Free updates have always been part of our birding apps and have taken the form of additional images and sounds, new features, changes to range maps, changes to bird names that track the AOS checklist, and other factors meant to enhance the birding experience at home and in the field. The past year has seen several additions and improvements on our field guide apps for Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize, these are some of them:
Images for More Species
Since the first version of our first birding app for Costa Rica, we have strived to photograph birds and locate images that help with learning birds before a trip a well as in the field. Given that many species on an official bird list are very rare, there are a number of birds for which finding images is a serious challenge. For this and other reasons, all contributors that provided images for our apps will always have our gratitude. We are happy to list these individuals both on the apps and at our website.
Sulphur-rumped Tanager- a new image on our apps contributed by David Mora Vargas.
These are the numbers of species now shown with images on each full version:
Costa Rica- 919
A male Gray-throated Chat, another new image provided by David Mora Vargas.
Vocalizations for More Species
Since ear birding is just as important as birding by sight, we have also added and made improvements to vocalizations with each update. One of the nice things about vocalizations on our apps is that you can also look at images of the species in question while listening to it. We find that this makes it easier to envision encountering the bird in the field and thus helps with learning their songs. After the latest updates, these are the number of species that have sounds on each app:
Costa Rica- 829
Improvements to Text for Field Marks and Habitat
To aid with identification, we have gone through and edited the field marks for most species. We have also edited the text in “Habitat” to include more information about bird behavior.
Expanded Descriptions of Regions and Habitats
Listed under “More”, we have included better information about the different regions in each country along with better information about important habitats.
Conservation Status and List of Regional Endemics
Also shown as a page under “More”, different types of conservation status are defined and include mentions of some of the species that fall into each category. This is followed by a list of regional endemics.
This feature has been on the apps for some time but is worth mentioning as one of several ways that birders can customize apps for their needs.
Emerald Tanager is a good target species.
The main goal of these updates is to improve the experience of using birding apps that act both as a reference tool and a field guide. We hope to continue to update our apps with more features and changes aimed at helping more people learn about, appreciate and love the beautiful avifauna of Central America.