The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America

Updated June 5th 2010 with high-res images!

The Sibley Guide to Birds is now available as an app for iPhone and iPod Touch. Check it out at the iTunes app store (here).

June 9th – Several users have reported issues with some of the new sounds added in this update. Uninstalling and reinstalling the program seems to resolve this, and it will be corrected in the update in a few days.
The images of Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles were inadvertently switched in this version, and will be corrected in the update.
We’re planning to finish an emergency update by June 16th. Please contact me or add a comment here with any errors you find.

The updated interface uses swiping motions to navigate: up and down for images of the same species, left and right for other species. Buttons for map and sounds are on the upper right.
Tapping the text instantly makes it full screen, and rotating to landscape view increases the size of the text for easier reading.
Maps are now higher resolution and can be viewed full screen.
A tap on the image expands it to full screen, swiping your finger up and down scrolls through all images of the species, while swiping left or right moves to previous and next species.
Turning the device expands the image further to fill the screen in landscape view, swiping up or down scrolls through all images of the species.
Comparisons of any two species (or even two variations of the same species) are easy to set up, and swiping either species up or down scrolls through all images of that species, while swiping the top image left or right moves to previous or next species.
Comparison species can also be viewed side-by-side in landscape mode simply by turning the device.
Tapping the "voice" icon while in the compare screen makes it easy to compare songs and calls of any two species.

A discussion forum for users of the product can be found here, please feel free to join in, leave comments, tell us what you like or don’t like. We will be continuing to develop the program.

Instructions and tips for using the program are here

Read an interview with David about the iPhone guide at Birder’s World here

The program includes all 6600 images, and all text and maps from the printed guide. In addition it includes over 2200 audio recordings representing a wide range of the commonly heard vocalizations of nearly every species.

A simple and intuitive interface puts all of this information at your fingertips

The program allows you to sort the birds by state, so species unlikely to be seen in your location can be excluded from your browsing. Another helpful feature not possible in a printed field guide is the ability to switch between showing all of the species possible in your state, or just the one hundred or so most-commonly-seen species.

Other “filters” allow you to limit your browsing to only certain types of birds, e.g. “waterbirds”, or “heron-like” birds, etc). You can also browse only those species with certain distinctive colors (e.g. “mostly black” or “wingbars”), or distinctive shapes (e.g.”crested”). And you can select the general size of the bird you are searching for.

Developed by MyDigitalEarth

136 thoughts on “The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America”

  1. This looks outstanding- can’t wait to check it out! Would be worth it for the illustrations alone but looking at the preview windows in the app store I’ve got to say the sounds (both variety and interface) look kick-butt, too!

  2. David and the Cool Ideas guys, this app is fantastic. Thanks for bringing Sibley’s expertise to the iPhone.

    The songs are just a bonus to the fantastic illustrations.

      1. I’d like to add my voice to those asking for an Android version. Hope that’s still in the works!

      2. I’m wondering whether there’s any kind of timeline for the Android version – I’m just getting set to get my phone upgraded and want to know whether the Android version will be available this year or whether I should lean back towards the iPhone. =) Thank you!

        1. Hi Leilah (and Karen) The Android version is in the works. We don’t have an ETA yet but I sure hope it will be this year and I’ll post here when it’s ready.

          1. Jessica Newman

            Another voice for an Android. I want a good birding guide, but also need a good phone. I’m holding off, but want to be ready for the fall migration:-)

          2. Jeffrey Scott Poulin

            Original outlook for Android was (hopefully)September…. 4 days and lots of us are counting every one!

          3. Hi Jeffrey, Well… we will not make the September target, but I have just been looking at the latest version of the app for Android. There are still a few minor issues to be worked out, but we hope to have those done in about ten days, and then it generally takes a week or so for apps to make it through the Android approval process and be made available for sale. So, barring any unforeseen problems, you can expect it before the end of October. Thanks for your patience.

        1. Hi Nick, I don’t keep an email list. One option would be to subscribe to the RSS feed for this site and then you’ll know as soon as I post any news of the Blackberry version.

    1. Just curious if an android version is even in the works yet? I’d love to have this app on my new Evo 🙂

  3. I hope that the maps are scalable. The size of the maps are the only problem for me in the otherwise wonderful books. I have great difficulty seeing more localized coverage in the maps at their size in the books. I have hoped that the books would become apps for as long as the iPhone has been out.

