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Custom Versions of BirdsEye and BirdLog

Interested in a great way to promote your birding organization? We can help by providing custom versions of BirdsEye and BirdLog specific to the birds of your area.

Friends of the Anahuac National Wildlife RefugeRecently we worked with the Friends of the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.  Anahuac NWR is along the gulf coast of Texas outside of Houston and is famous among birders as one of the best places in the world to see Yellow Rails.  You can download a free copy of the app from iTunes to take a look and see how it works ... and help promote the Friends of Anahuac in the process!


 Creating your own custom birding app based on BirdsEye is easy.  The only things you need are summarized in our handy Custom App Form:

  • A logo to use for the icon
  • Some suggestions for a name for the app (subject to availability of the name in the App Store and approval by Apple)
  • A link that we can use in the app that points to your website (preferably a mobile-friendly website).  You can put whatever you want there, such as a calendar of events or your newsletter.

We can come up with a list of birds based on all of the ebird reports for the area, but please let us know whether you'd prefer an exhaustive list of all of the birds with confirmed eBird sightings in that area, or a shorter list that focuses on the more common species.  

You can also include things other than birds in the app, and for some parks this makes sense.  For example we include American Alligator in the Anahuac app because Anahuac is famous for its 'gators!  For these additional species we'll need at least one nice photo and some text.  Please do not submit any photos or text unless you have the explicit permission of the copyright holder(s) granting us permission to use then in our apps.  


Below are the costs for a local Audubon Chapter, a park or a refuge that is intended to cover an area up to about a 40 mile / 60 km radius.  Costs for larger regions are higher, so ask us if you are thinking about making a version for a state or other larger area:

  • $250 to set up
  • $99 per month (20% discount if you pay annually)
  • The app can be any price you choose in the app store.  We recommend free.   If you choose to charge for the app you keep 50% of the proceeds.

It generally takes 2-4 weeks from the time we receive your request to publish a custom version of BirdsEye in the App Store, depending on how many birds and other critters you want to include.

We will provide occasional upgrades and improvements to the app as part of our normal process.  This is free and is included in the price.  We also provide customer support for the app.

Let's get started!  Fill out the Custom App Form and send it in today!


Permalink: http://www.birdseyebirding.com/index.php/news-a-reviews/blog/177-custom-birdseye

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Houston Audubon & BirdsEye Team Up for NARBA! 

July 8, 2013, Houston TX.  -- Like many of you, I was saddened at the prospect of the North American Rare Bird Alert shutting down, especially now with the excitement of the first ABA Area Rufous-necked Wood-Rail on Sunday July 7th! Today I am very pleased to announce that NARBA will live on!  

BirdsEye Birding will partner with the Houston Audubon Society to continue this service into the future!   Starting today, NARBA is once again accepting annual memberships at the same rate ($35) as of July 8.

In the next year our goal will be to continue the same level of service you have come to depend on, and starting in 2014 we plan to also provide additional features such as better support for NARBA via mobile phones. Very shortly we will be reaching out to you, our NARBA members and friends, to elicit your feedback about what aspects of NARBA you would like to see remain as they are, and which areas you would like us to improve.

Over the years, NARBA has evolved in response to the changing needs of our members and advances in the tools for reporting rarities, and we are excited to continue this tradition into the future as we move into the mobile arena.

If you are not already familiar with NARBA, you can find more about what we do at NARBA.org.

Susan Billetdeaux, Houston Audubon Society and David Bell, BirdsEye Birding


Permalink: http://www.birdseyebirding.com/index.php/blog/156-narba-ann-2013-07-08

The New BirdsEye NA vs the Original BirdsEye: What's the deal?

BirdLog Abundance ChartLike a lot of people, I love the original BirdsEye and use it daily.  I think the user interface is slick and easy to use and it provides a lot of cool features I can't get anywhere else.

However, all software eventually gets to a point where it becomes more difficult to fix than to simply rebuild.  I won't inflict the brain-damage of outlining the technical issues, but suffice it to say that BirdsEye has reached that point.  Also, the way it was built made building an Android version of BirdsEye difficult.

