Subject: birding computer programs (WIN & MAC)
Date: Nov 09 00:03:49 1994
From: SCRAY at - SCRAY at

> > New on the market this year is the first Windows based listing program
> > call WingWatch by Dewitt Software. It's an excellent package. I was part
> Perhaps a minor technical point, but as far as I know, the *first*
> Windows based listing program was "Bird Recorder for Windows" put out at
> least a year and a half ago by Jack Levine of England. At the moment I do
> not have Jack's e-mail or surface mail addresses with me but I can get them.
> This is a nice package with many excellent features, not the least of which
> is a complete listing of all the birds in the world which can be sorted
> taxonomically or alphabetically, by common or scientific name. It allows
> you to attatch notes from your word processor and also graphics including
> maps and photos. Jack sent a copy of this package to "Birding" over a
> year ago for a product review, so far he hasn't heard back from the
> publication.
> Byron K. Butler, Guilford, CT

This is true...

Jack Levene, who is English, is the maker of the first Windows birding
software of which I a aware. Being a user of Bird Recorder for Windows, I
find it to be much more useful and comprehensive than Birdbase, my former bird
records program. It is probably safe to say that the English are among the
most avid listers, chasers, and recorders of bird sighting information. This
program has everything one might ever desire in a bird sightings software

Bird Recorder is a runtime version of Microsoft's popular "Access" database
program. Access is able to read and use most database files. Version 2 has
recently been released. If anyone is interested, I will post a list of the
features of this program or you may contact the developer directly.

Jack Levene, the developer, can be reached at wildlife at

Scott Ray
209 S. 40th Ave
Yakima, WA 98908
scray at


From: Jean <bickal at PILOT.NJIN.NET>

The address is wildlife at

After reviewing a previous thread on Birdchat about listing programs, I
recently purchased Bird Recorder for Windows (electronically!) from Jack. I
also just purchased its recent upgrade.
I haven't even installed the new version yet. I found the logic of the
original program a little difficult to understand but I admit I haven't
spent much time at it.

Jean Bickal
bickal at
Lawrenceville, NJ


From: David Wantz <WANTZ at GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
Subject: Computer Programs:Mac

I bought the MacPeregrine in its beta and in its MacP 2.0 versions. For
the price it is not bad ($59) and the developer will talk you through
any problems. I have had trouble with my computer locking up during use
with the MacPeregrine and had some real trouble converting from the 1.0 to
the 2.0 versions.

I understand that Mr. Graham used a different engine to build the database
in the 2.0 version and it is easy to sort records, build lists, and export
data to a Mac version word processor. I have not tried to import data.

I think it is better than keeping records by hand, but it has not been
a real joy either. I wonder if the Mac is able to handle data like
this as well as DOS units. If you own a Mac and want to keep records
on your birding, give it a try. The 2.0 version has color screens, easy
to follow directions and works on laptops too.

See the ad in recent copies of Winging It.

Any other Mac birdlist programs out there??
David Wantz, Psychology, University of Indianapolis, 1400 E. Hanna Ave. Indianap
olis,IN 46227 Wantz at Gandlf.Uindy.Edu


From: "David S. Christie" <maryspt at NBNET.NB.CA>
Subject: Re: Computer Programs:Mac

I tested MacPeregrine 1.0.3 by entering my observations from a trip to
California last winter. It wasn't "the ultimate bird processor" that the
promotional material claimed, but I felt it had definite potential. I sent
the developer a detailed critique, and in return he sent me a beta version
of 2.0, which addressed most of the points I had raised. (There still was
no field for number of birds observed; you record that in "Notes".) I have
not had the time to test that version thoroughly (despite having had it
several months) but I did convert my 1.0.3 files without any difficulty.
Neither version of the program has caused my system (7.1 on a 10MB LC) to
freeze. Perhaps there was a conflict with one of David Wantz's extensions.

I always wonder how well new programs will handle a large number of
records. I used MacPeregrine with about a thousand records and found it
quite responsive. Does anybody know whether it bogs down when you've
entered 10, 000 or 20,000 observations? If it can handle a lot of data then
it's a good program at a reasonable price.

The only other Macintosh bird-listing program I know of is $125 Bird Brain.
A couple of years ago a friend demonstrated it to me. (I believe it was
version 2.0, the same as advertized in the current sales catalogue of the
American Birding Association). The software had an impressive array of
features but its performance on his LC (16MHz 68020 CPU) was distinctly
leisurely. That may not be a problem on today's much faster Quadras and
PowerPCs. Does anyone have experience using Bird Brain on them?

Personally, I prefer using a general database application more than
bird-listing software because of the greater flexibility it allows me to
optimize the design for my own records and purposes. I have much greater
interest in producing seasonal and other summaries than in maintaining life
lists, which is usually the strongest point of the specialty programs for

I've been keeping my own records with Reflex Plus, a defunct relational
database once published by Borland. Data entry and searches are very easy,
but I have difficulty producing anything but the simplest reports. (To
compensate, I often export qualified data and sort and augment it in Excel
worksheets.) Considering that Reflex Plus was distributed with System 2
it's perhaps a wonder that it works at all with System 7, as I'm using it.
I'm now trying FoxPro as an up-to-date replacement.

David Christie

Mary's Point, RR 2, Albert, N.B. E0A 1A0 Canada
Internet: maryspt at