BirdsEye Nature Apps http://www.birdseyebirding.com Passionately supporting citizen science projects Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:37:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Birding in Papua New Guinea http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/06/26/birding-papua-new-guinea/ Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:37:10 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=15511 By Avery Phillips Papua New Guinea is known for its diversity, in terms of landscape, culture, and species of birds. With rugged mountains, tropical rainforests, large wetlands that almost 800 different species of birds — 76 of them endemic — call home, this island country is an ideal place for birding. Because of its mountainous […]

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By Avery Phillips

Victoria Crowned-Pigeon (Goura victoria)

Papua New Guinea is known for its diversity, in terms of landscape, culture, and species of birds. With rugged mountains, tropical rainforests, large wetlands that almost 800 different species of birds — 76 of them endemic — call home, this island country is an ideal place for birding.

Because of its mountainous interior, Papua New Guinea does not have much in the way of infrastructure. Some locations can only be accessed by helicopter or on foot, so get your gear ready. A sturdy backpack for camping, a good pair of binoculars, and a solid pair of hiking boots will do the trick.

You may also want to brush up on your photography skills and bring your camera along to document the scenery and avifauna on your adventure. You want to be ready to photograph one of the many species of pigeons, kingfishers, or birds of paradise.

Keep your camera out; in addition to the plethora of unique birds, Papua New Guinea has gorgeous scenery and landscapes you’ll want to capture on film as you work your way through the mountains, forests, and rivers. And who knows — maybe a flock will take to the sky as you’re positioning your camera for a shot! With some planning, a lot of exploring, and a dash of luck, you may be able to catch a glimpse of one of these unique birds that live in Papua New Guinea:

1. Victoria Crowned Pigeon

The Victoria crowned pigeon is one of about 40 species of pigeon found in Papua New Guinea. It is a ground-dwelling bird recognizable by its blue and white crests, maroon breast, and red irises. They are typically found at sea-level in lowlands or swamp forests and fly from the trees to the sea daily.

Victoria crowned pigeons search for food on the forest floor, often in small groups or pairs. Fallen fruit is the staple of their diet, though they will occasionally eat seeds or small insects too. Though they are widely kept in captivity, they are the rarest species of crowned pigeon found in the wild — and definitely worth seeing while birding in Papua New Guinea.

2. Shovel-billed Kookaburra

The shovel-billed kookaburra, also called the shovel-billed kingfisher, can only be found in Papua New Guinea. Their bills are short and broad, and they have dark heads, a white throat, brown irises, with rufous coloring behind their eyes, on their neck, and underparts. They also have a bright blue rump, and males have a dark blue tail while females’ are rufous.

Shovel-billed kookaburras primarily live in hill forests, though they have been sighted at sea level and elevations up to 2400 meters. Though they are not endangered or vulnerable, they are thought to be crepuscular or partially nocturnal, making them difficult (but not impossible!) to spot.

3. Black Honey Buzzard

A bird of prey endemic to the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea, the black honey buzzard inhabits subtropical or tropical lowland forests and tropical mountain forests. They are known for their almost entirely black plumage with distinct white bands on their flight and tail feathers.

Not much is known about the black honey buzzard, but they are classified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss. Though rare, they are easiest to spot while in flight because of their white bands.

4. Pesquet’s Parrot

Pesquet’s parrot can be found in hill and mountain rainforests in Papua New Guinea. They are large birds, with black plumage, grey scalloped feathers to the chest, and a red belly and wing-panels. They are sometimes referred to as the vulturine parrot, because of their long, hooked bill.

These parrots feed almost exclusively on different species of figs, and their bare head prevents the sticky fruit from matting their feathers. Though they are considered vulnerable due to overhunting and habitat loss, they are typically spotted in pairs or up to groups of twenty birds, making them more conspicuous than other elusive birds in Papua New Guinea.

5. Raggiana Bird of Paradise 

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the famous birds of paradise that populate Papua New Guinea. The Raggiana bird of paradise is the national bird of Papua New Guinea and is included on the national flag. They are widely distributed in the south and northeast, typically in tropical forests.

Raggiana birds of paradise are maroon to brown, with a pale blue bill, and light brown feet. The males are more majestic than the females, with a yellow crown and collar, dark green throat, and long tail feathers, which range in color from red to orange. They are known for spectacular courtship displays — hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to stumble upon a lek!

