Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Field Guides never looked so good!

Sibley Guide for iPad

I recently put my Digiscoper of the Year prize money toward the purchase of an iPad2 . Though I've been using Sibley and iBird Pro on my iPod Touch since early spring, the apps look so much nicer on an iPad. My eyes really appreciate the larger size and I'm certain my field trip participants will love the larger bird and range map images. My paper birding field guide of choice for years has been the Eastern Sibley, but what if I want to be able to identify butterflies, dragonflies, and wildflowers, too? I don't enjoy lugging around several books in the field, so in addition to Sibley and iBird Pro, I have various flora and fauna field guides installed as well. With an iPad or iPod, the conundrum over what field guides to bring along is gone! These handy gizmos easily fit inside a backpack or back pocket.

iBird Pro on iPad

All images © 2011 Mike McDowell


  1. Mike, the Peterson iPad app looks great, too. But I'm interested in which flora and fauna field guides you have installed. Perhaps you could do a separate post on those?

  2. Hi Bill,

    In addition to Sibley and iBirdPro, I have Audubon's Butterflies, Insects & Spiders, Wildflowers, and a Wisconsin Butterflies app, plus a cool sparrow-head app by BirdJam.


  3. I've been thinking about getting either iBird Pro or Sibley for my iPod Touch in preparation for a trip out west. Right now, iBird Pro is on sale for $15 while Sibley is still $30. That right there should make my decision for me but what I'm really interested in are the songs and calls that each app supplies. Does one come with more songs and calls per species than the other or are they pretty much the same in that department?

  4. The Sibley app offers more songs and other vocalizations per species.

    Mike M.

  5. Mike,

    Thanks for the info. I decided on iBird based on price and so I can wait and see how much I really end up using it. It definitely looks like a good app though! Maybe I can add Sibley sometime down the road.