Trust rings the changes with own mobile apps

British Trust for Ornithology phone app
British Trust for Ornithology phone app
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BIRD boffins have joined the smart phone revolution with an ornithological ‘app’.

Thetford’s British Trust for Ornithology has developed applications for bird ringers and nest recorders based on the Android and, since Tuesday, iPhone software platforms.

The apps have been created in-house by the trust’s information systems section, which handles the programmes that make its huge datasets accessible to researchers. The trust has collected data since the 1920s and more than 200,000 observations are added weekly.

The apps allow ringers to quickly access information about bird species, including what ring size to use and details like the bird’s weight range. But trust spokesman Paul Stancliffe said: “There is a much wider audience. Every page gives you access to the BTO’s BirdFacts, so anyone interested in information on any British bird, from the estimated population to longevity, will have it at their fingertips”

It will not yet replace the detailed Ringers’ Manual, which includes information on how to age birds and differentiate between look-alike species, like marsh and willow tits.

However, Mr Stancliffe added: “I imagine it won’t be a million years before it does have all that information.”

The trust also plans to develop record collection apps to explore how useful they would be and how they would affect data quality and quantity.

It is also working on apps to make it easier to follow the BTO posts on You Tube, Facebook and, naturally, Twitter.