  4. What a fantastic app! Your printed book is my “go to” guide and I’m thrilled to now have it electronically! I think having the songs available for this spring’s migration will be very helpful. I can quickly pop in an earphone and compare a couple of flycatcher songs (my bain!)
    Something I would find helpful is the option to add a highlight of some sort i.e. a yellow or blue circle next to the name to the Indexes and also have an area where you could add a notation, i.e. C, B, V or N/S. For example, I live in Ontario and bird often at Point Pelee. While I would select Ontario for my location, I could customize my list using the Pelee bird list – i.e. I could use yellow to highlight common birds and blue for rare. Using the alpha notation I could see at a glance if they breed or are just passing through, without having to go to the map.
    It would also be helpful to carry over the highlights to the screen where the bird has been selected so if you’re comparing say 6 warblers you can easily see only 2 are likely.
    Happy Birding!

    1. Thanks, this is a great suggestion Bets. I had been working on some similar ideas but this is a slightly different way of presenting the information, and might be a little easier to implement. I will pass it along to the folks at MyDigitalEarth.

  5. Thank you so much for creating this! I was just thinking of trying to contact you and ask if you had considered doing an iPhone app of your guide when I saw this was being released.
    The illustrations and songs seem far superior to iBird, but any thought on adding more search criteria? That is the one area where iBird seems to really excel.
    And have you considered a free sampler version? Just a few birds to allow people to see the interface before buying the full?
    Any thoughts on developing the Tree guide into an app?

  6. Great app! I have been using it quite a bit for the last several weeks and find that I can now leave my “big” Sibley book in the car and just carry my iPod Touch instead.

    I have a suggestion for a future update of the program. Please consider making the “My List” portion of the program such that you can just enter a species without requiring a location or date. That way it would make it much easier and quicker to input one’s lifelist. As it is now it would require many hours of tedious typing on the iPod Touch to enter in my list of lifers – all I really need here is to be able to tell which birds I have already seen. Also, once a bird is entered into “My List” how about placing an indicator on the main screen for each bird that the bird has been seen?

    Thanks again for your great app.


  7. I saw this app yesterday night and it’s really great. But I’m little bit affraid because I’m a french people and when I birding I use the french version of your book. I’m not very familar with bird names in english. So my questions are: Can we search by french name and a the french version will be available soon?


    1. Bonjour Alain, Thanks for the compliments. Currently the app does not include French names, but it should be possible to add those as another index and I’ve passed along this suggestion. Unfortunately a full French version would be a lot more work and there are no plans for that.

  8. This sounds really great…I can check out a bird anytime I have my phone. Can’t wait for the Blackberry version.

  9. Lovely app — now I need to throw my iPod touch and a pair of earphones in my birding bag!

    Is there an appropriate way to report glitches to the developers? My first use of the smart search function turned one up right away.

    1. Thanks for the comments, Jack. You can report any issues to the developers at their website, either through the forum or privately via email.
      And to those requesting the Blackberry version – they’re still working on the logistics of getting that out; hopefully it won’t be too much longer.

    1. Thanks. There is no date yet for either the Blackberry or Android version of the app, all I can say is that we’re working on it, and I’m glad to hear of all the interest.

  10. Where has this been all my life!?!

    The illustrations are far superior to competing products, but competitors like iBird really take advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities.

    Would love the ability to narrow by region (using location services), time of year (from the iPhone’s internal clock) to help narrow likely suspects.

    And please let us enter sightings that sync with eBird to help those friendly folks at Cornell.

    Any ETA for larger images? Can’t get enough.


    1. Hi Jessica, Thanks for your comment. I’m working on a bunch of new ideas for managing the search, including better location info and some filtering by season, but because birds move so much it’s very tricky. Experienced birders can make educated guesses by knowing which species are most likely at that time and place, and then weighing that information against the observed features, but creating a database that will allow the computer to make those distinctions- in a way that is accurate and helpful – is daunting, and my focus has been on finding ways for the computer to assist the human brain in the identification process without taking over or being misleading. I’m not saying I’ve succeeded yet, and there’s still a long way to go, but that’s the thinking behind it and we are working on it.
      On eBird: My understanding is that it’s up to the folks at eBird to figure out how to accept data from mobile devices, and I think they are working hard on that. Whenever that gets sorted out you can be sure that this app will sync to eBird.
      On larger images: I’m actually looking at the larger images right now in a beta copy of the next version, and it looks fantastic – with better quality images, enlarging to full screen with a tap and enlarging even further in landscape view. Pending a few minor copy-editing corrections that version should be out within a couple of weeks.

