Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Software, DVDs, Recordings etc.

Cloud-based Listing Software

Listing Software - What Are The Options?

Most birders keep their bird lists either using excel or a dedicated commercial app. Now cloud-based services offer a viable alternative, which may have advantages. Geo-coded observations and photos, automatic taxonomic update, subspecies tools, trip-report publishing & etc. It is even possible to select your next destination based on the maximum number of lifers available. So do you choose the right online birding software for your particular needs, and how easy will it be to import your data?

First things first, cloud-based services provide effective, affordable and secure storage. If you ever had a disk crash or lost your laptop you know how it feels to see all records vanish in a flash with no hope of ever seeing them again. Stand-alone computers require regular back-ups not to mention multiple copies in different locations to be really safe. This is the first major advantage of online services; they provide automatic back up, not just now and then, but all the time; every time you make a tiny change! The ‘cloud’ stores all their client’s data with multiple back-ups, around the clock. The second great advantage is that your records can then be accessed from any location in the world, at any time. Beyond security and accessibility, some cloud-based services offer help with managing your lists and making the most out of your observations.

Continuous taxonomic updates are, of course, key. The two most popular taxonomies - IOC and Clements - are regularly updated. Given the number of splits, lumps, name changes, sequence changes, etc., it’s a hard job keeping up with updates so you are probably far better off with a system that handles it all for you.

OK, so you are sold on the ideas of a system keeping your records in the cloud. However, the prospect of laboriously copying many years of records to a new system is really daunting. You don’t want to spend days or even months exporting your data to the cloud. Fear not! Some birding software offer tools for importing your data in less than an hour! Records can be transferred quickly with smart software. Some software even has pre-defined import wizards for various databases that also allows you to create your own template based on what your current data file looks like - which for many of us is an MS Office Excel spreadsheet. The smart operators have also worked hard to create the software to import your data from some of the existing popular (and even defunct) bird listing software.

It’s not all completely trouble free - some work can remain: if you have not been on top of taxonomic changes for a few years, some species may not be recognised, or assigned to the wrong taxon (because it has been split once, in some cases even more than once). That Sandwich Tern that you saw in South America, is now called a Cabot’s Tern. This is a key reason to choose a software equipped with the tools to help you do the matches in a simple and informative way so that you can quickly be back in complete control of your lists!

Most of us keep records like a stamp collection that sits in a dusty draw ready to pass to the next generation who may be completely uninterested. We list for our own enjoyment or study, but these days you can share your information as an ordinary birder whether or not you are competitive. Several citizen science projects depend on birders submitting their records to help monitor, study and protect wildlife; eBird being probably the most important globally. So the best software enables you to synchronise geo-coded observation with eBird. Make sure the software you choose enables you to import from eBird too.

With all sorts of mobile devices, and growing connectivity you want to use the system in the field to record your sightings in real-time, that will mean you don’t have to do it all again when you get home whether it’s from the overseas trip or the patch visit. Two more things about entering data: you should have the possibility to enter your observations directly in the field. Better still, check that it works without having to pay expensive roaming charges. The best have the facility to share data from a friend or the tour leader on a trip.

The more you dig down into some systems the more you realise the importance of good list management tools. In some you can mass-edit a set of observations with certain criteria. For example, you may want to geo-code your observations from the location names from all your travels; the software should allow you to move all of the data tagged for one location in one go. Other mass-edit options include changing dates, (sub)species, etc. That means that the software needs to have rigorous data on distribution ranges for both species and subspecies.

Most of us birders are aware that recording observations at the subspecies level may lead to ‘armchair ticks’ later on. So software that handles subspecies is a must; ideally tools for assigning observations to subspecies level should be user-friendly so you can make the most of your old records.

So many birders now like to take photos so you need a system that allows them to be added to your observations. Moreover, some help you with observation maps and you combine everything in a trip-report all in up-to-date taxonomic order. The best systems allow you to consult your data for any given date, like a diary, showing you which lifers or year-ticks you got that day, who was with you, what the weather was like, etc.

