The African Bird Club (ABC) has three apps:
Birds of Africa – an identification guide which in time will cover all the birds and countries in Africa.
The latest version of this app is available to download for free from the App Store or Google Play.
Birds of Mauritius – a field guide app, released in collaboration with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, which covers all the bird species recorded on the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.
You can download this app for free from the App Store or Google Play.
African Bird Club – an app for ABC members only to download and read the latest issues of the Bulletin of the African Bird Club on your smartphone or tablet.
ABC members can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about this app.
Birds of Africa
This free, interactive app is for anyone with an interest in African birds.
The app contains a wealth of detail including photos, sounds, text and maps to help you identify African birds. It will increase your awareness and appreciation of them as well as aid their conservation.
ABC’s objective has always been for the app to be accessible to all who want it, which we feel will provide a real benefit to conservation. The app has had over 20,000 downloads to date.
Birds of Africa now includes more than 2,500 bird species on the checklists of these 50 countries and territories: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea (including the islands of Bioko and Annobón), Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Réunion, Rwanda, Saint-Paul and Amsterdam Islands, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Socotra, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Including islands and regions (Atlantic Flyway, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa), the app now has a total of 58 comprehensive checklists.
The bird species on each country’s full checklist are all those which have been recorded in that country and documented in scientific and peer-reviewed publications. LITE lists featuring the more common and regularly seen species of a country (usually about 10% of the comprehensive country checklist) are designed for new birders and those without access to fast WiFi.
Taxonomy and species names follow the IOC World Bird List.
Birds of Africa can be used as an aid to identification and also to record bird sightings and maintain personal lists.
Bird atlasers should use the Birds of Africa app to help you identify the birds that you see or hear and the BirdLasser app to log your sightings with members of the African Bird Atlas Project.
The A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) has produced a short video showing members of bird clubs in Nigeria using the Birds of Africa app, and you can watch the video here.
Birds of Africa represents African birds in fun and stimulating ways. The app’s features now include:
• comprehensive and LITE (more basic) country checklists
• over 6,000 full-screen, pinch-zoom photos of over 2,500 bird species in male/female/juvenile/non-breeding plumages
• bird sounds for over 2,000 species
• extensive field guide texts in a consistent format, including for the different subspecies
• range maps in colour showing residency, summer and winter visitors and migration within mainland Africa and related islands
• species’ worldwide ranges on Google maps
• in/out of range indicator and distance (km) to the nearest point of species’ range from current position
• GPS recording of personal sightings
• personal sightings shown on Google maps
• community sightings from other app users shown on Google maps
• similar species options to help with identification of difficult species
• back-up and retrieval of personal sightings logged on the Cloud
• personal checklists displayed as a list or on Google maps
• regular content and software updates
• a messaging service
• Photos can be displayed in both portrait and landscape formats.
• Species lists can be viewed in alphabetic or taxonomic sequence.
• Vagrants can be highlighted or removed from a checklist.
• Species names are available in 12 different languages, including French, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Hausa.
The app is intuitive but help text is available here should you need to use it.
Users have described Birds of Africa as “an incredible resource that transforms birding in Africa”, “easy to use” and having “every detail a birdwatcher in Africa could use or require at any time”.
Another reviewer has commented: “The quality of photographic images is second to none, whilst information, maps and interactive functions make this outstandingly the ‘go-to’ app for those with a keen interest in African birds, from beginner to seasoned ornithologist”.
Try the app yourself and let us know what you think by leaving a review of your own.
How you can help us
The ongoing development and maintenance of Birds of Africa is a huge project requiring significant content provision and technical input. Please make a donation today to help us continue to develop and maintain the app.
Email us at email@example.com if you can provide high-quality images or sounds, help with the preparation of content or provide publicity for the app.
Thank you for your support.
Information for content providers
The app contains photos, sounds, text and maps for each bird species covered. A large part of the work to date has been to develop templates which will define a set of rules for naming and building the content, so that multiple people can develop content to a consistent format and standard. Detailed information for providers of app content is available here. The app will not display content correctly unless these rules are followed.
We thank BirdLife South Africa and Nature Kenya for promoting the app.
Birds of Africa would not have been possible without the help and support of hundreds of people across the world who have provided their time and resources to help conserve the amazing birds of the ABC region. There are far too many to name individually, although all providers of photographs and bird sounds are named along with their content in the app itself.
• Rockjumper Birding Tours and Tasso Leventis have provided generous financial and content support, making significant contributions towards the development of the app.
• Adam Riley, Dubi Shapiro, Jacques de Spéville, Lionel Sineux, Nik Borrow, Paul van Giersbergen, Peter Hills, Pete Morris and Tasso Leventis have provided large numbers of excellent photographs, including many of rarely photographed species.
• Ken Behrens, Arnon Dattner, Bram Piot, Peter Boesman, Hans Matheve and Étienne Leroy supplied the majority of bird sounds.
• Bob Dowsett supported the development of country checklists.
• Tomasz Kaliszewski also provided many photos and bird sounds.
• Ursula Bryson checked and corrected many photographic details.
• Lincoln Fishpool provided much help with texts and photos of greenbuls.
• Phil Hyde, Stephen Lowe and Stephen Pringle wrote significant numbers of texts.
• Considerable support was received for the names of species and families in languages other than English. Aurélien Audevard helped with French species and family names, and Noms Français des Oiseaux du Monde avec les Équivalents Latins et Anglais by Pierre Devillers and Henri Ouellet was used as a reference. Paulo Paixão was referenced for Portuguese names. Mostert Kriek provided the original names for Afrikaans, and Kevin Ravno added Afrikaans names for every African species. Charles Mlingwa provided a checklist for Swahili names of East African species.
• Kelsey Park Birding Group provided support in many areas but were especially helpful during proof-reading.
• Bruktawit Abdu, Judy Albrecht, Joost Brouwer, Clara Cassell, Rod Cassidy, Dave Curtis, Thierry Helsens, Marc Languy, Jonathan Onongo, Nigel Redman, Tim Wacher and Washington Wachira helped with the development and testing of the app in specific countries.
• Judy Albrecht, Dave Curtis and Thierry Helsens tested the app in Togo, Ghana and Benin, respectively, and supported the development of the LITE country checklists.
• Shiiwua Manu and Sam Ivande from APLORI responded positively to the development of the app and have provided ongoing help and support.
• Josiah Ibrahim has also helped enormously in the provision of texts and the editing of calls, and has been an enthusiastic supporter of the app.
• Bloomsbury Publishing provided a licence to allow us to use text from the eight volumes of The Birds of Africa series.
Special mention is due to Kevin Ravno of g-Bird, who has combined technical vision and leadership with ornithological knowledge in the design and development of the app, and to Wessel Swanepoel of Mountain Hops Software, who has translated the vision into a robust and usable app which meets the needs of African birders.
Finally, none of this would have been possible without the support of the trustees and members of ABC. Special thanks are due to Richard Charles and Phil Hall, who supported the original concept for such an app and have provided practical help and finance to bring this project to fruition.