      1. Fantastic news about the artwork! (And the desire to upload to eBird when they’re ready.)

        Yes, I can see how an application could mislead if birds were hidden from a search because the database indicated they were unlikely. Maybe some sort of indicator of distribution similar to the Common/Uncommon/Rare indication on checklists, only knowing the location and time of year, the appropriate icon could be displayed (w/o having to read a chart on a small screen). With this feature turned on, as I browse, I could at a glance see what’s likely for that moment in space/time. If I’m searching, I can opt to have the most likely suspects display first. (Maybe a tie-in with eBird data like BirdsEye to indicate if something’s known to be in the area?)

        Taking that further, it would be cool to enter a location and quickly see common birds for that area for a specific time of year. I’d use that in conjunction with the printed guide to study prior to a trip. I’m headed to Seattle next month, for example, and have to use multiple sources to 1) find what I can expect to see and 2) study the birds. This feature could cut down on the administration and let me spend more time on studying birds.

        For your reference from a target audience perspective, I’m a female in my 30s who grew beyond backyard birding about 5 years ago with my also-beginner husband. Also, I’m very tech saavy, so that’s why I’m so demanding!

        Thanks again for your great work and taking the time to reply. And feel free not to post this comment, if you don’t want it to help the competition :).

  11. GREAT UPDATE TO iPod APP– but is there a bug?

    The Sibley iPod field guide APP was just updated. As promised, it now has high resolution bird paintings that can be enlarged and displayed in both portrait and landscape views. The original ones were small and looked as if they were scanned from printed copies. They now really POP! The range maps now enlarge when tapped, but only display in portrait format. You can now move to the next image with just a swipe rather than pushing the “next” button, and switch between description and image by simply tapping.

    Additional calls and songs have been added for a number of species, but there now appears to be a bug that I’m sure will be corrected soon– the updated song of the Sedge Wren does not display– the song icon erroneously links to the iPod song feature, at least it does in my iPod Touch. Not sure whether it affects updated sounds of other species.

    Now, if Sibley could just add information about breeding biology and life history… I’d even spring a few more bucks for such an enhancement.

    1. Ken, Thanks for the comment. I’m really pleased with the new images and maps and glad you are too. The developers and I haven’t been able to recreate the Sedge Wren bug you mention – are you still having trouble with it?

      1. Yes, now when I touch the musical note within the Sedge Wren page, it defaults to the iPod “desktop” instead of showing choices of various calls and songs, as is normal with other species. When I wrote the above, it defaulted to the iPod music library (as if I had selected the musical note on the bottom of the “desktop”), so something has changed.

        After reporting the problem, I later checked several of the other sounds for species that had been updated, and they also had bad links. Now I can’t remember which were updated, so I cannot verify whether the extent of this problem has changed. I did a random check of all the wrens, wood warblers and thrushes, and only found this same problem with the Varied Thrush sound. It, too. linked to the iPod “desktop.”

        I hope this helps.

      2. This morning, I visited the iTunes Store and found an inconspicuous note when I clicked on the Sibley app. It said that if I was experiencing trouble with the sound feature I should delete the app and reinstall to my iPod. There was another user comment that described a problem identical to the one I experienced after updating to ver 1.5, so there is a possibility that this is a systemic rather than random issue.

        I did this, and my Sedge Wren and the Varied Thrush are singing again!

        My concern is that others may have this same problem and not be aware until they try to play the sounds for a certain species. This may be an unwarranted cause for dissatisfaction with the app. I suggest that you publish an update that re-installs the corrected product.

        Thanks for your responsiveness!

  12. I just purchased The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America for my i-pod touch today and am very impressed with it. I especially love the way you can compare 2 birds side by side. While playing with it a little, I noticed an error that you will want to correct. The pictures for the Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole have been switched. The written information, range maps, & songs appear to be correct, it’s just the pictures that got swapped by mistake. Please let me know when this gets corrected in a future update. Otherwise this is a great resource! Thank you.

  13. I realize that no specific ETA will be given for the Android application. However, I am enthusiastically awaiting the release. I “check in” every day to see if there is any news. Is there any chance of getting a rough guess? Is the app weeks or months away? Any news on the progress would be greatly appreciated.

    Regardless, I will buy the app as soon as it’s released.

      1. Thank you for the reply. I’ll be looking forward to September, but I understand that it’s only a rough idea.

  14. I love this app — very user friendly, and I use it especially for the wide choice of vocalizations for most species.

    My one suggestion is that to include a way to allow looping vocalizations, as is done on the iPod itself with songs, and on most other devices for playing mp3 vocalizations. I’m a photographer, and when I play a bird’s song or call to bring it into view, I need both hands on my camera. It would be great to be able to lay the iTouch and mini-speaker on the ground (or where I want the bird to perch) and be able to have it play until I stop it manually.

