[Tweeters] Re: Birding Databases

buteoreg at comcast.net buteoreg at comcast.net
Fri Oct 8 11:38:25 PDT 2004


Hi Ilene and the rest of y'all

This is a copy of an e-mail I sent to Tweeters a month or more ago when Scott Ray requested similiar info. The last three paragraphs of my post are the part that directly relates to PDA birding software.

My PDA is also a Pocket PC so I am not using the Avisys for PDA's. I did put a little info on the Palm Avisys in my previous message since Scott may have wanted that. Anyways, it's a moot point, but you wouldn't want the Palm Avisys even if it *would* work on your PDA! It is just not good...

Jim Flynn


Forwarded message**

Scott,
While I haven’t personally used Bird Recorder 32, my friend Steve has – and I am using Wildlife Lister. This is a sort of “Son of Bird Recorder 32”. It’s newer and a little cheaper. It supposedly has less in the way of data manipulation capacity. I guess Bird Recorder 32 is good if you are doing censusing, etc., which I am not.

So far, I would say I am satisfied with Wildlife Lister. It is not without a few drawbacks though. There are a few bugs and things (mistakes on lists) that should be cleaned up. It has been out long enough now that I would’ve expected the company to have done this in the updates. I suspect one reason some of the mistakes on Wildlife Lister’s American bird lists haven’t been fixed yet is that most of the users of the program are British or European. Perhaps if more Yanks get on board programmers will see the need to clean it up a little.

My partner Marissa uses Avisys and it has some distinct advantages as I see it. First, Avisys runs much faster - they were on the same machine so it wasn’t a hardware issue. Second, Avisys allows you to make your own state lists (among others) and add or delete species as you want. Wildlife Lister comes with the country and state lists already made – and the Washington one is not entirely accurate. You can add species on the PDA version – which is called Pocket Bird Recorder, but I don’t think the added species will then upload to Wildlife Lister when you sync your PDA to your PC. Avisys also has much more flexible reports. They are much easier to create with Avisys as well – with Wildlife Lister you have to create queries, which I am not really great at. It is not really an intuitive process, but if you have done programming before you might be comfortable with it.

Wildlife Lister has an option for voice activated recording. It seems to work very well but since I record most of my sightings on my PDA and then upload the records to my desktop I haven’t used the voice feature very much.

The main reason I did get Wildlife Lister was because I was going to Australia and wanted a program that I could use with a PDA. Avisys has a PDA version but only for Palm. My PDA is an iPAQ which is windows based. The PDA program for Wildlife Lister is called “Pocket Bird Recorder” and is excellent. It is easy to use, allows you to add all sorts of notes, day lists and trip lists, check off pre-set boxes on age or plumage of species observed, etc. You can also create new sites right on the PDA which you can later upload to Wildlife Lister. Unfortunately, this is not a stand-alone product and has to be used in combination with the desktop programs – either Wildlife Lister OR Bird Recorder 32.

Marissa bought the Avisys Palm program and it is horrible by comparison – not even anywhere close in comparison. You have to download how many days you want to record for ahead of time, download each county or state separately, etc. That is only the beginning of its faults. It may not be actually buggy – but it has nowhere near the features of Pocket Bird Recorder.

Overall, despite the caveats with Wildlife Lister, I like most aspects of it and will stick with it. Feel free to e-mail if you have any specific questions.
Jim Flynn
Seattle, WA
buteoreg at hotmail.com
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