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These are only a few of the hundreds of amazing birds that inhabit Papua New Guinea. To learn more, check out the Asia Membership, which provides in-depth information and images for most of the 1700+ species in Asia, including those of Papua New Guinea. However, there’s no better way to experience the avifauna of this nation than to go birding there yourself.

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In the Eye of the Storm:  How Birds Survive Hurricanes http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/06/22/eye-storm-birds-survive-hurricanes/ Sat, 23 Jun 2018 03:58:56 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=15475 By Juliana Smith Hurricane season strikes the Eastern seaboard of the United States every summer and, guess what? We’re in it right now! The season begins in June and runs through November, but as we here on the East Coast know, storms can arrive as early as April. While hurricanes often conjure images of wind-torn […]

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By Juliana Smith

Hurricane season strikes the Eastern seaboard of the United States every summer and, guess what? We’re in it right now! The season begins in June and runs through November, but as we here on the East Coast know, storms can arrive as early as April. While hurricanes often conjure images of wind-torn towns and flooded highways, their impacts on wildlife are less impressed upon human minds. However, wildlife also experience the forces we humans contend with, and birds are no strangers to hurricane season.

Being a lightweight, feathered animal has its perks (ahem, the ability to fly), but can also be incredibly debilitating when faced with extreme winds. Unfortunately, hurricane season coincides with Fall migration, so many birds are forced to face these powerful storms head-on. Yet, despite the odds, bird populations largely succeed at weathering the season. Of course, not every avian individual or community survives hurricanes, but in general, it appears birds have developed four tactics to help ease them through the stormy spells.

When a storm is on the rise and headed our way, we have weather forecasters and doppler radars to warn us of impending natural disaster. Birds, while not equipped with our high-tech gadgets, can sense that trouble is nigh when they pick up on the drops in air pressure that precede storms. Some birds take their cue and surf the headwinds of the hurricane, using them to get them out of dodge as quickly as possible. If conditions are right, migrating birds can even use the storm’s headwinds to get a wing up on their migratory journey.

Other birds, though, might use the eye of the storm as a refuge during a hurricane. This tactic seems to be especially popular with seafaring birds, though there’s no way to confirm their intent. Birds caught up in the storm might chance upon or follow winds to the eye where things are calm. Once there, they are effectively trapped, or “entrenched”, at the center of the hurricane and will follow it until the outer spiraling winds weaken, much to the delight of birders. Entrenched birds often wind up hundreds of miles from their home habitat, creating a fallout of rare sightings in inland habitats. Groups like Team Birdcast hope to utilize these events paired with eBird reports to better understand the relationship between hurricanes and birds.

Hurricane Hermine (2016) doppler radar imaging. The red blotching in the right image is a flock.

It’s important to understand that displaced birds shouldn’t be disturbed. While it is definitely better to be within the eye of the hurricane than be in the spiral, eye riding, as it’s sometimes called, isn’t exactly relaxing. It not only forces birds hundreds of miles from their home habitat, but can deprive them of food and rest for many days at a time. Those that survive until the storm dissipates then have to make a long return journey home. Even with the risks, though, it certainly seems safer to seek refuge in the eye than fight the storm.

And yet, some birds have done just that, flying directly through storms. We’ve only recently stumbled upon this behavior thanks to satellite transmitters and some spunky whimbrel . In 2011, researchers were astonished to find that one of their tracked subjects, a tagged whimbrel, had actually forced her way through Hurricane Irene. Since then, other members of the same species have been recorded using a similar tactic to survive hurricanes. Interestingly, researchers believe that migration is one of the factors allowing these whimbrels, and unknown others, to push through. Before migrating, birds will beef-up and pack on as many fat stores as possible to help supply them much-needed energy through their long migration routes. Researches believe it’s these fat stores that give some birds the power to fly straight through nature’s most wicked storms.

While some birds are skirting, riding, or cutting through hurricanes, others are hunkering down at home. Equipped with a clamping back toe, passerines are capable of weathering hurricanes by clinging to tree branches or seeking refuge in tree cavities. This author has even witnessed a small flock of house finches huddled under stowed kayaks to hide from Tropical Storm Irma in 2017. Tree clamping through a hurricane has its obvious risks, especially if your chosen branch is knocked from the tree (or your kayaks get flooded), but it also preserves fat stores and reduces risk of getting blown hundreds of miles from home.

In the end, different birds take different measures to survive hurricanes, but all of the methods showcase avian tenacity and perseverance. They truly are remarkable animals capable of seemingly impossible feats.