The New BirdsEye

To address these problems we have embarked on a ground-up rebuild of BirdsEye and are adding some cool new features in the process.   In this first version the new BirdsEye already provides some useful new features not in the original, including:

  • import eBird life and year lists for any country, state or county
  • display local abundance charts for all nearby birds based on a radius that you select from 1 to 50 miles
  • see which of the local birds are "needs" (i.e. they aren't already on your list)
  • provide regional versions covering much of the world
  • you can change the naming convention for birds from a large number of eBird naming options including US, UK and Australian English, Scientific, Spanish and French

Check out this unpolished demo video for a look at how it works.

The latest version of the New BirdsEye NA and regional versions are now roughly on par with the Original BirdsEye, although there are pros and cons.  The latest update of BirdsEye NA in the App Store includes the ability to browse Hotspots and see recent "Notable" sightings near you.  

We have not made a final decision on how to roll it out to existing BirdsEye users.  The issues here are somewhat complex.  First, it isn't ready yet.  Second, it will never be identical, and some people love the original just like it is, so we think many people will not want to change.  Third, the model of selling apps is probably not sustainable for us in this niche market of high-end birding apps.  We cannot afford to improve and support our app as much as we need to, despite relying mostly on low-paid and/or volunteer labor.  At some point I believe that we need to transition to a subscription approach and the rollout of the new BirdsEye may be the right time to do that.  

We want to roll it out for Android when we have sufficient financial support to do that.  Supporting Android is likely to be unprofitable, but it is important for our mission of promoting eBird, especially among younger users and birders outside of the US.

For more detail on how the New BirdsEye NA compares to the original, check out our comparison chart.

How can you help?

BirdLog Birds Nearby ScreenshotAs you've probably heard, our mission is to support bird conservation by supporting the eBird project.  For more on this topic check out my blog post.

As passionate birders ourselves, we are trying to do work that will be valuable not only to eBird, but also to birders and to the birding community.  Our goal is to move things forward, not just copy what other people are doing.  Here are some specific ways you can help us accomplish these goals: 

1) Purchasing BirdsEye NA will help make our development go faster. Development takes a lot of volunteer time and also costs money, and by purchasing the app you are making a meaningful contribution towards moving development forward faster.

Our goal is to use the $10 and $20 votes of confidence that you make when you purchase an app from us to make our apps better.

The early releases of the New BirdsEye NA still have a few rough edges that will be fixed in future upgrades. However, if loading your life or year list from eBird, having bar charts in the field and finding your nearby needs sounds like a feature you would find useful, then I would encourage you to check it out!

kingfisher-screen2) Provide us with your feedback.   Your bug reports really help!  The best way to report bugs is via our support email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the contact us page on our website.  Specific feedback about bugs or changes you would like to see is great.  The more the better!

One thing that is especially helpful is identifying photos that are poor quality or misidentified.  Currently most of the photos were given only a very brief (or in a few cases no) review.  We are still finding photos that are misidentified.  If you see one, please let us know!

3) Give a positive review the app in the App Store or tell your friends.  Some people think that a negative review is a good way to report bugs and thereby improve the app.  Not true!  Bad reviews mean fewer sales, which in turn means that we cannot afford to move forward with fixing bugs as fast.  Plus, Apple hides some reviews, so there is a reasonable chance we won't even know what you've written!

What really helps is moderate to glowing reviews (4 or 5 stars) combined with very blunt and honest written descriptions.  Your written descriptions are helpful to users who are trying to decide whether to purchase the app.  It's much better for someone not to buy the app than to buy it, hate it and write a bad review!

Thank you!


Article Permalink:  http://www.birdseyebirding.com/index.php/blog/146-new-vs-original

BirdsEye Photo-Contest-Banner

6,400 Photos - 2,420 Species - 140 Great Photographers!!

Thanks to all of you who contributed to make the contest a great success and to help us deliver a great new app. BirdsEye will now be able to display photos for 2,404 of the roughly 10,000 living species of birds in the world! We now can provide almost complete coverage for North America and Australia and over 75% for Japan!

We have a lot of gaps to fill in the rest of the world, so our challenge for the rest of the year is to build up Africa, SE Asia and South America.

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Special thanks to friends at Eagle Optics donating the Zeiss and Eagle Optics binoculars for the First and Second Prizes. And to Lifeproof Cases for their contribution of the rugged all-weather iPhone cases!

lifeproof-logoLifeProof Case

And the Winners Are....

