Bird Journal Web app now in public beta

Over the years Bird Journal apps have been released for Windows, iOS, Android and Mac. Now, making Bird Journal even more accessible, Bird Journal is coming to the web!

The full desktop experience is available on Chromebooks, Linux, work computers, Amazon Fire devices, tablets, phones, TVs and more. Anywhere that has a web browser and an internet connection.

When we designed and built Bird Journal 5, primarily to add Mac support, we did so using web based technologies. This made it conceivable to someday make the same experience available over the web directly.

Over the last month we been very busy making this happen. It has been available to our beta testers for about two weeks, and with their help it's ready in public beta for you to use today.

Key points

  • It’s essentially the full desktop app
  • Free and premium features are available
  • It syncs with your other devices
  • It’s fully secure
  • It’s globally distributed, so it should be responsive wherever you are
  • When updates are available it will just refresh the browser and be using the latest version
  • Data is saved to our systems, minimising space used on our device

The web app doesn't replace native apps. If you're using the desktop app on a Mac or PC for example, you already have the best Bird Journal experience. But it lets you run Bird Journal on a wider range of devices, and brings the full depth of the desktop apps to devices that could previously only use the mobile apps.

Get Started

You can sign in to the web app at https://app.birdjournal.com

Known issues

  • The layout doesn't update on phones yet making it tricky to use on small screens
  • It's a little slower than the desktop apps. We've plans to make it faster in some areas, however the native desktop/mobile apps will remain the fastest way to use Bird Journal.
  • The taxonomic updates screen is particularly slow.

Next Steps

  • Give it a try and let us know how you get on via email or the contact form on our feedback site
  • We'll continue to fix any issues and improve the performance until it's fully ready

IOC 10.2 available

We're pleased to announce that IOC 10.2 is live in the library! This was officially released two days ago on the 25th and includes many taxonomic changes and a few splits and newly described species and subspeices. Checklists have been updated to match. Many thanks for the hard work of the IOC team.

Please refer to the IOC website for further details on the changes, including range data available in the master list. Also see our guide on taxonomic updates.

10.1 was made available on 26th June and we hope to demonstrate our ability to stay up-to-date going forward.

The Clements 2019 update will be coming soon as well. However something new will be releasing before this.. stay tuned!

IOC 9.2 & more

We've made some good progress on an IOC 9.2 taxonomy update in the last weeks. Work is continuing and it will be released soon. This will include updates to all of the checklists that are based on IOC. Thanks for your patience here. Whilst we do this, we're making sure that future updates will be easier to deliver.

After IOC, our roadmap includes:

  • Support for new European Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements
  • BirdTrack export improvements
  • iOS and Android app updates
  • Clements 2019

For those attending Birdfair, we wish you a great weekend. Sadly, we'll not be exhibiting anymore. We're always keen to hear from you though, so please feel free to get in touch.

Clements 2017 update available

We've just released an update for the Clements taxonomy, bringing it right up-to-date!

You'll see a number badge on the Library button if you've updates to install.

Updates are automatic where possible, but there may be changes that you need to think about, for example when species are split or lumped. Head to Tools > Taxonomic Updates in the desktop app to see a list of issues and details of changes applied. You may wish to refer to our a guide on taxonomic updates.

We're aiming to issue future updates around the time they're released by Cornell, and have put processes in place to make this easier to achieve.

Let us know how you get on. Updates to the IOC taxonomy are next.

A new store for sync

A few months back we got an email from the company that stores all of the synchronized data in Bird Journal, telling us we were running out of space.  A good problem to have some might say!  But a problem that needs solving none the less.

Luckily, the company we use offers space upgrades that can help.  But on reflection, this would quickly become expensive and be harder and harder to maintain.  So we paused and had a think about how we might do better.  We considered learnings from running Bird Journal as a service for the last few years.

The result is a very different approach to storing synchronized data.  It’s faster, highly scalable, easier to maintain, cheaper to run and of course, secure.  We’ve been running this in parallel for a while now, ensuring behaviour is identical.

And it’s live for all account today!

Good for this change is no noticeable difference.  Which is sadly, not terribly exciting.  But it is (we hope) at least comforting to know that this change will allow Bird Journal to continue running smoothly for a long time to come.

As ever, let us know if you have any feedback, concerns or issues.  No app updates are required for this change to be in effect.

Windows XP

I just wanted to let you know that we’re today retiring support for Windows XP for Bird Journal version 4.

This decision is prompted by a security change in some of the services we use, combined with low usage of version 4 on Windows XP.

If you’re still actively using Bird Journal version 4 on Windows XP, please:
- Make sure all of your changes have been synced.  You can verify this using Bird Journal on any other supported device.  If you don’t have any other devices to check on, please get in touch.
- Uninstall Bird Journal 4 from your computer running Windows XP.
- Consider installing Bird Journal to a computer with a more up-to-date operating system.

Versions 1, 2 & 3 may still work on Windows XP as they do not use any of the impacted services.  We are however not planning any future updates for these versions.

Sorry for any inconvenience and please get in touch with any concerns.

Recent community content

The new year has seen a huge boost in the number of Bird Journal users. Some of these users have published content about Bird Journal.  Here are a few:

Video Tutorial: Locations, Entries and Photos by Simon Booton-Mander

My Views on Birding Apps by Terry Woodward

Bird Journal Review by Dr Gerco Hoogeweg

We've received many wonderful comments too.  Here are some of our favorite recent tweets:

"If you watch wildlife, I can heartily recommend @Bird_Journal as a way of recording and analysing your sightings." by @gardener_the

"Have to say mighty impressed with the @Bird_Journal app... Superb for nest recording - only a photo option would make it perfect for me." by @Nestfinders5978

"Been using this for a couple of years and it's great. Couldn't recommend more highly! Fantastic for all recording - not just birds." by @MarkG76

Let us know if you've produced or have seen an article you would like to share.

Wishing you great birding for 2017!