Living in the middle of a city can really wear on a person. Sometimes you need to get out into nature and interact with some wildlife to remember how beautiful our planet is. Of course even a day in the woods can be enhanced by your smartphone and a really good app. Some of these will help you find or identify animals while others will give you a place to log all the animals you see.
Become your very own naturalist with this easy to use app. Sign up and begin noting the flora and fauna you see. Enable your location services, take a photo of the animal or plant you’re interested in and post it to your profile. Here, people can write comments or favorite it. This is a great way to figure out the name to a certain creature if you don’t know, or just share something cool. Look at the map to see where other users are finding a lot of animals. You can even start a project and add animals and plants that surround around a certain theme.
- Interact with other animal lovers
- Find spots where people are seeing a lot of wildlife
- Help identify flora and fauna
- Doesn’t work as well if using as a guest
- Can be buggy on Android
- Sometimes don’t get responses to posts
2. iBird Lite
For a beginning bird watcher, iBird Lite is perfect. It gives you access to 64 species from around North America. Look through illustrations and photos to find the bird in your backyard. You can even listen to the bird’s sound to identify it that way. Read about how a bird migrates, what it eats and other interesting behavioral facts. You can search by breed name or browse through photos until you find the one you’re looking for. If you’re an advanced birdwatcher and have been doing it for a long time, you may want to invest in the total version for $15. It has over 900 breeds.
- Can search by various features of birds
- Look through illustrations and photos
- Listen to accurate bird sounds
- Takes a very long time to download
- Only has about 60 breeds
- Uses a lot of space on phone
3. What’s Invasive
As any good nature lover knows, an invasive species can really wreak havoc on an ecosystem. This app helps you identify which animals or plants are invasive. Look through parks near you to see what plants and pests others have invaded that area. Get photos and information so while you’re on a hike or walk you can report if you see these things. This information will be sent to experts like national parks workers so they have an idea of the state of the ecosystem in that certain area.
- Search by location
- Look at photos and descriptions
- Can report invasive species
- Sometimes crashes
- Takes a long time to set up and load
- Can be hard to navigate
4. Nature’s Notebook
This app acts like an advanced naturalists’s notebook. Look for a specific park or area and begin recording what you see. Write the name of the plant or animal, size and any other information you find relevant. All of this will be added to Nature’s Notebook database, and help experts understand what is happening during certain times of year. Are the flowers budding too soon? Do the birds seem to be migrating to the same places yesterday? These are the kinds of questions your data can help answer.
- Pinpoint information to specific areas
- Write in your observations
- Search by name
- Have to create an account
- Takes a long time to download information
- Can be hard to navigate
5. Park Wildlife
National parks are some of the best places for wildlife watching because they are protected. Choose a park you are going to visit and look through all the animals that have been seen there often. Look through the ones that are poinsonous and dangerous and the ones that are endangered or threatened. It is a great way to get interesting information about the animals and plants that surround us all the time. Look through photos and learn about what the animals eat and their migration patterns.
- Has beautiful photos of animals
- Includes interesting information about each one
- Has many different species
- Only for North America
- Doesn’t have information that is specific to the park