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Pollinator Citizen Science Projects: How You Can Help http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/05/29/pollinator-citizen-science-projects-can-help/ Tue, 29 May 2018 19:21:15 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=15197 All over the world, flowers mesmerize millions of people with their velvety, colorful petals, floral aromas, and gentle existence; and where there are flowers and sprouting leaves, there are often pollinators like bees and butterflies buzzing around. Growing up we often learn the importance of pollinators in our world. However, as our environmental state changes […]

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All over the world, flowers mesmerize millions of people with their velvety, colorful petals, floral aromas, and gentle existence; and where there are flowers and sprouting leaves, there are often pollinators like bees and butterflies buzzing around. Growing up we often learn the importance of pollinators in our world. However, as our environmental state changes with factors like climate change, greenhouse gases, and other ecosystemic fluctuations, the role of pollinators becomes strained and even more crucial.

Ways you can help…

According to a 2016 report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 16 percent of vertebrate pollinators are threatened with global extinction, and more than 40 percent of invertebrate species are threatened in their specific regions. Across Western Europe and North America, a notable decline in wild pollinators is raising concerns among environmentalists, as 75 percent of the world’s food crops depend at least in part on pollination. Without a flourishing bee population, we run the risk of not being able to grow enough food to sustain ourselves.

Environmental efforts are attempting to combat the decline in pollinators by imposing laws that conserve the safety of bee colonies, such as preventing loss of habitat, pesticide exposure, diseases, and parasites. For the last several years, the decline of bees has been steadily climbing the list of pressing environmental issues. For this reason, environmental organizations are growing and there is a projected eight percent increase in job growth for environmental engineers. Wildlife conservation organizations are now also looking for the public’s help in collecting data on bees and butterflies, which is why they have commenced pollinator citizen science projects.

BirdsEye continues to help facilitate the ongoing efforts of two large citizen science projects…

Bumble Bee Watch is a project that focuses on the conservation of bumble bees– a highly visible pollinator that isconsidered essential to the health of ecosystems. This interactive website allows users to report sightings and engage with the collected data. The mobile application is built on BirdsEye’s field guide framework and allows users to easily identify the bumble bee species around them and quickly report sightings from the field. Click here to participate today!

Another similar project is the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper. It is a collaborative effort to map and better understand monarch butterflies and their host plants across the Western U.S. The Monarch Milkweed Mapper website is packed full of interesting and useful data about this widely-recognized and high-flying pollinator. Click here to join this project!

Factors Affecting Pollinators

As the human population grows, our environmental impact rises and spreads to affect more nature and wildlife. This is a reason for the increase in environmental conservation and sustainability in the last 20 years. We are using both renewable and non-renewable resources at demanding rates that require sustainability adjustments if we are to maintain basic necessities, like food and water, for the growing population. This means living with intention in our day-to-day use of resources, like one-time use plastics, energy, and even light — as light pollution is part of our environmental impact. We have a remarkable and extraordinary planet, and we must prioritize coexistence with nature and our fellow animals if we hope to support life here.

The U.S. has some of the best national parks in the world, containing millions of years worth of history and made up of ecologically sensitive areas. These, like the pollinators, are beginning to suffer at the hands of human carelessness. Ecosystems are sensitive; life is there now, the way that it is, because that is how it was created; slowly, like a wheel of many parts that makes it turn. Any small disturbance, even to something as seemingly insignificant as an insect or a plant can threaten the entire ecosystem, which is why it’s so crucial to learn to coexist and cause the least amount of harm to our surroundings.

National parks are beautiful to photograph, with their dreamy colors, incredible landscapes and luxurious views of nature. However, conservations efforts are crucial to maintaining their integrity. Yellowstone’s Morning Glory pool has been losing its fluorescent blue hugh throughout the last 20 years, as visitors of the park have thrown coins and other objects into its depths, clogging the complicated natural pipelines in the earth that release the minerals to give it its color. As with the pesticides that are harming bee colonies, adding unnatural substances to any ecosystem has the potential to compromise its existence.

It’s funny to imagine that life on earth hangs in the balance of bees, butterflies and other pollinators. While the future of pollinators and pollination is unclear, it’s certain that environmental organizations are putting forth a lot of effort to reverse the damage done to bee colonies and to prevent the extinction of any of their species. Pollinator citizen projects can help give wildlife and environmental conservation groups the information they need to plan their courses of action and to be more successful in their endeavors to save the declining bee populations. They are asking the public to help track them, and while participating can be a fun way to get involved, it’s also important to reflect on your own environmental impact and what you, as an individual, are doing to reduce your carbon footprint and help save the planet.