It seems like half the world now spends more time on social media than real life! So it’s almost an essential that your software should enable you to share a successful birding day on social media, including your photos. Some cloud-based software offers even wider range of tools to access, represent and make use of your data. The right software allows you to view and print your target lists for a destination you are considering. It can even select a destination that maximises your number of lifers!

I’ve yet to meet a birder who doesn’t have an interest in other critters whether it be mammals, dragonflies, butterflies & so forth. The very best software provides the same functionality for any given species-group, worldwide. Even if you weren’t listing them before you may as well start if it’s that easy.

Björn Anderson (iGoTerra) & Bo Beolens (Fatbirder)


Björn Anderson

World Birder


Useful Information

Blue Turtle Video


Blue Turtle Video have recently completed a project to transfer and edit a customer's video footage of several wildlife scenes. It was a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work and the customer was delighted with the results. We have many customers who come to us rather than high-street providers because we do everything in-house and we are more reasonably priced…

Raven On The Mountain Video Productions

Videos, stock footage, documentaries and bird-finding tips for all of North America. If you are interested in video of wild birds, you've come to the right place…

Other Links



Welcome to BirdTrax, a popular and new Google Gadget with a revolutionary approach to viewing recent eBird data! With BirdTrax, you can quickly browse bird observations, rarities, and checklists in your area, county, or state…

CD - All Europe's Owls


Text in Swedish and English. 77 voices of all 13 European owl species, between 2 and 9 different voices per species. Not only territorials calls of males but even contacting calls, voices of females and owlets. CD, about 68 min…

CD - Bird Song Ear Training Guide - Who Cooks for Poor Sam Peabody?


This Audio CD is designed for anyone who wants to improve their ability to recognize bird songs. It features the sounds of 189 different bird species found in the Midwest and Northeast States. Each bird song recording is followed by a short description of the sound along with a common mnemonic used to remember it. Many well-known song mnemonics such as Who cooks for you? for the Barred Owl and Poor Sam Peabody for the White-throated Sparrow are included. Following the song and mnemonic, the source of the sound is revealed. By naming the bird at the end of each track, the listener is allowed to wonder and guess at the nature of the sound. Active listening, similar to what one experiences in the field while searching for an unknown bird song, is a key to engaging the memory process… …Profits from this CD will go to the NatureConservancy and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.

CD - Bird Songs International


Here you can read about our CD-ROMs: Birds of Tropical Asia, Birds of Venezuela, and Birds of Bolivia 2.0, and you can visit our WEB STORE, where we offer you CDs, cassette tapes, CD-ROMs, and books at the lowest prices anywhere!

CD - Cornell Lab of Ornithology


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology produces national, international, and regional audio guides. These include not only bird guides but guides for other animals as well. Recordings are top-quality and taken from the Lab's renowned Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds, the world`s largest collection. Many include vocalizations not found on any other audio guide. The guides are indispensable to anyone wanting to learn more about birds and other wildlife.

CD - Sam's Guides


US Birdsong CDs

CD - Wildsounds


Our extensive catalogue includes birding & natural history books, bird & wildlife guides on CD, cassette, video, CD-ROM & DVD, gentle atmosphere recordings on CD & cassette, and Field Recording Equipment.

DVD-Video - Bird Images Video Guides


Wonderful birder`s videos - available for direct purchase too.

DVD-Video - John Young Wildlife Videos


Welcome to a world of creatures rare and wonderful - and the amazing domain of cinematographer John Young and the team who form John Young Wildlife Enteprises…

DVD-Video - Seiurus Video


We are about birds, photography, and videography of birds. If you plan to photograph birds in Florida, or if you need stock video footage of birds from anywhere in North America, check us out…

E Guides - Audubon Guides


The app comes packed with over 3,100 photos representing age, gender, and plumage changes; over 8 hours of songs and calls; and is the only bird app with wintering range maps for migratory species.

Software - Bird Journal


The most enjoyable way to record your bird sightings for PCs.

