Bird Listing Software Review, by Platform

Cover Photo: White-winged Black Tern from the Surfbirds galleries © Glyn Sellors

Updated July 12, 2016

By Cliff Robbins and Dr. Gerco Hoogeweg

Review Process

It has been a 3 month process to produce this page. Every attempt has been made to be balanced, honest and to thoroughly check the data on this page. With that said, it is not always possible to avoid all mistakes. There are many categories on which to rate, compare and judge the products. The ones below were chosen ahead of time in order to be most helpful to those looking for such a program. It is entirely possible that the authors have missed another desktop program that competes in this space. We would appreciate hearing about any others that deserve to be on this list.

Features Birder's Diary iGoTerra BirdBrain Bird Journal Swift Wings Wildlife Recorder Birder's Notebook Scythebill Birds of North America
Platform PC & Mac Any Device/OS (including mobile) Mac iOS, Windows, Android & MAC PC & Mac PC & Mac PC & Mac PC PC, Mac & Linux PC & Mac
Web site
Cost Starting at $58 Basic (Free) Standard ($32/year) Premium ($78/year) $99.95 $49.99/year free limited edition $79 free limited edition Free Starting at £35 (GBP) Free. Free. Starting at $49.95
Last Updated v4.1 Feb 15, 2016 v6.2 (5 Jan 2016) v7 Dec 1, 2015 v526 May 2016 v2.0 No date v6 Jul 1, 2014 ??? v1.4.1 No date v12.6 Oct 24, 2015 v7 2015
Free fully functional demo download Yes 30-day demo period. Yes (Up to 4 weeks with all Premium features) Yes Can enter up to 70 sightings. Yes Free fully functional 14 day trial. No Limited version free download. Yes No Yes Yes No
Customer Support Actually tested when possible.
Sightings Entry Speed Untested.
Support photos and other media
User-defined Sighting Data Unlimited. Unlimited. Unlimited.
Taxonomic Lists Supported Clements/ Cornell, IOC, AOU, ABA, BOU. Clements/ Cornell, IOC Clements/ Cornell Clements/ Cornell, IOC Clements/ Cornell IOC IOC Clements/ Cornell Clements/ Cornell, IOC ABA
Number of Features
eBird interface
Comments Most robust listing program available. Best support available. Mature product. All major bird taxonomies and other taxon available. Modern look and navigation. Community entry sharing. Cloud based allowing for constant updates. Good support. Mature Product. Includes enormous array of taxon. Integrated messaging system. Robust listing program for Mac. Lots of features. Mature product. Modern looking interface. Nice charts. Mapping features. All data kept locally and in the cloud. All locations must be added. Good photo feature built-in. Basic reporting. Powered by 4D development environment. Strong query interface, but difficult to understand. Requires knowledge of 4D. Supports linked media. Distribution mapping (Pro version). Not focused on sightings listing. More of a personal diary. Modern interface. Nice species range map feature. Open source. Basic reporting. Fast data import feature. Nice sightings entry. An electronic field guide with a limited listing feature set.