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Bird’s Eye: Best Canadian Birding Destinations http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/04/11/birds-eye-best-canadian-birding-destinations/ Wed, 11 Apr 2018 16:38:17 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=14761 By Avery T Phillips As the second largest country in the world and home to more than 680 species of birds, Canada is a bird lover’s paradise. Canada’s varied landscape has vast swaths of wilderness, rich with natural beauty. It also consists of forests, the Rocky Mountains, glaciers, swamps, rolling plains, and more lakes than […]

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By Avery T Phillips

As the second largest country in the world and home to more than 680 species of birds, Canada is a bird lover’s paradise.

Canada’s varied landscape has vast swaths of wilderness, rich with natural beauty. It also consists of forests, the Rocky Mountains, glaciers, swamps, rolling plains, and more lakes than any other country. It’s no wonder birds have made the Great White North their home.

Let’s take a look at five bird-watching sites that are perfect for avian enthusiasts and photographers alike. It’s time to go birding!

Point Pelee National Park

This national park is located in southwestern Ontario in Essex County where it extends 15 kilometers into Lake Eerie. Around 370 species have been spotted here. Pelee is French for “bald.”

“[Point Pelee National Park] is one of the most important bird watching locations in North America, playing host to songbirds during its annual northward migration during the spring and hawks during the fall,” says To Do Canada.

Because it’s the most well-known and frequented birding locations in Canada, expect Point Pelee National Park to be a busy place, especially during the Festival of Birds in May when people from all over come to watch the spring bird migrations.

The national park was named one of the top 15 birding spots in North America by Birder’s World magazine and is often known as the “Warbler capital of Canada.” It is a protected ecological region.

Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve

Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve is the most easily accessible seabird colony in North America and is located about 2 hours southwest of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“This captivating area is one of seven protected seabird ecological reserves,” according to Newfoundland Labrador. “Its natural beauty makes it perfect for nature walks and family adventures.

Some of the seabird colonies include:

• Black-legged kittiwakes

• Northern gannets

• Thick-billed murres

• Lesser golden plovers

Long-tailed ducks

• Harlequins

• Razorbills

• Double-crested and great cormorants

Top tip from David M. Bird, emeritus professor of wildlife biology at McGill University: Visit the nearby bogs and fens that are home to willow ptarmigan and watch whales below the seaside cliffs. Bird is also the consulting editor for the best-selling books “Birds of Canada” and “Pocket Birds of Canada.”

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

In the Calgary area, there are many different bird-watching areas. The 36-hectare wildlife reserve has more than 2 kilometers of walking trails and over 1 kilometer of nature trails throughout the forest, plus a nature center to learn more about the sanctuary.

Within the city there are two major rivers: the Bow and the Elbow. There are three large creeks, Fish Creek, Nose Creek and West Nose Creek, and a large man-made lake called the Glenmore Reservoir.

While there are natural settings for birds within the city, each year the migration of birds is hindered by metropolitan areas, as we’ve discussed in a previous blog post about the effects of light pollution on urban birds. Urban areas can cause migrating birds to circle and investigate lit areas, which forces them to expend unnecessary energy en route to their destination.

Machias Seal Island

Machias Seal Island is a tiny, 18-acre island between New Brunswick and Maine. It’s a flat, treeless rock about 19 kilometers south of Grand Manan Island and 16 kilometers east of the Maine coast.

It’s a popular and unique sanctuary for many kinds of seabirds, including the Atlantic puffin and draws visitors from around the world to observe them in the summer. Access to the island is very limited, so plan in advance.

Machias Seal Island is home to a lighthouse, which during non-nesting season, the only occupants on the island are two lighthouse keepers. The lighthouse has been maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard for over 100 years.

Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia

Eagles abound in the rural farming community of Sheffield Mills, located about 100 kilometers northwest of Halifax. For about three months during the winter, area farmers leave chickens and other agricultural carrion for the birds of prey in some of the surrounding fields while birders flock to the area for the event.

“The feedings — of which there are two or three per day — are one reason the eagles are drawn to the region, as well as the Annapolis Valley’s slightly milder climate, which motivates birds from places like windswept Cape Breton to migrate there during the winter months,” according to an article on Toronto Metro.

Chucking chicken scraps to the eagles in Sheffield Mills is a tradition that goes back decades and is celebrated each year with a festival.

