If you are a bird-loving family and are looking for fun as well as educational apps for your iPad, Larkwire Backyard Birder and Master Birder are two apps you may be interested in knowing more about. I received both apps as a gift from Larkwire (no other compensation) and I have been using these apps over the last few months to learn bird songs by ear.
The format for each app is similar and is based on the idea that you will view an image of a bird and then hear its song. After you have listened and are confident that you can recognize the bird’s song, you play a matching game with four birds at a time. This sounds easy but your ear really needs to be trained to hear the subtle differences in bird songs.
In the Gallery Game, the screen shows four birds and then quizzes you by playing the bird song and you pick the bird you think it is. If you match them correctly, it moves you on to the next song. If you miss it, you have a chance to replay the bird’s song and then continue with the game. You are allowed to choose which birds to learn and in what sequence by choosing groups of birds like birds with simple songs, birds with complex songs, songs with repeated notes, etc. I am working my way through the simple and complex sets with some success.
You can see a video of how the Gallery Game and the Field Game work: Larkwire Introduction Video.
There is also a Search and Browse feature which lets you enter a bird’s name and then click over to hear calls and read a bit more about its distinctive song by state. You can also browse by category like hawks, owls, and woodpeckers. This is such a fun way to learn more about each bird family, learning which birds are related to each other.
The images used in these apps are stunningly clear and brilliant. I have enjoyed browsing the images which I know will also help me learn more birds that I can eventually identify.
Larkwire Apps I Reviewed
Backyard Birder (California Top 25) allows you to choose your region/state and gives you the top twenty-five birds to learn. Priced at $3.95 for the desktop version and customizable to your region. The iTunes version is 99 cents and you customize it once you start to use it (per Phil at Larkwire). This was more than enough to get me started with my local birds and I highly recommend purchasing the songpack that is appropriate for your area. Don’t be surprised if after using this songpack when you hear your children identifying birds by ear…they pick up on them really fast!
Master Birder (land birds) allows you to select your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or master) and a song pack with 344 songs. Priced at $24.95 for the desktop version and from iTunes $14.99. I think this songpack will last me a very long time. There are so many birds to learn and to enjoy over the months and years to come.
There are many songpacks available allowing you to choose just what you need and can afford.
Not sure if your children will like Larkwire apps? Go ahead and try their free starter pack with 21 birds. You will not be disappointed.
The app is available in the iTunes store- look up Larkwire. This app is also available for your desktop computer but you need to purchase it through the website.
For more information about how to purchase and whether it will work on your device, see the Larkwire website.