  • First Prize: Zeiss 8x42 Conquest HD Binoculars - Congratulations to John Hoyt!!

  • Second Prize:  Eagle Optics Ranger 8x42 Binocular - Congratulations to Bill Adams!

The contest drawing was run using Random.org, which provides fair and transparent drawings.  If you are one of the photographers who participated, you can follow the link, enter your email address and it will confirm your participation and results.  Pretty cool!

Regional Winners (based on Facebook Likes)

Congratulations to the following winners of the LifeProof cases:

  • 1st Place Overall:  Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij
  • 2nd Place Overall: Josh Haas
  • North America: JC Knoll
  • South America (a tie = 2 winners): Chris Fagyal & Robin Barker
  • Central America: Ryan Shaw
  • India: Rahul Kaushik
  • Asia: Rapeepong
  • Australia: Mat & Cathy Gilfedder
  • UK & Europe: Kasia Ganderska-Someya
  • Best Photo -- under 18: Victor 

Many thanks to Eagle Optics and LifeProof for sponsoring the great prizes and enticing so many of you to enter the contest.

Contest Rules

Additional Photo Submissions

Several people have asked and the answer is Yes!  We are still accepting photos at our Photo Submission page, although they will not count for the contest.  However, we will include all submissions in our next contest and the offer of a free app for everyone who submits a photo still stands!   We are especially interested in receiving photos from South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.  For a list of species still missing, please down-load the Photosneeded file from Dropbox.

BirdsEye Photo Contest Contributors

Here are the contributor status ranked from the most photos submitted.  You can find bios on several of the photographers on the Top Contributors page.


Photographer Photos First for Species
Mat & Cathy Gilfedder 683 574
David Hollie 392 118
Ashley M. Bradford 359 9
Andrew Core 347 101
Kasia Ganderska-Someya 338 129
Jeffrey S Moore 262 31
Bill Adams 228 11
Gerald R. Hoekstra 214 66
Alex Lamoreaux 166 107
Mokie Visser 162 61
Anita Strawn de Ojeda 158 9
Josh Haas 150 13
Robin Oxley 139 79
JC Knoll 125 21
Pete Myers 119 47
Kent Fiala 115 93
Harold A Davis 112 29
Anthony Gliozzo 102 18
Dan Belcher 92 24
Jonathan Bent 86 21
Chris Fagyal 84 48
Andrew T. Kinslow 82 19
Alison Sheehey NatureAli 79 28
Natalie Raeber 76 36
Magill Weber 75 7
Sean Fitzgerald 67 37
Ryan Shaw 67 34
Robert A. Behrstock/Naturewide Images 60 18
Matthew P . Alexander 59 32
R. Bruce Richardson 55 17
David A Bell 54 32
Arlene Ripley 48 26
Anna E. Wittmer 47 22
Robin Barker 46 27
Nick Guirate 46 6
Anne Terry 40 16
Dan Mantle 37 25
Kevin Brabble 35 14
Pornpat Nikamanon 34 26
Mary Ann Melton 32 11
Eleanor Kwik 30 1
Larry Sirvio 29 7
Kasey Foley 28 4
Nathan Renn 26 11
John Hoyt 26 7
Susie Nishio 25 2
Ryan Steiner 23 13
Mary Chandler 23 5
Gary Villa 23 2
Cedric Duhalde 22 11
Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij 21 20
Victor Rebuzzi 21 7
Mike Fish 21 2
Rahul Kaushik 20 14
Mark Blassage 20 1
Molly Wollam 19 15
Ryan P. O'Donnell 19 9
L. Pellegrini 18 10
Sandra Forbes 18 4
Sharon Stiteler 17 13
Bonnie Clarfield-Bylin 16 9
Nate Swick 16 9
Chris Wiley 15 15
Rapeepong 15 15
Tasha DiMarzio 15 9
Robbin D. Knapp 15 6
Steve Valasek 15 0
Peter Taylor / Birding South West 14 13
James Tarolli 14 6
Cody Conway 13 10
Dick Beery 12 5
Sujan Henkanaththegedara 12 1
Micha Jackson 11 11
Zachary M. Batren 11 4
Joshua Jones 11 0
Ed Harper 10 8
Christopher Taylor 9 4
Jeremy Kleinberg 9 4
Andrew Theus 9 0
Alex Vargas 8 5
Jon Swanson 8 3
Tom Benson 8 3
Bob Pruner 8 0
Ricky Ingram 8 0
Steve Potter 7 5
Venicio Wilson 7 4
J.B. Churchill 7 2
Christine Shanks 7 1
George Mayfield 6 6
Andy Teucher 6 5
Marc Gardner 6 4
Nigel Jackett 6 3
Andrés Duarte  6 2
Leah R. Lewis 6 2
Marvin S. Hoekstra 6 2
Laurie Foss 6 1
Bruce Greatwich 5 4
Mike Liskay 5 1
Becky Wylie 5 0
Cameron Carver 4 4
Alireza Hashemi 4 3
C. Darren Dowell 4 1
Darren Dowell 4 1
Kimberly Bohon 4 1
Christopher Collins 4 0
Kelley Sampeck 4 0
Kimberly Perkins 4 0
Patricia Quinn 4 0
unknown 4 0
Elis Simpson 3 3
Colin Reid 3 3
Bernhard Vaque 3 1
Rosie Casper Hinkle 3 0
Alyssa Crittenden 2 2
Bradley Paskievitch 2 2
Penny Hall 2 2
Charlie Wright 2 1
Dan Pancamo 2 1
Darren Clark 2 1
Dinuk Magammana 2 1
James DeBiase 2 1
Rob Batchelder 2 1
Brandon Wagner 1 1
Christine Dunlap 1 1
Joseph Morlan 1 1
Katrina M. Weber 1 1
Lucinda Dunlap / LDphotos 1 1
Mark Scheel 1 1
Mike Taylor 1 1
Ron Bickers 1 1
Peter Kyne 1 1
Katie Downey 1 0
Marie Z. Gardner 1 0
Mary Nemecek 1 0
Michael P. O'Brien 1 0
Nicole Desnoyers 1 0
Robert Knight 1 0
Ron Carrico 1 0
Steve Collins 1 0
Steven Smith 1 0
Susan Evanoff 1 0
6383 2420