    1. Hi Tom,
      I’m glad you like the app. We’re working on some ways to make the sounds a little easier to control, so I’m happy to have your suggestion, but I’m not convinced that “continuous play – tap to stop” is a better option than “play once – tap to start”. For one thing, my experience with playback is that birds respond better when they hear a song only a few times, and they might not really respond until several minutes after the playback ends. I usually shorten the recordings in the app by just playing one or two songs to a singing bird and then switching the phone to “mute”. Then wait a minute or two and play one or two songs again. Generally this is enough to excite the territorial bird and they will approach and sing to drive off the “intruder”. This is all done with the iPhone’s built-in speaker. I’ve never found a need for a powered external speaker, nor for continuous playback.

      All of this brings up the thorny question of the ethics of playback. I’m not against it, but with recordings being so easily accessible in the field it’s becoming a much more common practice, and birders should be aware of the effects. I’ve been working on a post about that which I hope to have ready soon.

      1. Thanks for responding, David. My hope was for a choice between “tap to start” and “tap to stop”, as there is on iPods, with the different modes of repeat under “settings.” I agree with you that short spurts of song usually work best, and also are usually preferable where there’s risk of stress to birds from repeated playback of vocalizations. And yes, often the bird comes in some time after the playback ends. But I have found, using bird songs installed as “music” on an iPod, and so allowing the choice between continuous and one-time play, that continuous play for somewhat longer is sometimes the best choice. But I respect that you’ve thought about this, and want to keep the app the way it is, partly for ethical reasons.

  15. Joseph Covington

    With the June 5 update, I’m ready to comment: This app isn’t just good; it’s important. Please do continue to add missing songs. The addition of Hawk Owl & Varied Thrush are just in time for my trip to Glacier NP. Yellow-throated Vireo should be in the next update.

  16. David,

    Does the iPhone application take full advantage of the iPad’s resolution? Or will there be a separate iPad app?

    Please advise.


    1. The iPhone app works on the iPad, it responds much more quickly and can be doubled in size to fill the screen, but otherwise looks and works just as it does on the iPhone. With the improved images in our latest update the images look fantastic even full screen on the iPad, but text is a little fuzzy at that size. I think there is great future potential for creating a more complex guide for the larger screen of the iPad, but we’re focused on phones for now.

  17. 1. When comparing songs for 2 species it would be helpful if the song currently playing were highlighted. In a couple of cases I thought the song had finished, and tapped on the other species song, only to have the first song pick up again, (possibly because I didn’t tap hard enough?). Surprised me to hear a Pine Warbler apparently singing a Redstart song. Another (perhaps better) option: highlight with a progress bar.

    2. How about a collapsed index option, showing the taxa for the taxonomic view, and the alphabet for the alphabetical view, to make navigation easier?

    1. Jack, Thanks for the suggestions. I agree with both, and have been talking to the developers about the same things. One of the issues with the current audio interface is that the song currently selected on the “wheel” will only play if you move the wheel up or down. Tapping on a song will not start it playing or restart it, you have to give it a little “nudge” up or down and then bring it back into the highlighted slot. And indicating which song is playing when comparing two species is a high priority. Hopefully we’ll have that added soon.

    1. Thanks for this correction! Another reader pointed out that the image of male Eastern Purple Finch is instead a male House Finch. We’ll get these sorted out and publish an update in the near future.

  18. First let me say that is app is by far the best one for birds I have seen yet. It truly replaces my field guide. Well done. I am having one problem though. When trying to search for Purple Finch I’ll put Purple in the search bar and then won’t be able to scroll down (using an iphone 4). It isn’t that big of a deal since I can just type Finch and select the bird but it is a little glitch. It has only happened with that search for some reason.

    Thanks for a great app!


    1. Hi Sulli, Thanks for the good review. When you search for “Purple” do you then tap the “search” button? This hides the keyboard and should allow scrolling a long list of results.

  19. Is there a way to ask Iphone to listen to birdsong and then identify the bird? I have looked for an hour at a variety of application and see no conclusive report.

    1. Hi Joyce, There is nothing yet for iPhone that will identify a bird song in the field. Several products are available for researchers to help identify recorded bird sounds, but it’s always difficult for the computer to distinguish the bird sounds from the ambient sounds, and the vast diversity of bird calls and songs makes this even more difficult. I suspect we will see such a product for birders in the not-too-distant future, and it may be helpful for less experienced birders, but it will be a long long time before the computer surpasses the ears of an experienced human.

  20. Dear David:

    Congratulations with your success with the bird guides, now online they are very usefull, Im wondering if you can let me know when there is an Blackberry app available.