Hopefully some of these destinations have inspired you to add some Canadian bird-watching sites to your list. Canada’s beautiful landscapes and large expanses of wilderness are wonderful enough. If you’re a birder, it’s even better. And one thing is for sure: One of Canada’s greatest treasures is its birds.

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The Top 5 Birds to Watch for This Winter http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/02/16/top-5-birds-watch-winter/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:54:36 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=14215 The Top 5 Birds to Watch for This Winter   By Avery T Phillips Winter bird watching is always a treat for birders due to predictable migration patterns. Gregarious bird species migrate in flocks, creating beautiful and easily identifiable displays during the colder months. Winter bird watching can be chilly but well worth bearing the […]

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The Top 5 Birds to Watch for This Winter

 

By Avery T Phillips

Winter bird watching is always a treat for birders due to predictable migration patterns. Gregarious bird species migrate in flocks, creating beautiful and easily identifiable displays during the colder months. Winter bird watching can be chilly but well worth bearing the lower temperatures. Grab your phone and BirdsEye, and ensure that car is ready for the travels — put your all-weather tires on, check your spare has air, get an oil change and hit the road.

Local wildlife and bird reserves are spectacular places to visit with a thermos full of coffee and a day of birding. The following are the top five birds worth traveling for to see this winter.

1.   Snow Bunting

photo of snow buntingThe Snow Bunting calls the arctic tundra home during the summer months but travels to the northern United States during the winter. These sparrow-sized birds build their nests in rock crevices that they line with the grasses, fur, moss and feathers they find. They travel and forage in large numbers, making them highly visible in large open fields.

Females camouflage easily with the winter snow with their white chest and light brown wings. In the fall, you will see the males molting to achieve their striking black and white breeding colors. They will rub their wing tips against the snow to shed their brown tips to become completely black on their back and wings, keeping their pure white chest intact.

2. Evening Grosbeak

This finch can typically be seen as a flash of yellow against green conifer forests of the north throughout the summer. As the weather starts to turn colder they move to the southern states in search of food and warmer temperatures.

These big-chested finches can often be spotted at your bird feeder for those that live in the southern half of the states. The males are strikingly colored with a bright yellow eyebrow streak and body. The females’ coloring is more subtle, but they do have a flamboyant green beak to marvel at. Enjoy the sightings of these birds when you can because they have become increasingly rare as their numbers have been steadily dropping for years.

3. Snowy Owl

Large irruptions of this majestic bird occur every 3 to 5 years — the last big irruption was in 2013-2014, where they came down from the arctic to areas as far south as Florida. What makes the sighting of this owl noteworthy is that they are the largest of the owl family (by weight). They have catlike eyes and have been made popular with children through the Harry Potter films.

They travel south from their remote breeding grounds of the arctic to hunt in the northern half of the states. It can be difficult to spot an older male in a snowy landscape as they become paler and almost entirely white as they mature. The females tend to have a more salt-and-pepper coloring that makes them more available to the birding eye.

4. Northern Goshawk

At the top of the food chain and an indicator species, these birds can be seen year round in the Rockies but tend to be more active in the winter as food becomes scarce. They frequent the mid to northern portion of the Rocky Mountains. This predatory bird is one of the larger species of hawks and feeds on rabbits, squirrels and other birds found in the Rockies.

If you are wanting to catch a sight of a Norther Goshawk, look up. You will typically find them in the canopy of conifer and boreal forests searching for prey. Up there you will find these steel-grey winged birds with gleaming red eyes. Due to their speed and maneuverability, watching them hunt is an impressive show of skill and precision.

5. Snow Geese

These geese will likely be found congregating in the same places as their more common relative, the Canadian Goose. You can find this abundant species in colonies in many different areas throughout North America. They are most often found in western California, the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, the coast from New Jersey to North Carolina, Iowa, Nebraska and throughout the southwest.

When these high-flying birds fill the sky, they look like large snowflakes about to come raining down upon the earth. This species is dimorphic and comes in two different colors: blue and white. The dark allele (blue) is dominant to the light (white). Once you catch sight of a flock, you can sit and enjoy them for quite some time. They are a foraging species and will spend an enduring length of time in a single area before moving on.

Staying at Home

If you don’t feel like traveling for this year’s fall and winter bird watching, simply travel to your backyard. Wild birds appreciate the feeders that you set up in your yard and will likely visit them to stockpile on energy reserves before making their migration south. You may be lucky enough to live in an area that you can see one of the five birds listed above from your kitchen window.