Article Permalink: http://www.birdseyebirding.com/index.php/blog/128-photo-contest2

BirdsEye Concurso de Fotografía!

Contribuir una foto para tener la oportunidad de ganar un buen par de binoculares!



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Primer Premio: Zeiss 8x42 Conquest HD Binocular

Segundo Premio: Eagle Optics Ranger 8x42 Binocular

+ Otros premios 

Estamos trabajando en una nueva actualización importante de Birdseye (inicialmente para iOS, pero también para Android) que funcionará en todo el mundo, tenemos un montón de nuevas imágenes! Esta es una gran oportunidad para mostrar sus mejores fotos a una gran audiencia de entusiastas de las aves y tener la oportunidad ganar grandes premios. Cada fotografía presentada le da otra oportunidad de ganar un par de binoculares especiales!

Estamos en busca de imágenes que se pueden utilizar en la birdeye nuevo y en nuestro sitio web. La nueva aplicación cubrirá el mundo e incluyen muchas opciones regionales. Necesitamos imágenes adecuadas de aves de todo el mundo que no son sólo hermoso, sino que también representan plumajes útiles y marcas de campo.

Va a mantener la propiedad, sean elegibles para premios, y ser capaces de compartir sus imágenes con los observadores de aves de todo el mundo!

Cada fotografía presentada elegibles recibirán una entrada en el sorteo de los premios, es decir, si usted envía 4 fotos elegibles, recibirá 4 entradas en el dibujo.

Para ser elegible para el concurso, todas las fotografías deben ser submited el 24 de abril de 2013. Los ganadores de los sorteos serán anunciados en o alrededor de mayo 1 de 2013. Usted puede leer las reglas del concurso todas las fotos y detalles a continuación. Descarga las fotos de archivo de Excel de aves que necesitamos aves que necesitamos para una lista completa de las fotos de aves que estamos buscando.

Vamos a ofrecer todos los que contribuyen al menos una foto nueva que usamos en la aplicación de una copia gratuita del nuevo mundo Birdseye Lite App (iPhone solamente en este momento, pero estará disponible para Android a finales de este año).

Los 3 primeros contribuyentes recibirán un impermeable estuche rígido smartphone. Tenga en cuenta que estos casos sólo están disponibles para ciertos dispositivos.