Software - Bird Tick List Free


Bird Tick List Free, is a straight forward tool for building your life list of birds. Sightings are easy and quick to input yet the report section provides a detailed list of how many birds you have seen, grouped by family name and totals. New version has a day view report with image…

Software - Birdbrain


A Mackintosh based programme. Keep track of all your birding records. Create state lists, year lists, checklists, and target lists. Have your whole birding history readily available. Bird Brain is easy to use. It takes advantage of the Mac`s intuitive, user-friendly interface. Pop-up menus make data entry simple. You type the first letters of the bird`s name, and then pick the bird you want from a short list…

Software - Birders Diary


Birders Diary has been around since 1995 and may well be the worlds leading record-keeping software for birders and naturalists alike…

Software - Birding Database


If you wish to keep records of your Bird sightings, photographs, video and sound on computer then look no further. This is our NEW program which we think must be the easiest to use, as well as being one of the most advanced…

Software - Flying Emu


The ultimate listing/sighting management software for birders. Hundreds of checklists with seasonal abundance. Spectacular bird photo gallery. Great birding links…

Software - iGoTerra


A totally comprehensive system based in the 'cloud' able to import your records from just about any other software or even excel sheets. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Mammals and many insect groups.
Fatbirder Recommended

Software - LANIUS


Welcome to LANIUS Software`s Home Page! We have been in business since 1994. LANIUS Software offers bird watching software programs and a variety of other database applications. We also provide expert database consultant services at competitive prices. Although we build any application to meet your specifications, we specialize in custom design of sighting or occurrence database applications. Nature enthusiasts, and novice or professional biologists comprise the majority of our customers.

Software - Liran II


Listing software…

Software - Swift


Listing software for birders…

Software - Thayer Birding Software


Thayer Birding Software is the world`s leading provider of high-tech birding tools. Information and support for all of TBSs products can be found here. We also provide an on-line catalogue at our cyber-store, Birds End, where you can browse and purchase birding CD-ROMs, bird screen savers, and software to record your bird sightings…

Software - Whatbird


…browse birds by any attribute, Location, Shape, Size, etc. Once the page opens to the attribute you can click on any bird icon and see its detailed species account… ID software for North American birds

Software - Wildlife Computing


Wildlife Computing specialise in writing and supplying computer software to birdwatchers and other naturalists. We have been supplying computer packages for birdwatchers since 1988. Our products are in use in over 30 different countries world-wide. Our software is designed to be equally useful to birdwatchers with a serious interest in records keeping as well as to the avid lister. Although the packages are primarily intended for recording bird sightings they are also suitable for recording other forms of natural fauna. World mammal, European mammal, butterfly, moths and dragonfly databases are available.

Sound ID - Identiflyer


Over 200 US Birds and Their Songs on 20 SongCards200 birds along with stunning color illustrations, are organized on 20 interchangeable SongCards and play through the IdentiFlyer SongPlayer. SongCards are arranged by habitat making it easy AND rewarding to recognize birds in your area even on your VERY FIRST try. Simply slide in different SongCards to explore the entire world of birding. A must for nature lovers of all ages and expertise…

Video - Bird Films


Such titles as: Watching Warblers - Watching Waders - Watching Sparrows etc.

Video - Birdguides


We produce award-winning CD-ROMs, videos and books for birdwatchers and access to video clips of over 1000 species…

Video - Edson Rosa do Nascimento


Birds of Brazil videos in HDV

Video - Peregrine Video Productions®


Peregrine Video Productions®, a full service video production company, has been owned and operated by John W. Vanderpoel since 1994. This innovative company offers a wide range of services and equipment to meet your every media need. Specializing in corporate videos, music videos, training videos, documentaries and nature videos, Peregrine Video Productions offers creative, professional quality productions at an affordable price. Conveniently located in Niwot, Colorado, with the capability to produce output in web based streaming video, DVD or traditional video format, Peregrine Video Productions is ready to meet your media needs.

Video - Raven on the Mountain Video Productions


(Formerly Seiurus Video) We are about birds, photography, and videography of birds. If you plan to photograph birds in Florida, or if you need stock video footage of birds from anywhere in North America, check us out. If you want to learn some basic techniques in making bird and wildlife video, or just want to watch some video of wild birds, you’ve come to the right place…

Websites - Birdventure


All about eBird-Related Web Development, Birding Adventures, and Other Stuff…