Sasol eBirds App Reviews

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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!

Full book plus audios, own watchlist and search engine

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.

a thumbnail is better than 1000 words

very difficult to use for birding beginners. Please give us thumbnails to avoid paging through all the birds. Better a beak sample picture than a complicated like... description. Also please add a bird thumbnail in the list with the name. What happened to the scientific names index and the introduction? This "APP" is a mere pdf of the book. For this tremendous amount of money I hope that there are many sustantial updates in the pipeline. Please use the capabilities of our hardware! The birds songs are very nice and earn the third star. Please optimize for IPad. Landscape would also be nice. Many wishes... I like the book, the content nearly reflects the book and is easier to carry but harder to use. At this stage I would not buy it again.

Still Needs Work

Love that there is an app for SA birds. Needs to improve tons though as it is backwards compared to what is available in N America: Bird index should have small bird pics next to names: Illustrations need a lot of work to improve and should allow public to donate quality pics. Illustrations should be much bigger and rather than share the creen with decription a menu list should be included at the bottom with much, much more info and description. Also not enough bird songs at this time but I am hoping they will isten to advice and improve fast as time goes on. Thanks so much for getting this far and please dont give up

Great Safari Companion

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.

Awesome App for birders in Southern Africa.

$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.

A waste of money in its current form.

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.


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

No bird calls

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.

Fine iPod birding guide

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!


An excellent app and so much more useful and user friendly since it was made available for the iPhone and iPad. I have tried to use this app since it was originally launched in digital format and always had incredible problems until the iPhone version was brought out. Now I am never without it. I hope the Kruger and Frog versions come out soon.

Great app but frustrating on an iPad

The information is fairly extensive but the screen shot is iPhone size and makes reading on an iPad frustrating. This significantly diminishes the experience.


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.

Roll On Roberts!!

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.

New version changes....unseen

The new version states that you can go from "my list" directly to bird information. If you can, I have not figured out how. It also states you can export your list and again, I have not figured out how. If I could see those changes it would be an even better program, but I find no differences. So I like it still, but am sad I can find no differences. Maybe its just me. Update, newer version was pushed out 8 hours later and the changes are now in place. The sofrware has now improved.

Sasol birds

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.


Terrific - very useful in the field. So much info in such a small package! (Im a veteran of 24 years international birding)


quite happy with app. should bring in a way of indicating which birds on main list has already been ticked. also quick search by picture instead of name.

Worked great

Just returned from my first trip to S Africa where I totally relied on this. Worked perfectly. You need to learn the families to use well, just like the book. A few birds mis-located-- range map correct but they are absent from a key provincial list.


Great app, no complaints works well. Used on recent Kruger trip. Suggestion, any chance of multiple bird lists?

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