Además, le daremos una copia gratuita de cualquiera de nuestras aplicaciones por cada veinte fotografías presentadas que usted puede usar o dar a un amigo.

Para calificar, las fotos deben:

1. Sé calidad lo suficientemente alta que recurren a ellas.
2. Conoce a nuestros requisitos generales de presentación de fotos, se indica en nuestra página de fotos y presentaciones
3. Presentarse a través de nuestra página de envío de fotos Presentaciones

example photo

Si utilizamos las fotos:

Vamos a mostrar el nombre y el aviso de derechos de autor siempre que la foto completa se muestra y también proporcionan un vínculo para que los usuarios de aplicaciones puede hacer clic a través de su página web.

Copias gratuitas de nuestras aplicaciones Además, estamos planeando en futuras versiones para mostrar bio corto / texto de promoción de una URL y una foto en el perfil de cada contribuyente, y también para proporcionar una lista de los principales contribuyentes en nuestra página web
La foto de la izquierda es un ejemplo de cómo la foto se visualiza en la versión para iPhone de BirdsEye ™. Tenga en cuenta que el nombre y los derechos de autor aparecen en la foto. Para algunas fotos que puede mostrar versiones en miniatura sin la información de copyright.

Puede encontrar más información sobre los formatos de imagen para la presentación que la foto en la página de fotos Envíos. Descarga las fotos de archivo de Excel de aves que necesitamos para una lista completa de las fotos de aves que estamos buscando.

Por favor, consulte las Reglas del Concurso de fotos y detalles a continuación la lista completa de las reglas del concurso, los detalles, las directrices y cualquier galimatías legal.




Reglas del Concurso de fotografía y detalles

Distinciones y Premios

Gran Premio: un premio. El ganador recibirá un par de prismáticos Zeiss Conquest 8x42 HD (proporcionado por Eagle Optics)

1er lugar: un premio. El ganador recibirá un par de Eagle Optics Binoculars guardabosques 8x42
Foto superior: 3 premios. Los ganadores recibirán un estuche resistente al agua + copia de Birdseye.
Mejor Fotografía - menores de 18 años: 1 premio. El ganador recibirá una caja resistente al agua + copia de Birdseye
** Tal vez algún otro premio para estos chicos? Mejores correas binoculares o uno de esos chalecos? **

Vamos a ofrecer todos los que contribuyen al menos una foto nueva que usamos en la aplicación de una copia gratuita del nuevo mundo Birdseye Lite App (iPhone solamente en este momento, pero estará disponible para Android a finales de este año).

Los premios Grand Place y la primera será determinado por un sorteo por los jueces. Cada fotos elegibles presentados será bueno para una entrada en el sorteo - las fotos más elegibles los entires más y mayores serán tus posibilidades de ganar

Fotos elegibles deben cumplir con los requisitos folowing:

La foto debe ser adecuado para su uso en la aplicación.  Para las aves en el que todavía no tienen una imagen, como casi todas las aves fuera de los EE.UU., simplemente tienen que ser "lo suficientemente bueno".   Para las aves que ya tenemos las fotos de, tienen que ser mejor que lo que ya tenemos o ilustrar un plumaje nuevo.

La foto debe ser presentada de acuerdo con las directrices sobre la página de fotos Envíos.

Período de Entrada

03/25/2013 (lunes) - 04/26/2013 (viernes) - Todos los trabajos deben ser presentados a las 10 PM PDT el 4/26/13

Todas las fotografías presentadas a través de la página de envío de fotos según las pautas de presentación entre y que cumplen con las reglas de elegibilidad entre 2/1/13 y 3/25/13 participarán automáticamente en el concurso.


El concurso está abierto a todas las partes interesadas que envíen fotos por las directrices alineadas a cabo anteriormente.


  • Los participantes menores de 18 años necesitan el permiso de un padre o tutor. Al participar en el concurso, los participantes menores de 18 años de edad indican que han obtenido el permiso de un padre o tutor.
  • El concurso no está abierto a empleados de aves en la mano o en Óptica Eagle.

Normas de publicación

La entrada está limitada a las fotografías originales que sean propiedad del remitente y al que el participante posee todos los derechos aplicables. Las obras que han ganado premios en otros concursos o que han sido presentadas a otros concursos en curso no son elegibles. Las obras que se introducen en otros concursos después de la presentación a este concurso no serán elegibles.

