Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Apple iPhone App Store Android App on Play

An Easy-to-Use and Effective App Made by Birders, for Birders

1. How do I use the iKnowBirdSongs 1.0 app to learn bird songs?

The iKnowBirdSongs (iKBS) app teaches you bird songs by sound, so that when you hear a bird singing you'll know its name. No need to search for the bird name in a field guide or bird song library. After using iKBS, when you hear a bird song, you?ll know the bird species!

2. How do I get started with iKBS?

Using the iKnowBirdSongs 1.0 app is easy! Whenever you have free time, use it to teach yourself to recognize the bird songs you most want to learn. After downloading the iKBS app from the Apple App Store, for a one-time fee of US$9.99, you can begin. Step 1: Create your iKBS Learning List of the birds you most want to identify by audio song (you can expand this list later, as you learn). The iKBS app can help identify birds by region and season, or allows you to create your own customized Learning List of preferred birds. Step 2: Begin learning in a fun, easy, interactive method. You will learn to identify birds aurally using a 'flip-card' method that allows learning at your own pace, whenever and wherever you have time for a bird song lesson.

3. Which bird species are covered?

The iKnowBirdSongs 1.0 app includes all of the most common North American bird species found in the field, nearby park or refuges, or your neighborhood or backyard. We cover more than 350 of the most common species in North America, using two professional guidelines: a) all bird species identified by the American Birding Association in the top three abundance categories, and b) all song birds identified by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

4. Will more birds be added in the future?

Yes. Future versions of iKnowBirdSongs will cover additional birds, and you can help in this endeavor. After the launch of iKBS 1.0 in May, 2013 we will invite all users to let us know which other birds you'd like to include. We will use your suggestions to create iKBS 2.0

5. Why is iKnowBirdSongs more effective than other passive bird song apps?

Traditional bird song apps tell or show users a bird name, then play the corresponding bird song. Users are expected to eventually associate the bird name with the bird song. This traditional learning method is not effective. Users learn in a passive manner, in which they are 'fed' the answers without engaging in active memorizing. Educators have long known that passive learning, in which the brain of the student is not engaged, is not efficient. In contrast, iKBS uses active learning methods that engage users interactively to reinforce and quicken the learning process. Importantly, iKBS allows users to identify bird songs as you actually do in the field. As a bird-watcher, you most often hear a bird-song before you see or identify a bird. Therefore, the iKBS app FIRST allows users to play the song, SECOND it gives you time to actively identify the bird, and THIRD confirms the species. That means iKBS works like an electronic flash or flip card. Flip cards are a time-honored 'active learning' educational technique used to quickly and effectively commit information to memory.

6. iKBS uses 'active learning' to teach bird songs faster. What does that mean?

iKBS actively engages several areas of your brain simultaneously, allowing you to learn aurally, visually and contextually. Here's how: The act of struggling to remember the bird name associated with the song helps you to quickly connect the sounds with the name. This engages you aurally. Second: when the name of the bird is confirmed, you will see a visual photo of the bird along with a range map. These colorful graphic images engage your visual learning capacity. Third: you next see a brief description of the bird species. This helps engage the contextual learning capacity, further helping you to correctly identify and remember specific bird species. Educators know that every individual tends to favor one particular learning 'sense' (aural, visual, or contextual). The iKBS app triggers all three learning senses using the active and engaging, time-tested flip card method. iKBS REALLY WORKS!

7. Who are iKnowBirdSongs users?

iKnowBirdSongs has been created for anyone with an interest in quickly and efficiently training oneself to identify North American bird species by song. Users include bird watchers, biology students, educators, naturalists and travelers - anyone with an interest in knowing and appreciating the natural world more fully.

8. Can I use the iKnowBirdSongs 1.0 app to identify birds in the field?

Yes, you can (after a little training)! When you hear a bird song and want to verify the species, first listen carefully to the song and make your best guess as to the species. To verify, simply launch the iKnowBirdSongs 1.0 app, go to the Navigation screen, then Study Cards, and type in the bird name. When the bird image appears, click the play button to hear the song and verify.

9. Does iKnowBirdSongs take the place of a field guide?

No. The iKnowBirdSongs 1.0 app complements, but does not compete with, standard bird guides. iKBS is best used to learn bird songs BEFORE you go birding.

10. How can I join the iKnowBirdSongs community? How can I give my feedback on iKnowBirdSongs?

Easy! Join us on Facebook and Twitter

Soon we will invite users to send us your comments. If your comments are chosen for posting on the iKnowBirdSongs website, you will also have the chance to win a pair of professional binoculars. Details will be uploaded here soon!

Buy this app now, 15% of every sale goes to Cornell Lab of Ornithology to support better birding and important conservation and educational work.