    Are there Ecuadorian birds going to be showcased in your guide?

    My best regards for all your family, Nancy H.

  21. Hi David,
    I’m a great fan of your work. I’m an Ornithology student at the Evergreen State College where my peers and I exclusively use your field guides. We use them so frequently that we refer to them as, simply, “David”.
    I have found your raptor silhouettes exceptionally useful.
    Finally, your iPhone app is very impressive. The songs/calls have proved to be very useful, so thanks for your contributions to the birding community!
    p.s. While creating the illustrations, did you refer to many scientific specimens? If so, at which institution(s)?

    1. Hi Zach, Thanks. I did use a lot of specimens in my research for the bird guide. My father worked at Yale’s Peabody Museum, so that was the first collection I used and one of the most frequent. While living in different places I also made a lot of visits to Cal Academy in San Francisco, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley, the American Museum in New York, and Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. And also occasional or single visits to a lot of other museums. I used those visits to study identification features, ageing and sexing, subspecies, etc, and I took a lot of notes and made detailed sketches, which I used later for reference in the studio. I did not do any of the painting directly from specimens.

  22. Just adding my vote for the Blackberry app. Feel left out that I prefer Blackberry over iPhone! Am an ornithologist and also lead birdwatching tours throughout the US. Would love to have this for my participants… hate having to resort to showing them an old field guide.

    1. I’d like to put my voice out on this one too. I am an avid Blackberry owner. I also have multiple “Sibley field guides”, and absolutely love them. I recently acquired the new Bold and think running this app on it would be priceless.

  23. David,

    I have the latest version (1.5) of your iPod app on my iPod Touch and have discovered what appears to be two problems with entering data into “My List”.

    I have been entering bird sightings by touching the button in the upper right-hand corner of the main screen for a given bird which takes me to the “Add Bird” screen. On this screen if I touch the “Date” window first it takes me to a screen where there is a scroll wheel that can be used to select a date. However, if I first touch the “Location” window and enter a location and then touch the “Date” window the next screen for entering a date now gives me a keyboard instead of a scroll wheel. So, the only way to get the scroll wheel to enter a date with is to touch the date window first instead of the location window.

    The second problem also has to do with entering bird sightings. When I touch the button on the upper right-hand corner of the main screen for a given bird and then go to the “Add Bird” screen for a bird that already has an entry on “My List” the location and date that is displayed are not the location and date that was entered for the bird sighting – instead the most recently entered location and date are displayed, regardless of what is actually entered in “My List” for this bird.

    I hope that my descriptions of these problems make sense. Let me know if you need more explanation.


    Jim Ferris

  24. Hi David,

    I love the eGuide to the Birds of North America and use it all the time, it is fantastic, thank you so much for it! I have a question, after upgrading my 3GS to iOS 4.x will the eGuide support Apple’s iOS 4.x Multitasking (switching between apps quickly, remembering and picking up right where you left off)? If not could this be added as it would really enhance the use and enjoyment of the application?

    Thanks again,

    Mark McShane

  25. Hi David,

    I’ve upgraded my 3GS to iOS 4.1 and the new version of the eGuide, 1.5.2, from the App Store (9/24) is working famously! Apple’s iOS 4.x Multitasking (switching between apps quickly, remembering and picking up right where you left off) is working perfectly! A major enhancement!

    Thanks So Much,

    Mark McShane

    1. Hi Mark, Thanks for the report. I’m glad to know the multi-tasking is working. The developers tell me that the app will stay open as long as the operating system can cope with it, if many more apps are opened and used then it might decide to close the Sibley app – we have no control as to when the operating system will close the app completely.

  26. One more vote here for a version of the guide designed specifically for the iPad — the drawings would be stunning on that large screen.


    Mike in Brooklyn

  27. Hi David – glad to see you personally responding to queries here. I love your books which I now have in storage while I am in Europe for a few years – and am interested in getting into apps.

    I am also an android user – can you please give an update? I see you indicated September was a possible release date, now it’s October. 🙂



  28. I’m afraid to ask this question since I haven’t seen any mention of it and I’m worried of the answer — but here goes. Is there any thought of putting this app on the Windows Mobile OS? I know there are a number of people the have phones based on Windows Mobile, but maybe they aren’t birders. Thanks in advanced.

  29. Good Morning David-

    I’m a late-comer to the eGuide, having worn my “big guide” ragged in the field all these years. Over the weekend I purchased the eGuide for my iPhone mostly because I needed a quick reference when searching for rarities during our Rarity Roundup in Cape May (I’m looking at 50+ mostly drab bluebirds and can’t remember how to tell a Western from the expected Easterns!!). I was really sold on both the comparison feature of the eGuide, and the audio component… these really make this more than a digital book and catapult it into a whole new ID beast. In short, I love it.

