An iPhone 4S is an amazing tool for birders, as Sharon Stiteler has already let readers of 10,000 Birds know. And while using the iPhone in conjunction with optics is pretty cool, I have discovered that sometimes you don’t even need to use anything but the phone itself. Still pictures are fine but using the video function not only allows you to capture the bird or birds in motion but also their songs. For example, here is the video of a ton of birds working a treeline on Saturday morning in Chicago. It is certainly not an excellent video but you can see the quantity of birds in the trees and, more importantly, you can hear what is singing.

How many species do you hear singing? What species?

An even better example to try out the video capabilities of the iPhone was on a recent visit to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. There was some kind of insect hatch and the swallows were in a feeding frenzy. Though the phone wasn’t sensitive enough to pick it up we could actually hear the swallows’ beaks snapping shut as they tried to grab bugs. It was awesome.

Pretty cool, no?

Of course, if you want really good video of birds with an iPhone you will either need to have incredibly cooperative birds or you will have to do what Sharon has been doing and digiscope.

Have you been using your iPhone to bird? How?

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.