A week ago I had purchased the hard copy version of "The Princeton Field Guide to Birds of East Africa" by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe. I like it very much. Yesterday I purchased the iPod App - eGuide to Birds of East Africa - which in addition to the color plates, range maps, and text accounts from the paper field guide, also has vocalizations for nearly all the species covered in the species accounts.
It is a resource well worth the $30 USD whatever your level of skill or experience. In addition to Apple devices, it is available for Android tablets, smartphones and handhelds. I bought one copy of the iPhone app, and have downloaded it to my iPod and iPad (I do not do smart phones).
It looks great on the larger iPad screen, and shows color plates, text, range map, and an audio player in a single screen view. On the smaller iPod display one has to swipe between interlocking menus to see text and range maps/audio player on a split screen, or one can toggle between larger individual views. These menus are intuitive and pretty easy to navigate smoothly with a little practice.
A couple of annoyances:
- One cannot zoom in on the color plate images on the iPod app, so it is hard to see things like the red base of the lower mandible on a basic-plumaged Spotted Redshank for example.
- the compare function on multiple species accounts is weird and unwieldy on the iPod, so just swiping back and forth between things like Cuckoo species accounts is easier than using the compare function.
- A very few species, like Common Cuckoo, do not seem to have vocalizations included in the collection.
- Some species recordings are faint or in distinct with loud background noise (including other bird vocalizations).
-- But most species have clear, distinct and helpful vocalization recordings.
This app seems most useful:
A) as a tablet-based reference guide for home or indoor use
as a phone/handheld app in the field for judicious playback and quick verification of field marks or vocalizations.
Edited by offshorebirder, 05 August 2014 - 01:57 AM.