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Bird Walk Empire

We scouted birds in Central Park to celebrate the app we built with the Audubon Society

April 26, 2018 | Central Park

Event Recap

When you’ve spent months building an app for birders, there’s no better way to celebrate than by doing some birding yourself.

We were proud to partner with the National Audubon Society to overhaul their digital Bird Guide app. Their previous app was a comprehensive, popular field guide that had millions of downloads, but it could be confusing to new  birders. There was also a huge opportunity to add new geolocation tools and real-time data. The new app is designed to be a real accomplice for bird-watchers, featuring journaling, a life list, and learning tools.

We wanted to show these features in action. So we gathered a small group of experienced birders, journalists, and Postlighters and headed to Central Park. The Ramble, a heavily-wooded section right in the middle of the park, is surprisingly one of the best birdwatching spots in area.

The walk was led by Martha Harbison of the National Audubon Society and naturalist Kenn Kaufman, one of the world’s most renowned birders. (Kenn also wrote much of the copy you’ll see on the app.) As we traveled through the park, they pointed out birds we would never have seen otherwise, all of which we could identify and log on the app. We saw woodpeckers, goldfinches, grackles, loons, cardinals, and even one very-out-of-place yellow crowned night heron.

Reporter Ryan F. Mandelbaum wrote about the walk and the app for Gizmodo. He noted, “I’ve been using Audubon’s new app for about a month and have gone birding three or four times with it…I’ve read articles from its main screen, browsed it for fun, and listened to the calls to confirm birds I think I’ve identified but can’t see.”

By the time we left, we’d seen dozens of birds, including a few rare ones, and a few new birders had already started working on their life lists. Not bad for a walk in the park.