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Sasol eBirds app for iPhone and iPad


4.0 ( 80 ratings )
Reference Book
Developer: mydigitalearth.com
23.99 USD
Current version: 2.2.5, last update: 5 months ago
First release : 25 Sep 2009
App size: 462.45 Mb

"In southern Africa the Sasol eBirds would undoubtedly be my first choice. The text is detailed, the navigation system is user friendly and the opportunity to listen to recordings of calls and songs is a huge asset. Above all, the superb paintings by Norman Arlott and Peter Hayman have stood the test of time and are more detailed, more accurate and more life-like than anything on offer in other birding apps for the region.” — Mark Cocker, author of Birds and People.

*We have added the option to purchase over 2800 exquisite photographs for 833 of the 969 species in the app to further enhance your birding experience*

*If you would like to experience the app check out Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa LITE which is FREE and includes 30 species*

The Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa is an interactive version of the best-selling Sasol Birds of Southern Africa field guide (4th Edition). This app has specific features that will enhance your birding experience.

FEATURES:
● Universal app (works on BOTH iPhone and iPad)
● Swipe to move to the next or previous species.
● 969 Species found in the Southern African region and includes images, distribution maps and text descriptions.
● Over 2800 photographs for 833 species (additional in-app purchase required).
● Audible calls for over 630 bird species
● A “Smart Search” that allows you to easily identify a bird using beak shape, bird size, bird colour and habitat.
● You can select a region of Southern Africa, so that the lists of birds throughout the program display only the birds in your region.
● “Bird Compare” allows you to compare two birds side by side on the same screen (including calls, illustrations and photographs).
● A personal bird list that stores your bird sightings saved to the device* and can be exported using email.
● View the Bird Index by English, Afrikaans or Scientific bird names.

*Uninstalling the app will result in the loss of your list. It is recommended that you keep your own backup (master list) separate from the program.

See our other natural history products:
Wildlife of Southern Africa
eTrees of Southern Africa
eSnakes of Southern Africa
eGuide to Mammals of Southern Africa

NB. This Application WILL ONLY work on an iPhone or iPod Touch and iPad running iOS 7.1 or higher NOT A NORMAL IPOD CLASSIC/NANO.

Pros and cons of Sasol eBirds app for iPhone and iPad

Sasol eBirds app good for

The update for iPad works just great!! The only downfall is that if you dont have any idea which bird it is, youll spend hours looking for it in the book… It would be good to have a page or 2 with the bird families plates where you can click on to directly link to the family in question, like in the paper version. It would save a lot of time!
This application basically is the book with the same name, but just in electronic form. The drawings and the text are identical to the book as far as i compared them. In addition to the written book there are audios for many birds and there is a search engine and an own list where you can add your personal watchlist including date and place where you saw the birds. The search engine could be more flexible as you wont get results if you chose two different habitats because the program doesnt understand that as an OR- but only as an AND-search. Another thing that could be improved is that the places in My List are regarding big and small letters. That means if you once typed Birds Dam and another time birds Dam those will be two different locations. It would be even more comfortable if you could choose from your pre-used locations directly out of a pull-down-menu. Altogether this App is nice if you like the book Sasol Birds of Southern Africa book and are happy having the content just in your Iphone without carrying the book itself. The audios and the watchlist are nice extras, the search engine could be improved.
I have this app on my iPhone when I am on safari in southern Africa. It is fast, accurate, and the photo pack really helps to nail down the identification of a bird. Having the ability to build a list of sightings by date is a big help in being able to keyword my photos when I get home.
$30 is one fifth of the price of the Ipaq version that i bought a few years ago. App apears to be stable - no crashes as yet. The Sasol database and illustrations = comprehensive and accurate. Advanced search function allows you to narrow bird list for your geographic region and surrounding environment and call up birds with sound clips. Finding birds much easier than with hard copy book version. Great to have birds in my pocket 24/7.
The Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa is my first birding software experience. I am brand new to the iPod as well. I found that the eBird software was far easier to learn, operate and grow procient in than getting into the iTunes store and buying this software. I used the software in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It is a great application. I found it best when i knew something of the bird, say a startling or a hawk and could start my search with a name. That proved really valuable and I was able to quickly locate the specific species. I did not find as much success with the "Smart Search" using beack type, size and habitat. Perhaps with more practice that will work but I had very little luck in identify birds using that method. I did not isolate my searches by "My Location" until half-way through the day. At that point by narrowing down to a Provincial Location, i narrowed the search possiblilites by quite a bit - making identification quicker and easier. I really like the ease of adding the bird to my list once I had located it. Since I am new to iPod I had trouble with the sound and the bird calls were bearly audible on the 3G speaker. Perhaps that can be resolved as I learn more. I have only had one use with this new system and software but I am hooked. Sasol eBird has my best recommendation. al york
This is an excellent application. Finding birds by group or name is fast and easy. The calls are clear and easy to hear without earphones or earbuds. Our guide in South Africa wants one too!