    One issue I had, though, was when playing around with the Smart Search. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get to Song Sparrow…
    Even the most liberal: “All Land Birds” + “Sparrow-size” doesn’t get it. Otherwise my few “common bird” tests have successfully found the target species- so I assume this is just an oversight.

    Congrats on such a great app!


    1. Hi David, Thanks for the comment. I checked out the Song Sparrow and I think the issue is the size database, which doesn’t seem to be acting the way I had planned. If you select “all sizes” it will show up in the results. It shows up in “thrush-size” but it’s also supposed to be in “sparrow-sized” (obviously). I’ll talk to the developers about this, and I’ve been working on some big changes to the search database so hopefully this will be better in the next update.

  30. Another vote for an iPad version – as well as an eBook version of the Guide to Bird Life & Behavior. The iPhone size is just not practical for my 50+ year old eyes!

    1. An iPad-specific version of the app has been discussed, but it’s probably far down the line. In the meantime the existing app works very fast and the images look great on the larger screen of the iPad.

  31. I just purchased this app for my Touch and, in preparation for a field trip I’m leading this weekend, noticed that Saltmarsh Sparrow is not included in the Georgia checklist. I hope this will be added to an update soon.

    1. Mike, Thanks for pointing that out. I don’t know how Saltmarsh Sparrow was dropped between the database I have here and the app, but it was. This will definitely be fixed in the next update.

      1. There are also 7 species of hummingbirds which have been seen in Georgia which aren’t on the eGuide GA checklist.

    1. Thanks Martin. There aren’t any plans yet for a Windows Phone version of the eGuide. We’ll be working on the Blackberry version in the near future along with improvements to the existing versions.

  32. I would like to see a smarter interplay between the Alphabetic and Taxonomic Indices. For example, suppose I were in Alphabetic mode and searched under Duck and I find Ringed-necked Duck. Now I want to compare this with G/L Scaup. There should be a one-touch way where I can slip into the Taxonomic mode and remain in the single-species view of the Ringed-necked Duck view. Then when I swipe sideways I can come to any duck regardless of whether “Duck” is in its name or not.

    I see from above posts you are aware of not being able to repeat a vocalization by a simple tap. This is still the case. Should be simple to fix, no?

    Since there was discussion above about Orioles, I checked to see they are now fixed – but brings up the thought that here in Southern CA I have never seen male Bullock’s even approaching an orange color; yet there is no mention of that in the book or the eGuide. And I would say the male Hooded is also slightly less orange than the picture; certainly less so than the way the color comes out in the eGuide. Basically I would describe the ones I see as a deep yellow, and they are in my trees every summer.

    Look forward to your thoughts.

    1. Michael, Thanks for your comments. Personally I just steer clear of the Alphabetic index entirely, because I always want to browse the species in Taxonomic order and it’s easy to find anything by typing a few letters in the search box. Setting up comparisons is a bit cumbersome, and we’re working on ways to make this easier. We’re also working on redesigning the audio controls.

      Bullock’s Oriole does tend to be a paler yellow-orange than Baltimore, but the orange/yellow color of orioles varies too much to be reliable for identification, so I haven’t emphasized the differences in either the illustrations or the text. I’ll take another look at it for a future revision. Also, I haven’t done a careful comparison of the colors on the phone screen to the printed guide. These orioles do look a little too dark on my phone, and It’s likely that a lot of the illustrations would benefit from slight color adjustments.

      1. Thanks.
        I wasn’t looking to the orange vs. yellow color to distinguish species one from another. Just that both Bullock’s and Hooded seem to me more yellow in my locale than any of the illustrations; hence you might just mention that (or, my eyes are weird).

  33. Hello David-I have 3 of your guide books including the laminated “Backyard guide to North American Birds.

    I need to replace my Blackberry. Can you tell me if you have a guide on the Blackberry platform? I have an awesome National Geographic Birding guide on my Palm Treo. It includes over 800 bird calls from the Cornell Ornithology Lab. The calls are a big help in identifying the birds. Will your application include the bird calls? What would be my best bet? iphone, droid, blackberry as far as putting on the birding guide. Thank you.

    1. A Blackberry version of the guide is currently in beta-testing. It will include all of the same content as the iPhone and Android eGuides, and should be available by March.

