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Charlie Spencer

Will your next field guide be printed, electronic, or neither?

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Do you think your next field guide will be a conventional printed book, a conventional field guide but in an e-book, or a tablet / phone application?  Or have you already bought your last field guide, and plan on using online resources like All About Birds in the future?

Just trolling for general opinions and impressions.  As a network administrator, I'm always interested in how people are changing their habits to incorporate new technologies.

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What field guides would qualify as neither? My next field guide will probably be a book; there are a few I'd like to have. My go-to app is iBird--a fantastic product. I also have The Warbler Guide which is great. I have looked at some other apps but nothing interests me. Well, there one other app that interests me--Sibley's. I haven't looked at it but I have heard good things.

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I haven't used any birding apps yet, but I have book bird guides, (Stokes and the Petersons Warbler one) and would like more. I like the tactile input of books. I learn better that way. I'm also someone that tried to use an ereader like a nook or a kindle and hated it. Real books all the way, man.

I do use allaboutbirds website and whatbird's site, but I use them in conjunction with my books.

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3 hours ago, HamRHead said:

Well, there one other app that interests me--Sibley's. I haven't looked at it but I have heard good things.

Both my parents have this app on their phone and we love it! 

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11 minutes ago, meghann said:

 Real books all the way, man.

Agree with this 100%.  No field guide apps for me. 

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1 hour ago, meghann said:

Real books all the way, man.

 

 

56 minutes ago, IvoryBillHope said:

Agree with this 100%.  No field guide apps for me. 

Same here. Of course, I'm from the old (old, old) school! I have a cell phone...a flip open cheapo. I use it only for calls, (rarely!) and texting (even more rarely!!). So give me a real book any time!! :)

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Next purchase will likely be a book, because the ABA guide for Michigan is coming out soon.  I do use apps more than I do books, unless it is Gulls.  The Warbler Guide app is amazing.  I hope the 3D modeling catches on with other app guides.  I also like the ability with the Sibley app to choose two bird to compare side by side.  

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I'm hoping Nat. Geo. will release regional guides based off the 7th ed. that just came out. I'm not really sure if they will as the last time they released East/West guides was in 2008 based off the 5th ed. full guide. I am wondering if they are scrapping the whole regional idea as the full field guide is pretty small already? 

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17 hours ago, IvoryBillHope said:

Agree with this 100%.  No field guide apps for me. 

Agreed! 

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To clarify, I rarely use field guides in the field. If I see something I don't recognize, I'll do my best to get photos. Then back at the ranch is where I put the books, the apps, the internet, and the Whatbird forum (Yay!) to use. If I had to pick one or the other, hmmm...probably go with a book. One plus for the iBird app and probably some other apps as well, is the sheer amount of information. A book with the photos alone would be in the coffee table class. On the Cape May Warbler for instance, in addition to excellent gouache illustrations with field marks, there are 10 photos that can be zoomed in for nostril examination and other purposes. Another plus for the electronic guide is the filters. Narrow down the possibilities by selecting location, size, shape, bill description, leg color, and more. Of course the more experienced a birder is, the less they will have to reach for any of these resources. Personally, I'm still reaching! ;)

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4 hours ago, HamRHead said:

To clarify, I rarely use field guides in the field. If I see something I don't recognize, I'll do my best to get photos. Then back at the ranch is where I put the books, the apps, the internet, and the Whatbird forum (Yay!) to use.

That's pretty much how I operate these days.  I don't feel the need to immediately identify what I'm seeing; I can wait until later.

My next field guide is likely to be in electronic format.  I have a relatively new tablet with a good size screen, and reference material strikes me as a good use.  I'm not crazy about buying printed references that I know will be outdated in a few years.  I feel differently about fiction and other genres that don't have changes between editions.  If I find I don't like a guide in an electronic form, I can always go back to print.  They're not that expensive either way.

I'm not a big app user in general.  Most of them leave me wishing they had the features of a full-blown computer- or web-based application.  Maybe it's because I'm another late adopter of smart phones.  I still find the relatively small keyboards and displays to be cumbersome.  That brings me back to being willing to wait until I get home and can use the full-sized keyboard and the 24" monitor.

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On 3/8/2018 at 10:23 PM, chipperatl said:

Next purchase will likely be a book, because the ABA guide for Michigan is coming out soon.  I do use apps more than I do books, unless it is Gulls.  The Warbler Guide app is amazing.  I hope the 3D modeling catches on with other app guides.  I also like the ability with the Sibley app to choose two bird to compare side by side.  

Interesting, I didn't know about the book for MI.  Yeah, Gulls.....well, to be honest, STINK!!  Yes, the warbler app is amazing on the aspect of being the first (I think) to have 3D.   And yes, the Sibley app.......I don't know if there is one thing I don't like about that app.....other than the fact that the photos look kinda juiced compared to Peterson.  All hail Roger Tory Peterson! ;):lol:

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I have a nice selection of guide books at home where I identify photos.  Just got nat. geo. 7th edition, so I think I am set for a bit. I do not carry them around in the field.

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Real book for me for study at home (Sibley North American.) If I'm birding far from home, I might jam an old Peterson guide in my pocket.  From what I've seen, the filters on the apps just don't seem to work for the birders I know that try to use them.

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