[Tweeters] Results of life-list software query

Teresa Michelsen teresa at avocetconsulting.com
Wed Oct 30 12:49:25 PDT 2013

I want to mention that I am one of the people that has used AviSys for a
long time. I didn't respond because lately I'd been looking for a good
alternative. AviSys is a bit clunky and doesn't make best use of new
software platforms. But more of a problem for me was the fact that they were
not updating their world country lists, which are evolving quickly,
especially in the Latin American countries I've been birding in the most. To
get those updates, you had to go to a competitor. I thought about getting
their software instead, but it was even more expensive and just as clunky to

Just this last weekend I found what seemed to be the answer to my problems,
and I have moved all my listings to this new database - Bird Journal. They
update their world lists once a year, have support for inputting Clements
subspecies as well as species, and have a user-friendly interface. What's
even cooler for all you photographers out there is that you can easily enter
photographs associated with sightings, as well as geotags. And they have
mapping and charting capabilities, etc. All the things modern software
should be able to do - as well as full eBird integration. Thankfully, they
can import data from AviSys, eBird and a few other systems. I still had to
make a few adjustments to my records, so it took a couple of days, but it
was worth it.

I may actually have been inspired to try to start taking photographs :D Oh
yeah, and the users have developed a bunch of other lists you can import for
mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians, etc. - and you can upload
your own to the forums for others to use. Kind of cool. The world version is
$130, they have continent or local versions that are cheaper also. I think
it's a bargain, since I use a lot of these features.

Anyway - I had not found this one before when I looked just last month, so
wanted to mention it in case it's new to others also.

Teresa Michelsen

Olympia WA

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Tucker,
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12:28 PM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] Results of life-list software query

Hi Tweeters,

Many of you responded to my question about what software to use for
developing a life list. Several folks also asked me to let them know what
the feedback was, so I thought I'd post this followup.

A few folks just use Excel, and one person recommended BuBo
<http://www.bubo.org/> . Many more birders are using Ebird for this purpose.
It was pointed out that I can export Ebird files in CSV format, which would
let me then use Excel for data sorting. Ebird is both low-cost and widely
available-big plusses.

We also have a number of AviSys users on Tweeters. It sounds like terrific
software (except for one person, who lost years of data in an attempted
update). For me, though, the combination of:

* the initial expense: $100 initial investment, and
* not-insignificant update costs for new versions later on, and
* the cost of adapting the software to my Macs (Windows-reading
software plus the cost of Windows itself), and
* their stated lack of support for Mac users,

precludes my committing to Avisys for now. So I think I'll go with Ebird and
just listen to good music while I input all my observations into Ebird for
the next few weeks. Not a bad way to spend time, overall, if I'm not
outdoors seeing actual birds. (Or orcas, like I got to do for hours
yesterday from Lincoln Park!)

Thanks to all who responded,


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Trileigh Tucker

Lincoln Park, West Seattle

Natural history website: naturalpresence.wordpress.com

Photography: flickr.com/photos/trileigh

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