Backyard feeders are also helpful to migratory birds passing through when food sources start to become scarce and provide a readily available, nutrient-dense meal. If you create a continuous supply, birds will imprint on the location and return in the fall or keep around winter species all season long.

Some of the best items to include in your backyard feeder during the fall and winter are:

  • Nuts
  • Nyjer
  • Millet
  • Corn
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Suet

Until Next Year

You can plan out your route to move across the northern United States using BirdsEye to catch a sight of all five of the wintering birds that come to spend their time there. When you return from your trip in the late fall and early winter, make sure to winterize your RV, car or truck so that you are ready to hit the road in time to catch the spring migration. Happy winter trails and bird watching!

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BirdsEye Sound Files & Audio Collections http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2017/11/07/birdseye-sound-files-audio-collections/ Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:24:45 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=13237 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 […]

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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.

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Birds and Smiles with Binoculars in the Amazon http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2017/10/19/birds-smiles-binoculars-amazon/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:53:46 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=13090 (Part of our mission at BirdsEye is to support grass-roots, conservation efforts like the Amazon Binocular Project) by Phil Kahler (Tualatin Valley Academy) It is a beautiful July morning under the warmth of the equatorial sun when I find myself following a group of happy and enthusiastic children along a foot path through the village, […]

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(Part of our mission at BirdsEye is to support grass-roots, conservation efforts like the Amazon Binocular Project)


by Phil Kahler (Tualatin Valley Academy)

BirdsEye is a proud supporter of the Amazon Binocular ProjectIt is a beautiful July morning under the warmth of the equatorial sun when I find myself following a group of happy and enthusiastic children along a foot path through the village, across a log that bridges a muddy creek to the edge of the rainforest.  Tugging on my arm, Segundo stops me and points up into a nearby tree.  Segundo, a young Maijuna boy around 11-12 years old has spotted a Black-fronted Nunbird and doesn’t want me to miss seeing it.  Both of us focus in on the bird with our binoculars for a fantastic look.  Quietly, with smiles and hand gestures we communicate our shared joy of discovery since neither of us speak a common language.  Segundo is just one of around twenty-four Maijuna children, who for the first time in their lives are using binoculars for a close-up view of birds near their village.  Our group is led by local birding expert, Percy Reyna and several educators from the United States who use the BirdSleuth curriculum developed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Together we spend a joyful hour learning to focus binoculars and chasing after birds.

It is children just like Segundo that motivated us to create the Amazon Binocular Project.  We want to inspire and support the next generation of Amazon birding guides.  Our aim is to develop within these youngsters an interest and love for the rich rainforest biodiversity by giving them access to the tools that will help them better observe and enjoy nature.  Segundo and his friends are in an especially exciting and unique position because they are being raised in one of the Maijuna villages responsible for creating the Maijuna-Kichwa Regional Conservation Area, a huge 977,600-acre wildlife preserve in northern Peru.  These children will eventually inherit the responsibility of managing, protecting, and educating others about this global treasure.

The Amazon Binocular Project grew from the inspiration of Lucio Pando, a gifted Amazon bird guide who loved to work with children.  When Lucio unexpectedly passed away last fall we were determined to carry on his legacy of inspiring young minds in the Amazon.  Percy Reyna and Cesar Sevillano, Lucio’s colleagues enthusiastically stepped up to work with the school children in remote Amazon villages.  Both Percy and Cesar traveled to Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 2016 for training in the BirdSleuth program and are uniquely qualified to continue the work begun by Lucio.

The Amazon Binocular Project webpage became live last November and we began to receive donations of new and used binoculars.  During the school year my 7th and 8th grade students in Oregon helped clean, repair, and pack the binocular donations for transport to the Amazon.  In April an exciting win-win opportunity developed when we learned Amanda Chang’s students in Chicago were planning a trip to the Amazon, but many could not afford their own binoculars.  So, we shipped half of the binoculars to her students to transport, use, and then hand off to Percy and Cesar.  The rest of the binoculars were shipped to Sarah Goodman’s students in North Carolina who volunteered to deliver them during their trip to the Amazon.

Teacher participants in the Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest brought additional binoculars and a spotting scope.  In all, a total of twenty-eight pairs of binoculars and one spotting scope completed the optics collection entrusted to the bird guides during the summer of 2017.  We are excited about the binoculars we put into the hands of Amazon children during our first year and are grateful for the generosity and collaborative teamwork of so many people.  We especially want to thank Celestron who helped us find some gently used binoculars to add to the 2017 collection and BirdsEye Nature Apps who helped spread the word about The Amazon Binocular Project.