    2. Hi Karen, As you may have seen, we’re currently beta-testing the Blackberry version of the eGuide. Hopefully it will be out by March, and it will be essentially the same as the iPhone and Android versions, with all the images and text from the book, over 2000 audio clips, smart search, etc. (some features may not be available on all Blackberry devices). Any of the three hardware platforms should work equally well, as long as it has a high-resolution screen.

  34. Being the avid birders that we are and also considering numerous options for a new phone, this is a fantastic find with a great app. Thank you for the heads up. Terrific information!

  35. Anxiously waiting for the Blackberry version! Leading a trip to Colorado in April, participants sure would appreciate me having the eGuide with me! A March arrival would be perfect timing!

    Thanks for your continued work on these David.
    Audubon Society

  36. François Villeneuve

    I am a Ipod touch utilisator. I bought Sibley eguide last month. I love it !

    I found the Sibley e-guide on android store this morning.

    If I change for Android, will i need to pay again for Sibley eguide ??

    Rimouski, Québec

    1. Hello François, I’m glad you like the app. Unfortunately, I am told there is no connection between the Apple and Android stores, and the app cannot be transferred from one platform to the other. You would need to pay for it again on Android.

  37. I just got the Sibley eGuide for Android, and I’m very impressed. One complaint: I wish I could switch display of size/weight to metric units (I’m Canadian).

  38. I have been using the Android version of this guide this year and really like it. I use it on the job (used to carry the paper field guide, but now it stays in the truck!). Really love having the illustrations I trust along with the recorded calls in one unit on my belt. Here’s my request for something to consider for the next version:

    Please make it possible to go from an entry on “My List” to the page with the bird’s description. It would great to be able to click on a name on my list and have info about that bird appear.

    I use “My List” as a reminder of the couple dozen or so birds of conservation concern that I am surveying for while on the job (I don’t use this as a life list). I would really like to be able to use this list as a tool to shorten the time it takes me to play a recording or check on the characteristics of morphology of a bird I am not so familiar with.

    1. Thanks Rich, That’s a clever way to use the “my list” feature. The ability to jump from the list directly to a species account by tapping the species name was added to a recent update for the iPhone version. Sorry the Android development is lagging behind. I’ll check with the developers but I would guess the same feature could be added to Android.

      1. Haven’t returned to this conversation until it showed up on a google search! I love the new functionality, the thumbnails, and especially the new links from My List back to the bird descriptions, photos, calls, etc. (I am a botanist, so I don’t know all the birds I need to survey for, especially in spring!) Thanks.

  39. David – This past March I made a posting on under the Android section concerning “favorites” and a “Life List” capability (below) – is there any update on the possibility of these being available at some point?

    March 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM
    One other quick question: Do you see the my list function to be expanded to include a “favorites” capability; actually linking to the images and descriptions of the eGuide. I volunteer at the local Ornithology Center and use the Sibley eGuide all the time when showing visitors how to identify a bird. The ability to have a “favorites” list that would allow quick linking to the images & identification information would be extremely helpful.

    David Sibley
    March 12, 2011 at 10:28 AM · Reply
    Yes, a “favorites” list has been on the list of desired features from very early on. We’re working on an update for this spring and hopefully we can make progress towards this. And I’ve passed along your comment on the date also.

    March 21, 2011 at 10:10 PM
    Thanks for the update on the possibility of having a “favorites” in the near future. As the developers are looking into this; I would offer the suggestion that they allow for multiple named “favorites” lists (I do my birding in several states and it would be nice to be able to separate) and if at all possible add a “Life-List” button. I currently use another application to track my life list and would love to have this all in one place. (I like to think of this functionality as similar to the check-lists at the back of guide books)


  40. On your range maps in the field guide, I am hoping you will use a different color than green for the dots that indicate occasional sightings. When the dots are along the coastlines they are especially hard to see. Perhaps red? If this is something you have already addressed, great! Thanks, David

  41. I was on a bird walk recently and the leader had an iPad with Sibley’s on it. It was very helpful, especially when doing comparisons.

  42. David,
    It’s been almost a year since someone asked whether there is a version for the Windows7 OS. At that time the answer was no. Is there any interest in developing your app for Windows at this time?


  43. Congratulations on the new update for the IPod/IPad. It makes Sibley eGuide a great “must have” app for the IPad. I absolutely love it.

  44. David – I just downloaded the new android version and I have to “force close” the application when I try to use the menu from the home screen on my HTC Aria. The error message is that the application has stopped unexpectedly.


  45. I downloaded the eguide for my ipad. Was checking it out using the birds in my backyard. I really like the Smart Search, but wonder whether it will be expanded to include selection by other color or combinations. I’ve got some birds that are mostly brown or blueish grey. I like the app, but hope you’ll expand the search capability. I’m a novice birder and am looking for something to help identification.

