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Free Nature Apps Reviewed: Birds & Bugs

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As we get ready for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count 2015, we’re checking out nature apps to help us with the count. If you’re interested in learning more about birds or bugs, try downloading these to your smartphone or tablet for quick reference.

Bald Eagle at Fir Island, WA

Bald eagles may be easy to ID, but what about other birds? Apps can help!

Audubon Bird App: This free app is available for most platforms and makes for a great birding field guide. Be sure to give yourself time to download the big ole database of info once you’ve installed the app. Then, when you’re in the field, you’ll have photos, bird calls and much more to help you locate and identify nearly a 1000 birds. Plus, it offers photography tips and ways to share your findings with other birders. This is a must-have freebie for anyone interested in birds!

Dragonfly App: This free app is (as far as we know) the only app specialized to help users locate, identify and help scientists track dragonflies and damselflies. What we like: the photo IDs. Lots of great eye-candy. And, we like that it shows us what’s been seen recently near us. What we don’t like: having to set up two different accounts to even use the product and the requirement to turn on location services, which drains our phones faster than anything. Suggestion: let us input zip code and map from there unless we’re submitting data. Also, the search tool only manages to crash our phone. For now, we’re turning off the app. Come summer, it should be fun to turn it on occasionally when we see dragonflies we want to ID. Oh, and this app is only available for iOS at the moment.

Hungry for more flora and fauna apps? We’ve covered several others in past posts here & here.

And, happy Christmas 2015 Garden Mentors readers!

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