habitat and backyard type habitat. Touch the down arrow to hide the Smart Search filters.

Scroll down the list and you should find you just saw your life Magnolia Warbler!

Hints if you don’t find your bird:

  • Try going up and down in size by one bird. Size is often hard to judge and changing the size a little will often make your bird pop out.
  • Try eliminating one color, especially a minor one.
  • On the filter for the Nearby Birds try selecting the current month instead of Recent Weeks. The Recent Weeks uses the bird recently reported to eBird. The Select Months feature uses the eBird data for that month for the last 7 years. Maybe your bird is the first of the season reported and hasn’t been reported yet. The select month will account for that. In less birded areas maybe there isn’t much data for the recent weeks. The select months will account for that too.

Top 10 Dragonfly And Damselfly Guides To Get You Started

It can be intimidating to jump into a new unknown group of species, but with the Dragonfly ID app, and some good guides, you should be off to a great start. Check out the links below for some great guides to get you started on the path to learning about the interesting dragonflies and damselflies you encounter.

DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF THE EAST

By Dennis Paulson
Princeton University Press, 576 pages

Dennis Paulson’s Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East is a great all-in-one guide to the 336 species in the eastern United States and Canada. The book contains helpful illustrations of the anatomical parts necessary for identification, in addition to large color photographs of each species. Also included is a glossary and index for quick navigation. Especially useful is the natural history section, which notes each species’ unique behavior for better identification.

 

DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF THE WEST

By Dennis Paulson
Princeton University Press, 536 pages

The companion to the eastern edition, Dennis Paulson’s guide features all 348 species of dragonfly and damselfly west of the Mississippi River. The book contains large color photographs of both males and females for each species, in addition to the standard species description, identification tips, habitat, and range. Like the eastern version, it has a section on odes natural history, with detailed notes on the unique behavior of each species.

 

DRAGONFLIES OF TEXAS: A FIELD GUIDE

By John Abbott
Texas Natural History Guides

Just published in 2015, Dragonflies of Texas is the definitive field guide to these insects in Texas. It covers all 160 species with a two-page spread for each that includes photographs of both sexes and known variations when possible, key features, a distribution map, identification, discussion of similar species, status in Texas, habitat, seasonality, and general comments. In addition to the species accounts, John Abbott discusses dragonfly anatomy, life history, conservation, names, and photography. He also provides information on species that may eventually be discovered in Texas, state and global conservation rankings, seasonality of all species in chronological order, and additional resources and publications on the identification of dragonflies

DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF TEXAS AND THE SOUTH-CENTRAL UNITED STATES

By John C. Abbott
Princeton University Press, 360 pages

Dragonfly lovers of the south-central United States now have a guide all their own. This comprehensive tome includes the 263 species of dragonflies and damselflies that inhabit Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Covering more than half of North America’s species, it’s also useful outside of the south-central states. Entomologist John Abbott’s weighty guide is for serious enthusiasts, and includes a checklist, large bibliography, and helpful range maps.

 

DRAGONFLIES THROUGH BINOCULARS: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America

By Sidney W. Dunkle
Oxford University Press, 266 pages

Getting up close to identify flighty dragonflies can be difficult, so binoculars are an indispensible tool to help pinpoint a species from afar. In addition to the standard identification information, Dragonflies through Binoculars offers advice on different types of optics, and how to best use them to identify dragonflies. Dunkle, a biologist at Collin County Community College in Texas, also includes tips on where to find dragonflies. The guide’s index doubles as a built-in checklist for enthusiasts to keep track of species they have spotted.

STOKES BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO DRAGONFLIES

Blair Nikula, Jackie Sones, Donald Stokes, Lillian Stokes
Little, Brown and Company, 150 pages

Lightweight and portable, this guide can fit in a pocket or daypack for use in the field. The opening pages provide general information about dragonfly biology, and give tips on what to look for to aid identification. Species are organized into like groups, with a checklist in front to point readers in the right section. Although it doesn’t cover every species, this book is a perfect introductory guide to dragonfly and damselfly identification.

DAMSELFLIES OF THE NORTHEAST: A Guide to the Species of Eastern Canada & the Northeastern United States 

By Ed Lam
Biodiversity Books, 96 pages

If your interest extends to damsels, not dragons, Damselflies of the Northeast: A Guide to the Species of Eastern Canada & the Northeastern United States is your go-to guide. An artist and authority on odes, Ed Lam’s illustrations are both beautiful and extremely useful. Experts will enjoy the wealth of technical detail, while beginners will appreciate the tips to distinguish between similar species. Helpfully, Lam notes if a species can be identified in the field, or if capture and up-close inspection are optimal to pinpoint a species.

 

DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF GEORGIA AND THE SOUTHEAST

By Giff Beaton
University of Georgia Press, 368 pages

Covering southeastern species found north of Florida, naturalist Giff Beaton’s guide is perfect for dragonfly enthusiasts living in Georgia and neighboring states. The text covers the 150 most common species in the region, many of which are found in the Mid-Atlantic States and Florida as well. Large color photographs make for easy identification, and the guide also includes information on flight seasons, range, similar species, habitat, and behavior.