    1. Thanks Larry, I’m glad you like the app. We are working on a lot of improvements, including updates to the search, so hopefully we can get some of that out later this year.
      Best, David

  46. I’m using the app on my WindowsPhone 7.5 and think it’s just great. I have all the books, big Sibley, little Sibley, etc, etc. But having this eGuide on my phone means I can pull it up anytime, anywhere, review target species field marks, listen to calls and songs, etc. Since it is ported to the Windows Phone, what about Windows Vista, 7, 8? I’d love to view high resolution images of peeps, perhaps move various similar species side-by-side, view field marks, differences and similarities, listen to calls while the birds are on-screen… Any hope of seeing this? I definitely think there is a market for it. Thanks for all of your birding resources!!!

    1. Hi Jim, Thanks, I’m glad you are enjoying the app and books. There are no plans currently to develop a version for home computer. It’s definitely something I would like to do, but it would be a lot of work. Maybe someday…
      Best, David

  47. After more than two years happily using Sibley Birds on my iPhone, the regional list function has given up. No matter what state I select it shows the entire list from “Current Location: All”. After trying several times, turning the iPhone off and checking for possible updates for the app, I deleted the app and reinstalled it from my iTunes. It still does not provide region lists – just the total list. How can I fix that?

    PS Deleting the app also deleted my own lists from dozens of locations – iTunes evidently does not record those lists when it syncs. How can I save these files electronically?

  48. I love the app and I use it on my iPhone often. I may have an older version, but Clark’s Nutcracker does not seem to appear at all in the birds included in the app. Also, the birds often seen in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas area, including the clay-colored thrush, blue bunting, kiskadee, hook-billed kite, green jay, and some others do not appear in the app. Maybe these could be included in any planned update.

  49. I have also searched for the cactus wren and cannot find it in the app. Plz know that I’m not being critical–I love the app. However, it’s so difficult to get a new lifer, I don’t want to not have all I have seen included in My List on the app. Thanks.

    1. Hi David, I’m glad you are enjoying the app. All the birds in the book are included in the app. I suspect you have a state selected and that limits the species list to only those found in the state. Go to the main menu and look at the bottom left “My Location”. If a state or province is selected it will be red and showing the abbreviation of that state. Just tap it and select “all” or a different state as needed. Let me know if that doesn’t solve the problem.

      Best, David

  50. David:
    I appreciate your response. You, of course, we’re correct. I had my state selected in “My Location.” When I changed it to all I found all of the birds I needed to add to “My List.” Thanks again and before I suggest any additional updates to the app, I’ll make certain I know how to use it!

  51. Dear Sibley Birds,
    When, oh, when are you going to include the option to switch to metric units so the rest of the world can enjoy your wonderful app (and book for that matter)??
    In this digital age, how hard can it be?
    Please, please slate this for the next update.

    Thank you.
    Phil Wallace

  52. I understand there is to be updated version this year. Is there a date for its release yet. I am going to Texas in April this year. If I buy version 1.8 will I be able to update without paying the full price again.

  53. Please can you tell me if this app will work on IOS 8.2 as I made the mistake of updating my iphone software.

    Best regards,


    1. Hi Andy, It should work just fine on the new iOS, and regarding your question below, there is a new version in the works, but still no release date. We are hoping to be able to offer “upgrade pricing” to owners of the previous version, but still working on the details of that.

  54. Just downloaded app for S5 running Android 5.0 – and it is great! Replaces the books, lightens the fanny pack considerably, easy access everywhere (such as when friends ask about a bird sighting).


  55. Pingback: The Best Bird Watching Apps of 2017 - Bird Watching HQ

  56. I’m not sure how to contact you other than this box. I love your app, have water birds across the road, have many warblers and woodpeckers in my treed garden, and have constantly referred to my phone, especially the sounds. Now I have updated my iPhone and only the lite version has transferred. How do I get the full version back on my phone. Marjorie

  57. David, great app! However the last update does not permit auto replay of sounds on birds with full song/call lists. I do winter field surveys of BAOR in pecan orchards using the “Harsh” call, but now it won’t auto repeat, which it would do in the older version. Same issue with SOSP and some others. Thanks, Dr P. (Birds of Georgia)

    1. Hi Dr P. That feature is still working for me (iPhone). At the bottom of the audio player, right of center. The “looped arrow” icon means it will only play the recording once, and the straight line arrow plays the recording over and over. (It looks like these controls are reversed from the expected behavior, maybe we can change that, but the toggle works). Let me know if you’re seeing something different on your phone.

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