Wednesday 17 April 2024

whoBIRD: running in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has around 900 species of birds!

It is possibly the most bio-diverse country in the world.

So where better to take a bird call id application like whoBIRD which stores all detections in a readable database?

Actually, it didn't have a database facility when we arrived in Costa Rica in March. But it did allow the stored detections to be shared via a .csv file (...or so I thought).


In fact, when I got back to England and pressed the 'share' button, the app crashed!

After raising the issue here: turns out that I had well over 7000 recorded detections, creating a file size of over 1.5MB. The whoBird mechanism for creating & sharing a .csv could only cope with 1MB.

Fortunately, the author (woheller69) came to the rescue and released V2.9 which allows the database to be downloaded.

The only subsequent gripe is that the detection timestamps were updated to British Summer Time (GMT +1) on my arrival back in the UK. So detection times are now 6 or 7 hours out.

I would certainly prefer the timestamp to be a simple fixed/text representation of the actual (Costa Rican) detection time/date, rather than have to mess around with it.

But the strength of whoBIRD is its simplicity, and its ability to record everything for subsequent analysis.

During our 18 day trip to Costa Rica we traveled & stayed in a number of locations.

For 16 days we were part of a group of 16 travelers with G-Adventures...

I used whoBird for a total of 18 hours and detected over 170 different species, 78 of which were detected with a confidence level => 70%.

I didn't really bother to take many photos of birds, I was happier using whoBird to create a record. And of course we didn't spot all the birds that whoBIRD detected, or detect all those that we were able to see.

Here are a few of my favourites that we both saw with our own eyes and whoBIRD recorded...

whoBIRD only detected 2 species of hummingbird...

...but Costa Rica is actually home to 52 species of hummingbird!

And then there is the very strange stick-bird...

Spot the stick-bird!

Costa Rica should be on everyone's holiday destination list...

...and don't forget to take whoBIRD!

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