IDs of Birds, Butterflies & Trees in India

One area where I used to feel a bit handicapped when I started out shooting nature was learning names and details about common birds, butterflies and trees. There wasn't anything called an app in those days so a book in hand was the only option for a nature photographer. While I love books, having an app handy does appear to be very convenient for occasions when you don't have the book with you...I also feel younger chaps would prefer an app over a book.

What I'd ideally want is an app that is India Specific - which also gives state or district specific information...I've been unable to find one. Most international apps have a lot of information however that information is customised to Europe / UK / USA etc.

Dr Anand Narvekar, a good friend of mine told me that some of his Butterfly / Butterfly egg / bird images have been featured in an android app created by iNatureWatch so I thought it would be good idea to check it out and let you guys know if its something worth downloading.

The short answer - yes, its worth it. I'd say this app is a "must-have" for everyone who is keen on nature photography and struggles with IDs of butterflies, trees and birds.

While it may not have every bird, butterfly and tree listed - it does serve as an excellent starting point.

Peek a boo

Cost - free

Platform - android

Useful for - photographers who would like to know the ID of a particular bird or butterfly or tree commonly found around the metro cities of India.

Ease of use - I found it handy and easy to use. Its not too lengthy which is a good thing for someone who's new but restricting the app to 50 common species may be a bit of a bother to someone who's already up there in terms of knowledge and needs an app to identify a butterfly / bird which is not so common.Though the average run of the mill guy who's starting out in nature photography would be quite happy with these apps. You'll also get to learn a bit more about the insect / bird / tree.

Bugs / Issues - I didn't find any in the limited usage that I've put these apps to Features - the app has photos that are useful for ID as well as some additional details like habitat, common areas, life cycle, interesting facts etc etc..the bird app also has bird calls.

So its good to read about and learn something related to butterflies, birds & trees being photographed.

What could be done better - Some of the descriptions appear to be written by someone who's not a native English speaker. Example of an "interesting fact" from the section on a Peacock Pansy - "The eye spots on the wings helps in protection against bird who peck on the eye spots assuming it to be head of the butterfly" - So i can understand what's being said however the language just doesn't seem right does it?

I've also come across terms like UN, DSF etc which I assume are used in reference to parts of the butterfly however they are Greek to me. I'm not sure if there is some sort of a key somewhere in the app which explains these terms. Perhaps the guys who've made these could work on these areas whenever they are updating these apps. These "issues" that I've mentioned aren't really going to make a huge difference but will enhance the overall user experience.

What I found different from using google for an ID - using the app is far easier than using google for ID's. Google throws up all sorts of images and data and you need to then sort through it and search.

This app is India specific and sort of narrows it down to butterflies, birds and trees which are commonly found across metropolitan cities in India.

Background to the app and its development (details taken from the internet)

Every year , the United States Department of International Alumni Exchange announces Alumni Innovation Engagement Fund which is a global funding competition to aid their exchange alumni to implement innovative projects in their countries.

This year more than 1000 proposals were submitted world wide, of which 53 proposals were selected as finalist and Dr. V.Shubhalaxmi, Founder & Director at Ladybird Consulting LLP was the sole winner from India. She and her 5-member team won 25000 USD grant support for their year long project- Mobile Apps 4 Climate Change.

The project involves development of 3 three mobile apps on urban birds, butterflies and trees of four metros; Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkatta and Hyderabad.

These apps include information about 50 common species that are mostly found in these metros. The idea is to bring urban biodiversity information on the fingertips of the users. These apps will be FREELY available on Android platform.

The Butterfly Effect


Download the app for Butterflies  (google play store link) - Click here

Download the app for Birds (google playstore link) - Click here

Download the app for Trees  (google play store link) - Click here

Visit the iNatureWatch website:

More details about the app's -

Please note - I'm not associated with Inaturewatch in any way...this review or suggestion for their apps has been done based on my limited usage of these apps during my field trips. I liked take a look and decide if you like them and decide if you would like to use them and if they are good for you.

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