David Sibley's popular guide to the birds of North America has been published in an expanded version as an application for Apple's iPhone or iPod (newest version). It's called The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America. I remember way back in 2000 when Sibley's over-sized printed guide was published to much ooohing and ahhhing. Big and heavy and pocket-sizled only for xxxxxxxxlarge overalls, it was regarded by many of us as the new standard. Since then, an avalanch of printed guides have been issued, and now we have two electronic verisons for devices that fit in shirt pockets, one from Cornell and this one. Sibley's eGuide has met mixed reviews, according to posts found with Google. You can read one positive review at http://www.nemesisbird.com/2010/02/review-sibley-eguide-app/

The electronic version has all 6,600 illustrations from the book, with maps, text from the guide, and more than 2,200 recordings of songs and other vocalizations.

I wonder where this will end. Convenience aside, there was something fun about taking field notes home, opening your small library of guide books, and working through the identity of the bird you couldn't identify out there in the park. The pleasure lasted longer. You worked out the puzzle with a pleasant sense of anticipation. Anticipation is being eliminated from life. It isn't anticipation if it only lasts a few seconds.



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