EBird — a real-time online checklist program that has modernized the way that bird-watchers report and access information about birds — is offering viewers a chance to try birding and win some goodies in the process.
Enter checklists into the eBird online database — EBird.org — and you have a chance to win an iPod Touch and a free download of the BirdsEye bird-locator application.
BirdsEye is the iPhone app that uses eBird to help you find the birds you want to see. It's not a traditional field guide for identification. Instead, it tells you where birders are seeing birds, using eBird data that's frequently updated.
BirdsEye has information about 857 species in North America, including eBird sightings; sounds from the Macaulay Library; photographs from VIREO, an image database; and birding-finding tips from Kenn Kaufman, author of Kaufman Field Guides.
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BirdsEye also has a little brother called BirdsEye Lite. Designed for beginning birders, BirdsEye Lite features information about 135 species that are easy to find in North America north of Mexico.
Designed for use on the Apple iPhone and iPod touch, BirdsEye and BirdsEye Lite are available on the App Store. BirdsEye Lite sells for $1.99 and BirdsEye sells for $19.99.
The contest runs through Sept. 6. Anyone who signs up at EBird.org — it's free — and submits at least one checklist during the three-week period will be entered in a drawing for the touch device and a free BirdsEye download. Five runners-up will get a free app download.
The BirdsEye Lite and BirdsEye apps were developed by Birds in the Hand LLC of Virginia. They combine content from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Academy of Natural Sciences and author Kenn Kaufman.
A portion of sales goes to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help support research, education and citizen-science projects focused on birds, and to the Academy of Natural Sciences to support VIREO, the world's largest collection of bird photographs.