Bird ID (India): Android App
The app is an offline version of the Bird Identification Guide for Android.
How can I best use this app to identify a bird?
Please see the built in help for instructions.
What is the difference between the app and the website?
Besides minor interface changes, there are two main differences:
(a) The app works offline (except for the Wikipedia links) so it's more useful when in the field and out of signal coverage,
(b) The app doesn't limit the number of search results (the website would get overloaded if it tried to return too many results).
Is there a Pro version of this app?
This app is free and doesn't contain Ads. There is no Pro or paid version, and no plans for one.
Where is the data from?
The pictures and descriptions are from Wikipedia
. The categorical data is adapted from the tables in "The Book of Indian Birds
" (13th edition) by Salim Ali
. I have avoided copyright issues by not using descriptions from a book. While I personally feel paintings are better than photographs for identification, I don't know of any copyright-free source for such material, so I have used the data from Wikipedia which is licensed under creative commons.
How many birds are in the database, and why can't I find what I'm looking for?
Currently there are 536 species covered. If you can't find a bird, it's possible you're being too specific in your search, or the data as entered isn't what you might expect. For example when searching for a Peacock you might select "Chiefly Blue", but it's actually classified as "Several bright colours in plumage".
Can I add birds or descriptions?
The database is not user editable. See the answers below regarding finding errors in the data or improving the database.
Can I mark favourites or create a checklist of my bird sightings?
This app is purely a quick & simple means of identifying the birds you see. There are several dedicated apps available for checklists and sharing bird sightings.
Can I search using a photo I have taken?
Image based search isn't currently very practical for birding. A casual birder rarely gets a clear photo (foliage in the way, low light, shadows etc.) and this makes it much harder for an algorithm to get an accurate match. One would also need a very large database of photos to train the algorithm. While there are some apps that attempt this, I haven't yet seen one that is really successful.
Can I identify a bird through its call?
Currently there is no sound database in this app. There are various websites that may be helpful - see the resources
page for links.
How are the results sorted?
The birds are just in the order as presented in the book. So families will show up together, but there is no ranking according to accuracy of the match.
What can I do if I find errors in the data?
I am a programmer, not an ornithologist (not even a serious amateur). There are inevitably going to be transcription issues, typos, obsolete information, and other bugs in the data. If you find something egregious, email
me (preferably with a source for the corrections).
What if I would like to improve the data / program?
If you are serious about large scale improvements, email
me directly. I am considering making the data available, and even open-sourcing the app code. I am also open to some form of collaboration in which you could provide the data in a specified format and I could incorporate it into the app and website.
What future features are planned?
At the moment nothing specific is planned. There are lots of features that would be nice to have, but my first priority was to get the app functional and released.
Is there an iPhone version of this app?
As of now there are no plans for an iOS version. It would require me to buy a Mac, an iPhone, and pay a $100 annual fee to Apple for the privilege of making a free app, so I'll pass. You can always use the web
version as long as you're online.