 

The author with a student.

Although Percy and Cesar now have a traveling classroom set of binoculars to use with children, the need for more binoculars is still great.  The teacher at the Maijuna village school expressed a strong desire to have binoculars become a permanent part of his bird watching curriculum.  As Percy and Cesar spread enthusiasm for bird watching throughout Amazon village communities we expect demand for binoculars to increase among local educators.  We are thrilled to support these teachers as they encourage young birders like Segundo.

If you have new or used binoculars, spotting scope, tripod, lens caps, or straps to spare, please send them to the Amazon Binocular Project.  See our webpage for details at http://amazonworkshops.com/amazon-binocular-project/.

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The Effects of Light Pollution on Urban Birds http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2017/10/19/effects-light-pollution-urban-birds/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:09:13 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=13082 Tis the season for bird migrations in the Northern Hemisphere. You might see more northern birds flying through your neighborhoods and less of your regular local aviary. This is a perfect time to look into bird-finding tips, utilize your Smart Search on Birdseye so you can better identify these new-to-you species, and explore their migrating […]

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Tis the season for bird migrations in the Northern Hemisphere. You might see more northern birds flying through your neighborhoods and less of your regular local aviary. This is a perfect time to look into bird-finding tips, utilize your Smart Search on Birdseye so you can better identify these new-to-you species, and explore their migrating patterns.

However, each year the migration of birds is hindered by our growing metropolitan areas. Not only is habitat loss a serious issue to the health and nesting of birds, but light pollution is also becoming an issue. Light pollution is defined as the artificial light produced in cities and houses that brighten the dark night to the point of drowning out the stars, throwing off our human circadian rhythm (the mental clock that helps us sleep), and throwing off the migratory pattern of birds.

Most birds migrate during the evening, when the stars can help guide their path. However, as one study discovered, bright lights due to urban light pollution during the nighttime can cause migrating birds to circle and investigate the lit areas, spending more energy without making progress on their journey. This can be damaging to birds that are already expending energy while traveling hundreds of miles every night. Birds were also more likely to collide with light structures, according to the study, and selectively removing light pollution in some cities helped alleviate many of the issues for these migrating species.

However, the strange calling and circling phenomenon was apparent during a September 11th memorial service this year, Tribute in Light: where beams of light were projected into the sky to mimic the Twin Towers of the International Trade Center. These beams of light attracted the birds and, as one researcher noted: “This was a rare opportunity to witness the impact of powerful ground-based lights on nocturnally migrating birds.”

A large group of volunteers was able to record the bird calls, count the number of species present, and utilize technology to better understand the density and movements of the birds present in the area. According to the results of this observed phenomenon:

“…densities of birds over lower Manhattan could reach 60 to 150 times the number that would typically be found in the area at that time. The concentrating effects of the intense light on the birds reached as high as 4 kilometers (2.5 miles). The impact on birds was consistent even on clear nights. (Many previous artificial-light studies focused on nights with poor visibility.) When the light beams were turned off, the birds dispersed within minutes to continue their migrations.”

Unfortunately, these sorts of events aren’t isolated to special spotlights in urban areas. Even in rural towns, bright lights can distract and harm migrating bird species. As our cities and suburban areas expand, the negative impact we have on local species continues to grow.

Luckily, there are some things we can do to help offset some of those negative impacts. It can be as simple as a light switch. Start by turning off any exterior lights on your house, and you can help birds in your area move on with their migrations. Additionally, working alongside your city and local organizations to help create “blackout times” can make your entire neighborhood more nocturnal and bird friendly. This is also known as creating a dark-sky destination for your town.

Making a city into a dark-sky destination can be as simple as utilizing trees to block out neighborhood lights, or placing street lamps with light shields at only important intersections. Two towns in Colorado, the Westcliffe and Silver Cliff neighborhoods, were able to do just that and are now actively fighting against light pollution while saving energy.

Around the globe, urban areas are springing up and growing at a rapid rate. Electricity has becoming a necessity for almost everyone, and light pollution is becoming a real hazard for the environment. In areas where light and electricity are limited or forbidden — such as in the towns in Colorado or even animal sanctuaries like the Galapagos or the Peruvian rainforests — nocturnal animals and migrating birds are able to thrive. If you want to do your part in helping migrating birds this season, simply turn out the lights!

