Monday 19 February 2024

BirdNet-Pi Portable Vs whoBird

Which one should I take with me the next time I'm away from home?

My BirdNet-Pi Portable is great when I go stay at the house of a friend or relative. I just hook the microphone out through an upstairs window and run the Pi from a mains power supply.

But when walking around a park or nature reserve, I have to store both the Pi and a power bank in my pockets, and try to attach the microphone discreetly, without looking like a rather incompetent Johnny English secret agent.

The android application whoBIRD is another app which uses the power of BirdNET. Its very much a new, work-in-progress project. At the time of writing, functionality is very limited, but recently the author responded positively to a few of us asking for some kind of data retrieval option.

Once installed on an android device, this application simply runs with hard coded settings and 'flashes up' the common name of any detected species, along with the confidence reading, within a colour coded text box.


If you have allowed this app to determine your location, that's pretty much it.

With the latest version, you can now copy the detection records via the share icon.

In my case, I then paste this data into a text file with the extension .csv and transfer the file to my laptop for analysis on LibreCalc.

The first column is serial date/time which can be translated using:-


The other columns are; lat, lon, common name, species ID, and confidence level. I've reformatted the date/time in the last column.


whoBIRD seems to give better [portable] results than my BirdNet-Pi Portable system. I wonder whether the built -in MEMS microphone is a better match with my OnePlus 5 phone than the stumpy digital microphone is to my RaspberryPi.

Also, by seeing all the results on whoBIRD (even with low confidence levels) this provides me with more information. For example; having lots of low confidence detections either side of a single high confidence reading, adds to my own personal confidence that this was a correct identification.

Carrying (and waving) a mobile phone around is more convenient, and looks less 'odd' than carrying my Pi system.

So that's it; whoBIRD is the one I'll use while walking around, while BirdNet-Pi Portable is still my favourite when in fixed temporary locations.


You can install whoBird on Android via F-Droid

whoBIRD on Github:

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