Directrices para el envío

  • Todas las fotos deben ser enviadas a través de fotos página Presentaciones como se indica en la página
  • Los ganadores podrán ser solicitados para proporcionar imágenes de mayor resolución para fines de publicación o exhibición relacionadas con el concurso.
  • Si envía más de 50 fotos, por favor póngase en contacto con nosotros directamente para obtener ayuda.

Cómo participar

Después de leer detenidamente toda la información en esta página, visite la página de envío de fotos, llene la información sobre ti fotografía (s) subir su labor y presente.

A juzgar

Presentaciones de fotos para usar en nuestras aplicaciones web y serán seleccionados por el personal de las aves en la mano basado en reuirements de elegibilidad y las directrices de selección como el esquema.

Best Photo Awards se determina a partir de las fotografías seleccionadas por los jueces y compartir a través de Facebook con los miembros de la BirdsEyeBirding **? ** Comunidad. La determinación final de los premios de mejor foto será determinado por el número de "Me Gusta" entrado en la página de Facebook dentro de una semana en los últimos anuncios de las fotografías seleccionadas por los jueces.

Términos y Condiciones

Nuestros sitios web y aplicaciones pueden proporcionar una valiosa exposición de su obra. Nosotros no pagamos por las fotos enviadas, ni los vendemos. Usted conservará la propiedad de su obra. Al enviar una foto, usted está otorgando permiso a las aves en la mano, LLC el derecho de usarlo en nuestros sitios web y en nuestras aplicaciones sin limitación. Vamos a mostrar el texto de copyright proporcionada por usted con imágenes de pantalla completa. No estamos obligados a utilizar las fotos presentadas.

Usted puede incluir marcas de agua u otra información de derechos de autor incorporado en sus fotos. Usted concede permiso para que podamos editar o modificar de otro modo su foto para permitir la visualización atractiva, que incluye pero no se limita a recortar, cambiar el tamaño, la modificación de la resolución, renombrar, añadir notas y / o la adición de flechas para resaltar marcas de campo. Tenga en cuenta que, en algunos casos, nuestra edición inadvertidamente podría quitar ni ocultar parcialmente su información incrustada derechos de autor.
Estamos de acuerdo en mostrar al sujeto fotos de la aceptación de estos términos y condiciones.

Notificación a los Ganadores

 Los ganadores serán notificados vía correo electrónico a principios de mayo de 2013.


Los ganadores deberán revisar los documentos enviados a ellos por separado a través de correo electrónico del organizador (incluyendo todos los patrocinadores del premio) y, en caso de que acepte los términos y condiciones, llenar los documentos requeridos, firme el formulario (o, si responder por E-mail Acepto los términos y condiciones que se especifican en forma electrónica el mensaje de e-mail) y entregarlos a los organizadores ya sea por correo o por medios electrónicos en o antes de la fecha indicada en los documentos. Los ganadores podrán ser contactados por teléfono de que el organizador considere necesario para confirmar cualquiera de la información proporcionada.

Tenga en cuenta que la falta de respuesta dentro de los 14 días siguientes a la fecha, en la que el organizador envía la notificación por correo electrónico, ya sea por mal funcionamiento del servidor o por cualquier otra causa, resultará en la descalificación. Los participantes deberían notificar al organizador de cualquier cambio en sus direcciones de correo electrónico utilizando la página de entrada en esta web. El organizador no se hace responsable de los inconvenientes que puedan surgir como resultado de la incapacidad de recibir un e-mail.

Tips and Tricks: Getting the Most from Your iPhone and Android Batteries

I'll bet that most of you find at least one trick below that you did not know about before.   Everything below is written from the perspective of birding, but actually all of these tips are applicable to almost any iPhone or Android users.

First, a note: We've designed BirdLog to be a as low-impact as possible as far as battery life is concerned.  In tests, we find that it consumes less battery than most other apps on our phones.  We've tried to minimize activities that use a lot of power, such as internet connections and fetching GPS locations.  If you are seeing significant shortening of your battery life, chances are that something else is going on.

