[App Review] Audubon Birds Pro

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Audubon birds
Identify birds in the field by checking with the app’s audio samples of their real-world calls.

Do you enjoy peering through your trusty binoculars to identify bird species in the windswept grassy fields outside? Even if you’re an expert at picking out our fine-feathered friends by their shapes, colors, and unique squawking, it’s always helpful to carry around a bird guide. Now, the National Audubon Society has turned its photo-filled and informative books on nature into software for portable devices, and their Audubon Birds Pro app provides a solid guide for bird watching.

If there’s one thing this app gets right, it’s providing tons of facts on bird species, like their size, names, habitats, diet, and colors. It also clearly organizes them into categories that make them easily identifiable, whether it’s basic shapes for beginners to sort through or geographical regions where they’re often found. Plus, you can listen to audio samples of the different bird calls to see if they match the sounds you’re hearing in the nearby bushes and trees.

Unfortunately, in order to enjoy the full range of features, the app keeps asking you to sign up for NatureShare. While doing so connects you with social media features that show you where other users have sighted birds, it’s not exactly solo-friendly for those wishing to journey into the wild away from online technology. Plus, the very basic graphical interface makes this app feel more like a glorified collection of Wikipedia pages rather than a truly interactive software program for your portable devices.

Despite some flaws, the Audubon Birds Pro app offers good value for $3.99, especially if you just want to relax on the porch and leaf through hundreds of pages on bird species. It just doesn’t measure up with the classic feel of a weather-worn Audubon book of physical pages, especially when it comes to offline bird watching in the field. Our final verdict? We give this app a “B”.

Images courtesy of The National Audubon Society.