Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Preliminary App Review: BirdLog NA, by Birds in the Hand LLC

It finally happened. I have gotten over my butthurt about eBird and decided to use it, embrace it, even love it. What caused this? The Top 100 lists for each region! Yep, you can go to the website and see the Top 100 for whatever region you want (country, state, county, continent, etc.), which is automatically compiled by the data. Yeah, I went there and saw the Delaware County and Philadelphia County lists and I could easily be in each of them, if not the top 20. Hell, just estimating, I'd be in the top freaking five for Delaware County, top 15 for Philadelphia County, and probably top 50 in New Castle County in Delaware (and I am only there for work). I want that fame!

I can still make up for it and start putting all my stuff in eBird now. It is a pain, but luckily they have an iPhone app for that, and it is on sale this week!

Yes, for only $5 you can have this, and also their BirdEye app is on sale for the same price. Maybe I'll get that to review?

So, what do I think of BirdLog? Well, I'll tell you once I get it to work. How isn't it working?
  • I input my eBird information and it crashes while getting the 'taxonomy'.
  • I try to put a new location in, it crashes.
  • I try to make a new list and it crashes.
  • I restart my phone, still the crashing
  • I delete and reinstall the app, still the crashing
  • I delete and reinstall then restart my phone, still the crashing
  • I try it on wifi and 4g, still the crashing
I looked through the FAQ and all but nothing helped it to work, so I defeatedly sent off an email for help.

This looks like a useful tool, but until it works I cannot really recommend it. Maybe it is just my phone? Maybe something I did wrong? We'll see.

Once I get an email back helping me figure it out I'll play with it some more and have a full review up.


  1. Damon - Yeah!! The same is happening to me. I have been unable to use this app since June. I used it successfully for about 8 months, submitting over a hundred checklists, when it began crashing every single time, at the download taxonomy stage, just as you described. I loved this app when it was working, it was fantastically easy to use, until it suddenly, for no apparent reason it will not function at all.

    I have literally tried everything: deleting and reinstalling this app on all my devices multiple times, as well as my computer ( in case I had a corrupted version there). Yesterday, I installed the new OS on my iPhone 5 and my iPad mini, and did yet another delete and re-install on my devices. I also did a reset on my settings, just in case something was causing a conflict there. It was all to no avail. It still crashes!

    Your post is the first inkling I've had that perhaps this is not my issue. I also just sent an email to birdlog help, and got a nice reply from a fellow named George who said he'd try to help me out. Hopefully I'll hear from him soon. After using such a handy tool as birdlog, I really have no desire to go back to a manual system of recording my observations. If you happen to hear anything, or you've managed to figure out the problem, please let me know....I'd really appreciate some insight. Good luck!

  2. By the way, I wanted to add that my husband is having no problem (except for an intermittent crash) using the device on his iPhone 4s, and iPad3.

    And, I wanted to further add, my husband and I started this year as a "Mediocre Year", meaning, since we don't really have the money or time to travel specifically to the big birding hotspots, we'll just record what we see during our normal wanderings. Last I looked, I was at about 234, which isn't terrible for Montana (it is Montana after all), and I haven't posted a sighting since birdlog quit working for me back at the end of June. I just can't bring myself to go back to using a pencil and paper....

  3. (Ok, let's try this again. I did reply before, but I clicked the "sign out" button underneath the reply space instead of the "publish" button which is further down. who designs this place?)

    I finally did get BirdLog to work, but it wasn't anything special. I sent an error report using their system, but I got it to work before they got back to me. The secret? I re-installed it like 5 or 7 times. Seriously.

    I can't say that'll work for anyone else, and the technical support guy emailed me and said he was glad it is working now, but was unhappy with the randomness that got it to work (he probably wanted to figure out why it did that).

    One thing I noticed was that it kept crashing when trying to update the taxonomy, and it even did that for awhile after it got working again, but doesn't anymore. Again, not too helpful.

  4. BTW, I really like the term "mediocre year" and am thinking of using it in my daily vocabulary.