You are out in the wilderness. You see a bird floating on the water you think you know but you aren’t fully sure what species it is. You whip out your iPhone, pull up the new Audubon field guide you just downloaded the other day and quickly determine it is a Hooded Merganser. That is the idea behind some new iPhone app field guides, co-developed by the National Audubon Society and electronic publishing company Green Mountain Digital.
The first four Audubon Guide apps in the new series – North American guides to Birds, Wildflowers, Trees and Mammals – are available now through the iTunes store, with more nature subjects to come. These apps use “updated and expanded content from the authoritative National Audubon Society guide books to cover thousands of species.” Features of these apps include over 8,000 color photos, 2,300 bird sounds, range maps and “in-depth species descriptions with updated information about behavior, habitat, and the natural history of families and species.”
Pricing on these guides, at least to start, will be around $20 for the bird app and $10 for the rest. Those paying and downloading these apps will find, in addition to the previously mentioned features, that they can use a “geo-location search” find which species are located where they are, or in any other zip code, state or region. One will also be able to post GPS-enabled sighting lists to a shared online environment.