Getting the most from your battery can be a big deal when you're out birding all day.  Here are some tips, all of which apply to both Android and iPhone.Better Battery Lif

1) Turn down the brightness of your screen:  This is perhaps the biggest and simplest thing you can do to increase battery life.  On my phone, the screen looks bright, beautiful and wonderfully easy to read.  It's great … except that it kills battery life!  On my phone, the difference between battery life at full brightness and the lowest level I can tolerate is about 4 hours!  I'm not saying that you should turn your brightness down, just that you should be aware that this is a tool at your disposal to extend battery life when you need it. 

2) Shut down or restart background programs: You would think that unused programs running in the background would not consume much power.  You'd be wrong!  On my iPhone, there are a couple of really bad offenders, the worst of which, oddly, is my Sudoku program.  Leaving it running in the background can reduce my battery life by HALF!  That's right, 3 hours or so.  Ouch.   

There are two approaches you can take here -  turn everything non-essential off, or get an app that monitors battery usage and gives you advice. On iPhone, a good free option is called Carat.  On Android, I've used two free apps,  Battery Monitor Widget and GSam Battery Monitor and they both worked great.  You may be suprised by the results you get, I know I was.

3) Restart background apps: If you don't want to shut down an app, such as the phone when you want to receive calls, you can try restarting it.  Often this trick will cause apps to consume less power.   In some cases restarting an app makes no noticable difference in battery drain, but sometimes it can make a huge difference.

For example my text message app sometimes goes haywire and starts consuming a bunch of power.  Several times a month it gets bad enough that Messenger alone reduces my battery life by 1 to 2 hours, according to Carat!   If I restart Messenger, it goes back to consuming almost no battery.   

4) Get an extended battery pack.  I think this solution falls into the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" category of advice.  There are simply times when no amount of battery saving will get the job done.  For example, I've gone on 2-day hikes when I want to be able to use my phone to record bird sightings.  

This job isn't going to get done by conserving battery alone unless you're willing to simply turn your phone off for most of your trip.  

Here are some links to some good products sold by Amazon that can help:

Battery Packs
  for iPhone and Android

Solar Power Chargers for iPhone and Android

5) Be aware of the types of processes that consume a lot of power and minimize them.  Most people know that using the phone uses a lot of power, but do you know that using GPS consumes almost as much power as the phone? Or that playing sounds can be a huge battery hog?  it's true.  I find that if I pay attention to how fast the battery drops, it helps me use the battery hogging functions less.  

Both iPhone and Android support a percent display for the battery.  I find that displaying the percentage rather than just a 4-bar battery icon is really helpful for tracking usage and getting to know the power hogs on my phone. 

6) Put your phone to sleep before putting it in your pocket: This simple trick can be quite effective: I've found that many people don't put their phones to sleep before putting them back in their pockets.  If you're one of these people, try to get into the habit of hitting your sleep / power button before returning it to your pocket.

7) Put your phone in Airplane mode.  I sometimes find myself in situations in which all of the above tricks are still not enough.  When this happens I'll either turn my phone off or put it in Airplane mode.  I'll switch it back for a few seconds to start or submit a checklist, check email or send a text message, but then put it back into Airplane mode.  

8) Get charged when you can.  Again, using percentage mode is really helpful in learning how fast your phone charges.  I find that even short charges can extend my battery life quite considerably.  For example, if I have a five-minute drive between birding spots, I can sometimes add 5 or even more percent to my battery, which is enough to give me and extra 20 minutes of battery life.

9) Optimize your phone's settings to reduce battery consumption.  Besides the biggie mentioned above, screen brightness, here are some other items to check:
-- turn off background downloading of email away from wifi and set the max size of email downloads to something small, like 25 or 50 kilobytes.
-- look for apps that have location services turned on and turn off this feature for those apps that don't really need it for your purposes
-- turn off automatic background syncing for various apps: Mail, Calendar, Facebook and Contacts for example.  Note that this means that you'll need to remember to sync them manually, or set them to sync when you open them.
-- turn off push notifications for apps where you don't really need them.

10) If none of the tricks above seem to help, and you have chronically short battery life, it's possible that there is a problem with your phone or you battery.  You can perform a google search for "replace iPhone battery" or "Android battery replacement" to explore your options.  Most phone stores with service departments will be able to quickly test your phone and let you know if you need a replacement.

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