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Traditional or digital field guides?

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Lota lota, 19 Jul 2022.

  1. Lota lota

    Lota lota Well-Known Member

    22 May 2022
    From my understanding there are quite a lot of experienced birders on the forum.So my question is what is best,the traditional book or using the plethora of apps and websites on your phone for bird identification?
  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    17 Sep 2017
    It's really up to personal preference. I prefer having an tangible book I can hold in my hand rather then a digital guide - but a digital guide can hold a lot more information and include things a paper book cannot, like audio. A paper book can never run out of battery.
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    New Zealand
    I once met a guy in India who had been to some place or other for an extended period, where his phone died and he had no way to recharge it because there wasn't any electricity (I can't remember the exact scenario, but it was something like that). He had no way to identify anything he saw because the only field guide he had was an app on his phone.
  4. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    19 Dec 2007
    Everywhere at once
    Paper and digital guides are of different quality, and you want the best one, independently whether it is paper or digital. The best bird book for Sweden is Collins Field Guide by Svensson and others, 3rd edition is coming soon. It exists both in paper and as an app. For other regions of the world, you an ask on Birdforum. There is usually a good consensus what is the best one.

    If your phone is reasonably good, you can easily cheat: take photos of all pages of your book. Don't use any app which must be online to function, because internet coverage is unreliable in birding places, even in most civilized countries.

    And as others told you – going out for a day near home, a phone is easier to carry. If you go for a longer trip, for example a dream travel abroad, it is foolish not to take a paper book in case your phone fails.
    enantiornithines and Lota lota like this.