Bird Friend Review: Bird made easy

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The main purpose of BirdBuddy is to identify and identify bird species using its artificial intelligence. It does this better than Birdfy, but it still has mixes. I get what I feel are hundreds of pigeons a day at my feeders—actually maybe 10 to 20 of the same one—and no matter how many times in a row I identify them as truly sad pigeons, many say so. They are white-winged or Eurasian collared pigeons. At least these misidentifications are closer than birds (they’re all pigeons!), but it can still be frustrating. I’ve found quite a few of several species together in photos, and have only identified one of the flock so far.

One thing I like is that the app includes a list of birds that could be the subject, so you can easily figure out which one is right. If that doesn’t help, you can leave decryption to the experts. (I recently submitted some mystery visitors but haven’t heard back yet.)

Bird Buddies make birding fun. Not only do I know exactly what species are growing on my porch, but I can learn about them in the app. I learned that those mourning doves often eat snails (yuck) and hoard their food (same). Dark-eyed juncos are not very friendly (sad); And house finches have great memories (I hope they like me).

You can even listen to their songs, which is especially helpful since the videos don’t include sound—video is a new feature enabled at the end of my trial, and I really appreciate the addition. I can see it being a great resource for people like me who are desperate to learn about the animals they love without going on an 8am birding trip with strangers.

Air sprouts

Video: Medea Giordano via Bird Friend

The Bird Buddy app organizes photos and videos by category, making it great for looking back. It also works as a bird collecting game Pokemon cards. But the way new events are presented to you gets old quickly. Your feed will show that a new “postcard” is waiting for you. Clicking on the postcard shows a cute animation before telling you what species of bird it was and letting you scroll through a gallery containing lots of photos and videos.

When there is more than one postcard, which is common, it becomes very annoying to go through each time in the animation. I wish I could set it to work only for new species and otherwise let me know if there are new images for those already found. I’d be happier if he said something like, “There were a lot of pigeons on your feeder,” rather than opening six postcards each.

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