COMMON DRAGONFLIES OF CALIFORNIA

By Kathy Biggs
Azalea Creek Publishing, 128 pages

Naturalist Kathy Bigg’s beginner-friendly book covers the 113 species of dragonflies and damselflies of California. The guide features a bold line showing the length of each species, to help compare dragonflies of different sizes. Color photographs of both males and females are included. The descriptions are detailed but succinct, so it’s light enough to carry into the outdoors. Beginners will also appreciate the explanations of technical terms included in the glossary.

Tip of the Month: Using Smart Search

Application Tip of the Month

Using Smart Search

smartsearch
Whether you’re looking for dragonflies or birds, BirdsEye Nature Apps are the best apps to learn what’s being seen nearby. BirdsEye and Dragonfly ID are also great in helping you identify what you are actually seeing.  Not only do they help you narrow down the possibilities by what other have reported, each app comes with 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.  As soon as you start entering information about what you are seeing the list changes and sorts the species by how good of a match you have chosen.

So, if you haven’t had a chance to give Smart Search a try we think you’ll really like it.  It’s especially helpful when you’re away from your home turf, or when you are just starting out as a budding birder or dragonflyer. Smart Search is included in both BirdsEye (Android and iOS) and Dragonfly ID.

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

 

 

Tip of the month: Using the Filter Settings

BirdsEye is the best app to see what birds are being seen around you. Make sure to check in regularly with BirdsEye to see what’s being seen near your regular hotspots, or explore distant areas to plan birding stops on your next outing, vacation or business trip.

The two main views for checking on sightings are the maps view and the abundance charts.

Maps

This view is straight forward and provides all sightings of a species with eBird reports from the past 30 days. You can zoom and pan the maps to search a broader area or for a more close up view.

sightings-s

Abundance Charts

Abundance Charts provide bar graphs that show how frequently a species is reported based on the Filter settings for that location. Only those species within the time and distance settings are shown in the list.

 

abundancemaps-s

How to customize the lists

Filters allow you to customize the search by proximity to your location and how recently the sightings were made. You can change the search distance, miles or kilometers, and the timeframe. Focus in on just the birds that have been reported a single park,  or all sightings within 50 miles or kilometers. Tap the filter icon in the top right of the BirdsEye screen to make the adjustments. This is perhaps the most powerful feature of BirdsEye.

By working with the filter options you can adjust the view for your current location, any hotspot or one of your designated ‘Favorites’

Here’s how to adjust the filter settings in ‘Nearby Birds’, but the same instructions also work when looking at a specific hotspot in the ‘Browse by Location’ or ‘Favorite Locations’ sections of BirdsEye:

  1. Under ‘Nearby Birds’ tap the funnel icon in the upper right of the screen.
  2. Drag the ‘Distance to search’ slider to the appropriate range you want to view.
  3. Select the ‘Search Timeframe’ for the sightings.
  • when the ‘Recent Weeks’ option is selected you’ll get another slider that you can adjust for any sightings within the past 1-4 weeks
  • the ‘Current Month’ (iOS member feature) tab provides a view of all birds reported over the past 9 years or so. This option is especially useful when you are birding in a location that doesn’t have a lot of recent eBird reports.
  • the ‘Select Months’ (iOS member feature) view also shows sightings for the past 9 years, but only for the specific months you select.  Tap the month(s) to select the ones you want sightings for.  A green checkmark will show to the right for each month selected.  You can select as many months as you want the data for. Perfect for planning trips!

4. Once you’ve adjusted the filters to your liking, tap on ‘Save’ in the upper right of your BirdsEye screen.

5. The species list is now filtered according to your date and range settings, and each chart shows the birds abundance based not the same choices. You will see your current filter settings summarized in the blue bar on the bottom of the screen.  These settings are maintained until the next time you make adjustments to them.

PRO TIP – When you are traveling to areas with few eBird reports, change the distance in the filter settings to 50 miles. This will combine the sightings for a larger area and give you a better idea of the birdlife in the general area.

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts

Tips and Tricks: Christmas Bird Counts

Get ready for the Christmas Bird Count! Did you know that BirdsEye iOS shows you Christmas Bird Count circles all around the globe?  (BirdsEye for Android displays CBC center points, but not circles yet.)

This is a great way to check the exact location of the CBC boundary while you are in the field.

Using latitude and longitude data from each CBC circle, BirdsEye iOS also shows the exact boundaries for each count. This is great for when you are actually out in the field and want to know how far you can go and still count the birds.

Publicly-available data about CBC circles is not always accurate, so if your favorite CBC circle isn’t showing up in the right location, please send us the correct lat/lng and we will fix it. Just email us at support@getbirdseye.com.