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Tweetie

Can you help me identify this duck?

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Hi. In my search to identify this duck - see photo- I found this forum.¬†ūüėä

We saw  only two of these ducks in a salt water marsh in Longue Rive, Quebec last week.

They seemed fairly big for ducks and my birding friend thought it was from the geese family.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Duck fem pilet.JPG

20190922_064148.jpg

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Hi Charlie. Thank you for the link.

What is the best and most user friendly bird app. (preferably one that doesn't want access to all my personal data)?

Thanks.

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39 minutes ago, Tweetie said:

Hi Charlie. Thank you for the link.

What is the best and most user friendly bird app. (preferably one that doesn't want access to all my personal data)?

Thanks.

Do you have an eBird account? If so, you can download the Merlin app which has a great field guide with great photos, range maps, and sounds. No additional permission would be needed if you're already on eBird.

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3 hours ago, Tweetie said:

Hi Charlie. Thank you for the link.

What is the best and most user friendly bird app. (preferably one that doesn't want access to all my personal data)?

Thanks.

That depends on what you want an app to do.

Do you already have a field guide?  I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to recommending one as the second tool a birder needs (with binos being the first).  Casually thumbing through one will introduce you to birds you may not even know about!

Now, off my soapbox.  The only app I use is the one @akiley named, eBird.  That's a tool for recording what you saw, along with where and when (what birders call a checklist or just 'list').  The only personal data it directly collects is your name and email address, although logically one can assume the most frequently used location would indicate your hone.

I don't use any bird ID apps.  They don't fit the way I bird.  The ones I've seen depend on referencing photos to make an identification.  I don't use the camera on my mobile devices, preferring a 'real' camera for birding.  If I have to transfer the image from camera to computer to the device with an app, I might as well upload it here from the computer.

As to reference apps, I've loaded and unloaded Merlin four or five times.¬† I don't really use it on my tablet.¬† I only use that device at home, and there I can¬†use the computer and All About Birds instead (or a field guide¬†ūüėČ).¬† In the field, I prefer to spend my time either directly observing birds or photographing them.¬† If I can get a photo or make good notes, I can use them to identify the bird¬†later.¬† Good field days are hard to come by; I have plenty of hot / cold / rainy days to do IDs.¬† If I want to show¬†a bird to someone who's never seen it, I use the AAB site.

Not using an ID or reference app in the field also saves battery life, for eBird entry or calls for help.  Storage space, too.

With all that said, you can try iBird, our forum's sponsor, for free.  There should be a link at the bottom of the page.  Plenty of others are either free or free to try.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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11 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

That depends on what you want an app to do.

Do you already have a field guide?  I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to recommending one as the second tool a birder needs (with binos being the first).  Casually thumbing through one will introduce you to birds you may not even know about!

Now, off my soapbox.  The only app I use is the one @akiley named, eBird.  That's a tool for recording what you saw, along with where and when (what birders call a checklist or just 'list').  The only personal data it directly collects is your name and email address, although logically one can assume the most frequently used location would indicate your hone.

I don't use any bird ID apps.  They don't fit the way I bird.  The ones I've seen depend on referencing photos to make an identification.  I don't use the camera on my mobile devices, preferring a 'real' camera for birding.  If I have to transfer the image from camera to computer to the device with an app, I might as well upload it here from the computer.

As to reference apps, I've loaded and unloaded Merlin four or five times.¬† I don't really use it on my tablet.¬† I only use that device at home, and there I can¬†use the computer and All About Birds instead (or a field guide¬†ūüėČ).¬† In the field, I prefer to spend my time either directly observing birds or photographing them.¬† If I can get a photo or make good notes, I can use them to identify the bird¬†later.¬† Good field days are hard to come by; I have plenty of hot / cold / rainy days to do IDs.¬† If I want to show¬†a bird to someone who's never seen it, I use the AAB site.

Not using an ID or reference app in the field also saves battery life, for eBird entry or calls for help.  Storage space, too.

With all that said, you can try iBird, our forum's sponsor, for free.  There should be a link at the bottom of the page.  Plenty of others are either free or free to try.

I agree with you completely. I prefer paper guides over an app any day. I just suggested Merlin as an option because the OP mentioned apps. 

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Don't worry about what it is; concentrate on what you're seeing.  Develop your observation skills and identification becomes much easier..  The details to focus on with gulls aren't the same as for warblers, and both differ from waterfowl.  A field guide that shows all the birds in a region, grouped by families so you can see the similarities and differences, can teach this better than an app that shows only the one species you asked about.  Then you don't waste time trying to ID what you thought was a hawk, when what you saw was a falcon but you haven't heard of those.

Man, I gotta put this soapbox someplace it isn't so easy to climb up on...

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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I've recently started using the Sibley Birds app as a field guide (I travel without a car, carrying only a backpack, so I don't have space for books). I've actually found that I slightly prefer it over the paper version. It's easy to either search or browse for birds different species, and of course it includes sounds, which the book can't. It also has functions for comparing two species side-by-side. It's very fast, works without internet, and it doesn't use much battery power other than the fact that you end up having your screen on more. The cons: It costs about $20, and there are a few bugs (at least on my phone, searches sometimes don't work properly). But that's been well, well worth it for me.

Audubon also has an okay field guide app that's completely free.

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Hi everyone, thank you for all your input and info. I usually observe, snap a few photos and play the ID game later with my books and the internet.

I'm still learning to ID birds by sound, so I thought the app would be useful for that too.

Happy birding!

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8 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

More observing, less snapping

That's an interesting recommendation.  Would you mind expanding on it?  I like to capture a few quick shots for a bird I'm unsure of, before switching to the binos.  Also, the lens on my camera can pull in a distant bird at ranges beyond my binos.

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