Some bad moments

I just returned from a once in a lifetime trip to South Africa. I saw 458 birds during the 3 weeks I spent there. 78 of them were not included in the program, almost 20%. I found that pretty amazing - they offer a very complete listing in their print edition, they had to go out of their way to omit birds during their transition to software. Entire families were missing — there are no seabirds of any kind - no Albatross, no Petrals, no Skuas, no Shearwaters, no Storm Petrals or Fulmars and only 3 Terns and 1 Gull. The program is worthless along the coast or off shore. In addition, many of the common names were out of date. The most amazing omission is that there are no Rock-jumpers, South Africas best known bird and the one people go to there to see. One of the main reasons I bought this application was for the bird calls. They worked for 3 days. I was not able to restore this feature during the remainder of the trip. Missing birds and no bird calls are show stoppers. My other complaints were just irritating. If you use the listing function, you will discover there is no way to edit place names. If you discover that you made a spelling error in the 25 birds you saw "En route Hluhluwe We-umfolozi" and try to edit the location you are presented with a blank space and offered the opportunity to type the whole thing over again just to correct 1 letter — and you get to do this for each of the 25 birds you saw. You are not given the opportunity to just change the incorrect letter, there is no global search and replace function, no ability to copy and paste - nada. Just retype the same thing 25 times. Even if you notice a mistake while typing an entry, you cant correct it without deleting everything you typed after the error. You cant just insert or move the cursor to the offending letter. Sasol is making an effort to provide applications of a lot of the Worlds birding locations, which is admirable, but based on this one experience, they are a long way from producing a useable application. I would be hesitant to buy any of them on iTunes because of their no returns / no refunds policy.
Do not purchase if you want bird calls as the bird call feature did not work at all on my iPhone 3gs. Reinstalling and rebooting did not help either. I emailed the developers twice asking for assistance and they still have not responded more than a week later. Apple immediately assisted me and hv refunded me so a big thank you to Apple but a big vote of NO to this app and to its developers.
Still a lot of work to do to make this a good app. There are a lot of bugs. The Smart Search is flawed, and Im sure the sound for a Bateleur is not the one they have on file! This app has so much potential, but it still needs a LOT of work. The creator also needs to realize that this is an ipod/iphone/ipad app. - not just digitizing a book onto a portable device. What about including a quiz to build up your identification skills? How about using the other features and capabilities of the device? Also, a simple day of work would mean you can check accuracy against the book. Definitely not worth the price charged. I hope we see some BIG improvements in later versions.
This was a very dissapointing purchase. There are several bug and no updates have happened since its last release in January. The bird calls are of poor quality- too much background noise. You can not save your list to an external source- lose phone lose list! If you do a search for eg. hornbill- you can not scroll past the fist 3 and select. Not compatible with Ipad? I received notification today that Birdlife SA will be releasing a Roberts version in the next couple of months. This will also be for Ipads and there PDA versions have been excellent in the past.
Having downloaded to my iPad all I can say is : Very disappointing.Minimum info and no sonogram as advertised. Compared to opposition ebook I bought for my PDA some 8 years ago this is pathetic.Waste of money.
I have the book and this version does not include all the birds. For the same price as the hard copy, I expected more. Could you update the app or explain why you make it sound like it is the same as the 4th ed book, when it is not?

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