About the author:

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

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Birds of Peru http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2016/07/27/birds-peru-mobile-field-guide-app/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:09:36 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=9124 Mobile Field Guide to the Birds of Peru One of the great guides to South America… … on your iPhone or iPad for $34.99. With a spectacular diversity of landscapes, elevations and habitats, the nation of Peru is extremely rich in history, culture, and, of course, birds! Home to over 1800 species of birds, Peru has […]

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Mobile Field Guide to the Birds of Peru

One of the great guides to South America…
… on your iPhone or iPad for $34.99.

Birds of Peru icon

With a spectacular diversity of landscapes, elevations and habitats, the nation of Peru is extremely rich in history, culture, and, of course, birds! Home to over 1800 species of birds, Peru has some of the birdiest places on earth and attracts birders and nature enthusiasts from around the globe.

Peru’s overwhelming diversity of birds has never been easier to navigate with the new Birds of Peru mobile field guide. Created from a collaboration between the Princeton Field Guides and BirdsEye Nature Apps, this application is loaded with in-depth descriptions and easy to use interactive features, including:

  • Detailed species accounts for all of Peru’s +1800 bird species
  • Range maps showing  species distribution in Peru.
  • Songs and/or calls for 1510 species
  • Gorgeous illustrations for every species, many with multiple plumages or geographic variation
  • Interactive Smart Search tool helps narrow down birds by region, color, size and/or habitat
  • Integrated listing to easily track your sightings as you go

The brilliance of Peru’s birds has been an integral part of the nation’s history, and plays an important part in the nation’s cultures and peoples of today. Birds of Peru is an important and must-have tool for all birders and travelers in Peru, and is also useful in Colombia, Ecuador, the Brazilian Amazon, and Bolivia.

The initial release of Birds of Peru will be for the iPhone/iPad/iPod.  We hope to introduce an Android version of the app in the future. Please let us know if you are interested in an Android version and we can add you to our mailing list for status and updates.

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Binoculars in the Amazon http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2016/05/24/binoculars-in-the-amazon/ Tue, 24 May 2016 22:44:17 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=8688 By Phil Kahler Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest have been working with local bird guides and Peruvian teachers to bring the BirdSleuth-International  curriculum into remote schools along the Amazon River.  Lucio Pando, one of several extraordinary guides in the area, enthusiastically shares his knowledge and love of birds […]

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By Phil Kahler

AmazonBirders3Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest have been working with local bird guides and Peruvian teachers to bring the BirdSleuth-International  curriculum into remote schools along the Amazon River.  Lucio Pando, one of several extraordinary guides in the area, enthusiastically shares his knowledge and love of birds with adults and children alike.  He admits to watching birds even during his off time at home, he just can’t help himself.  Like many of us who are addicted to watching birds, Lucio’s binoculars are a permanent fixture around his neck.  While talking with Lucio I learned he does not have adequate access to binoculars and field guides needed for teaching students in local villages.  So last spring I was overjoyed when one of my former students donated several pairs of gently used binoculars.

OAmazonBirders1n July 8, 2015 twenty Peruvian teachers arrived at the Amazon Library in small motorized boats to attend a BirdSleuth workshop presented by Lilly Briggs from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  The Amazon Library is run by CONAPAC, a Peruvian non-profit organization that leads conservation and sustainable development projects in the Amazon.  During this workshop Lilly, Lucio and I took these teachers on a short bird walk along the bank of the Amazon River.  The teachers were all smiles and filled with excitement as they took turns looking for birds.  Having never used binoculars before, they got great looks at some most cooperative birds.  As the teachers listened to Lucio share his extensive knowledge they wanted to know how he became such an expert.  For Lucio it was a deeply meaningful opportunity to inspire fellow countrymen and women to take a closer look at the incredible bird diversity found all around them.  After the workshop I handed the binoculars off to a very grateful Lucio, who is now using the binoculars with the teachers and their students.

AmazonBirders2We want to support Lucio and his colleagues in their important work training up the next generation of Peruvian naturalists and bird guides.  Your donation of gently used waterproof optics will greatly help Lucio’s efforts.  So if you have an extra pair of binoculars please consider saving them for this project.  Watch for more information and shipping instructions coming this fall in the BirdsEye newsletter.  Teacher participants in the 2017 Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest will personally deliver your binocular donation to Lucio and the teachers he works with along the Peruvian Amazon.

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