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System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Internet Explorer 7 or later, Pentium 2 or better. Minimum hard drive space 2GB. The program can be run on Apple Mac computers and laptops by installing Windows using Bootcamp. For more information see Mac 101: Using Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp.
Pizzey & Knight Birds of Australia Digital Edition is a comprehensive and interactive multimedia program. It combines multimedia data on over 880 Australian bird species, with eight interactive modules that facilitate almost every aspect of "computer birding".
Features (see table of contents for in-depth explanations of all the features):
- The Field Guide displays the full field guide pages of the Pizzey and Knight bird guide, with species text, distribution maps and sounds. Although this digital edition is based the 8th edition of the field guide, it includes the updated distribution maps found in the 9th edition.
- "The Bird Guide" includes a full bird list and individual bird pages for each bird, with illustrations, species text, distribution maps, photographs and sounds. The bird list includes all the new species and new names.
- "Similar Birds" selects similar birds and shows them side by side for comparison.
- "Identification" uses location, habitat, bird shapes and plumage to shortlist possible species for identification. "My Location" is an interactive map for finding your location, generating bird lists, and locating birding sites.
- "My Lists" is a personal list manager that includes a life list and sub-lists that report to your life list. You can also export and import lists.
- "Birding Sites" includes details of over 250 birding sites around Australia, with bird lists and photographs.
- "Habitats" describes the bioregions and habitats of Australia with descriptive text, photographs and bird lists.
The BIRDS database includes
- over 250 field-guide pages
- over 880 individual bird pages
- all the ‘new’ bird species and names
- over 2500 illustrations, 4000 photos, and 800 bird sounds
- completely revised and colour-coded distribution maps
- rare bird maps and records
- seasonal status bar
- endemic and red data species
Additional functions include:
- Edit bird pages and birding site pages, and add your own photos and multimedia
- Enjoy a screensaver with over 2000 photos
The Field Guide Pages function as a comprehensive electronic field guide. You can page through the family pages, select a bird, view the field-guide text and distribution maps, and listen to the bird sound. Alternative names are also listed.
The bird pages present all the available data on a species, including field guide text, illustrations, distribution maps, bird sounds, and photographs.
The distribution maps are colour-coded to indicate status of resident, breeding migrant and non-breeding migrant, and shaded to indicate density of distribution. Geographic variation is indicated by numbers for races which are keyed in the text.
The status bar indicates both occurrence and breeding throughout the year, while endemic and red data species have colour-coded indicators.
The text page also includes a summary of rare bird records for rare species, your own notes on a bird, and a summary of your bird list records for the species.
The text can be expanded to full screen, as can all images be expanded to fill the program window.
In this module you can view similar species side-by-side for direct comparison of all the bird page data, including texts, illustrations, maps, photos and sounds. Similar Birds will select the species for you, while the Compare option can be used for your own selection for comparison.
The Identification Wizard guides you through the selection of distribution, habitat, bird shape and plumage characteristics. Unlike a key which discards all options except that selected, the program allows multiple selections within a category, and sorts between categories to generate a short-list. The bird list changes dynamically as you make your selection. Once your selection is completed the wizard returns to the Identification Module below.
The identification module presents a gallery of the species shortlisted by the selection of distribution, habitat, bird shape and plumage characteristics. The bird list changes dynamically with each selection, the filter option allows de- selection of any characteristic, and the Bird Page or Similar Birds functions can be used for final identification.
The Interactive Distribution Map is a powerful tool for generating a bird list for any area and time of year. The lists are based on bird distribution. You can generate a list by selecting a degree square, or draw a route or area on the map, and filter it with the time of year. Lists for birdng sites are also available. A function to overlay bird distributions is used to check which birds coincide with your precise locality.
The Personal list module works by ‘adding’ a bird from the source list on the left to your personal list on the right. Almost all possible sighting details are catered for, while the range of functions available include creating a new list, adding species to your list, adding notes to a diary, searching for records, and printing the list.
Personal lists are added to a hierarchy that reports to the list above, so adding up to your life list. Within a list there can be multiple sightings of the same species but with different places, dates or GPS co-ordinates.
The Birding Sites module includes details of over 250 birding localities, with an interactive map, index of localities, birding spot pages, and functions of adding your own spots and photos or searching for where to find a bird.
The interactive map includes yellow dots which can be selected to identify the locality and double-clicked to open the birding spot page. Selecting a name from the index will find and highlight the locality for you. Add Spot is for creating your own birding spot.
The birding site pages include a full description of the locality, with bird names highlighted and linked to the bird pages. Edit Site can be used to add your own notes and photos.
The habitat module includes an interactive habitat map, detailed habitat pages with descriptive texts and typical birds, habitat photographs, and bird lists. Functions include a slide show of the habitat photographs with accompanying habitat soundtrack, a slide show of the birds associated with the habitat, and a search function.
The habitat pages include habitat photos, descriptive text listing typical birds, and a habitat bird list with illustrations and distribution maps. During the habitat slide show the photos expand to fill the program window.
The bird list panel is an integral and permanent part of the program, allowing quick access to any species. You can choose the type of list, what names are displayed, and how the list is ordered. The search function works progressively as you type.
At the foot of the bird list are buttons for adding to your personal bird list, the species total for the list, and controls for sound playback.
The Main Menu found on the Home Page links to the main modules and wizard pages from where you may select more specific functions.
The Modules Menu found on the menu bar provides a full list and direct access to the main functions.
The Shortcut Buttons found at the top right of the screen provide quick access to some important functions, including the home page, bird page, search function, help module, and program sound on/off toggle.
The Family Index provides an alphabetical quick-link to any family.
The Setup option on the menu bar is used to customise the program, including adding new users, changing the language and adjusting fonts and font sizes.
• adding new users
• adjusting screen colours, fonts and font sizes
The sound toggle can switch the program sounds on and off. The program includes both sounds of individual bird species, and general habitat soundtracks which play in the background. Clicking the little arrow opens the sound adjustment panel for setting the relative volume levels of each sound, and applying the sound toggle to one or both sounds.