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Bird Brain Software

Bird Brain 6.5
Birding Database

Bird Brain 6.5 Prices
Bird Brain 6.5 $99.95
Upgrade from Bird Brain 5.0 $69.95
Upgrade from Bird Brain 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, or 6.4 $19.95
Click the download link below to install the full, working copy of Bird Brain for free. You can try out all the features. The only limitation is that you can't enter order more than 70 records until you purchase a registration code. Free

Order here | FAQ | Download Bird Brain 6.5 | What's new in 6.5?

Sighting Record Window

What Bird Brain does

Bird Brain is a world birding database for Macintosh computers. It contains the names, ranges, and taxonomy of all the bird species and subspecies in the world.

Bird Brain lets you record and track your bird sightings. It keeps your notes, images, QuickTime movies, and other files with your database. You can enter an unlimited amount of information on each sighting.

Powerful searching

Find RecordsBird Brain lets you find any subset of your records that you desire. You can search on any one or combination of the fields below:

  • record numbers
  • species letter code
  • common name
  • scientific name
  • number seen
  • date range
  • nation
  • state or province
  • county
  • city
  • location
  • habitat
  • notes
  • ABA region or area
  • custom flags or tags
  • order
  • family
  • subspecies
  • sighting lat/long
  • split decided or not
  • imported common or scientific name

Unlimited life lists

Bird Brain makes life lists. With one click, you can see your world life list, a list of only your earliest sighting of each species. And if you have used Bird Brain's powerful search abilities to create a special subset, with that same one click you can make a custom life list based on that subset.

Make a life list for 2013, or for your state or your back yard, or for woodpeckers you saw in the UK in January, 2013. You have an unlimited power to create custom life lists.

Reference database

Clements ChecklistLatest world bird listBird Brain 6.5 reference birds data conform to the Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, updated August, 2013, by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The reference database contains all the current Clements species, subspecies, and range information.

Checklists, target lists, and wish lists

Bird Brain creates checklists, target lists, and wish lists for over 200 nations and any US state or Canadian province. Bird Brain includes the information of which species are found in each nation. Range data is also available both for species and for subspecies.

ABA and AOU check lists and target lists

Bird Brain 6.5 checklist data have been updated to reflect the 2013 changes in the ABA and the AOU checklists. Bird Brain also creates ABA and AOU checklists and target lists.

Assisted managing of updated splits and lumps

Splits TabWhen you upgrade to a new version of Bird Brain, the program makes it easy to see, find, and change any of your sightings that may be affected by splits or lumps.

In the 2013 update of the Clements World List, there are many changes from the previous version. Six species have been lost through lumping or other revisions. There have been 63 species promoted from subspecies to species status, and there are 27 completely new species. After all the splits and lumps, the net gain in the world species list is 84 species, bringing the total of world species to 10,324.

The taxonomic sequence has also changed, with a re-ordering if the taxonomic sequence and the addition of three families of birds.

Bird Brain 6.5's reference database reflects the current names and taxonomy. And it makes it easy to see, find, and change your splits.

Internet access

Find Bird on NetBird Brain provides one-click access to information on the Internet about virtually every bird species of the world.

Wikipedia PageIt may sometimes be helpful to access such information and images when deliberating between alternative identifications for a record you're entering.

If you've already entered a record, one click will let you see the page from Google, Cornell All About Birds, YouTube, and Wikipedia relating to that particular species. Typically you will find a wide variety of images of the species in this way.

The information available is always dynamic. It's the current, living, constantly evolving ornithology.

Picture, movies, and other files

Container fieldThe Sighting Record window includes three container fields, where you can store photos and movies that you have access to, as well as other files of almost any kind. This is useful when you want to store something with the record of a particular observation.

If you enter an image in the Species container field, that image will appear whenever you enter a record again for that species. The other two container fields appear only with the one record in which they are entered. Some users like to keep many photos of one species in Bird Brain. They do so by placing those photos in the Sighting and Media container fields.

You can create a slide show of your images.

Picture List

Picture ListYou can also get an overview of your images via the Picture List feature. You can limit the list any way you want by using Bird Brain searching features.

In the Picture List, you can add, delete, and move photos. This is a great way to manage the photos you have put in Bird Brain, or to locate a particular photo visually.

Note that Bird Brain does not come with pictures of birds. However, a few images are included as part of the tutorial records, to serve as examples. You can add delete them if you wish or replace them with your own photos. Or leave them in your Bird Brain program if you want to.

Fast data entry

Choose BirdEnter a sighting into Bird Brain goes fast. For each record, you need to type only a few letters of the bird's common name (such as a ro), scientific name (such as t mi), or the common name of the family (such as thrush). Then pick the name off a short list. Bingo! American Robin. 

To shorten and simplify the list you're picking from, you can limit the list to the species of a single nation. Often just three or four letters shortens the list to one species, and then it is automatically entered into a record immediately.

For super-fast entry, there's also the option to enter byspecies' letter codes, if you happen to be familiar with them. There is also an enter by checklist option.

Most of the data from a record is automatically carried forward to the next record, so that you don't have to keep entering the nation, state/province, county, city, location, and habitat if you're recording a number of sightings from one place. You can of course replace what was brought forward if you wish to change it.

The eBird connection

eBirdIf you report observations to eBird, Bird Brain can make uploading your eBird checklists easy.

Bird Brain's eBird report creates a file that you can upload directly to eBird, greatly speeding up the entry process. Since you've already entered your sightings once in Bird Brain, there's no reason to have to do it over again. The process is streamlined and fast.

Bird Brain uses the same Clements checklist of birds as eBird, so your data should interface seamlessly with eBird's.

Mapping Sightings

MapBird Brain provides access to Google Maps from within Bird Brain.

For each sighting, you can easily map and identify the exact spot where that sighting took place. The information is then stored in the record, so that you can pull up the map from the record at any time.

With a click, you can email the exact spot of the sighting to friends. They can use Google Maps to see just where you saw the bird.

This is especially helpful if your sighting was out in a rural area where street addresses don't work. You can map the spot to within a few feet.

Mapping location names

Location Lat-LongFor each name in your Location field (for example, a certain national park, or your favorite birding patch), you can assign a Google Maps spot.

You can use this Location lat-long data when submitting an eBird checklist report. This save you from having to go separately into eBird's website and map the location.

Blue AsteriskWorld life list record indicator

In response to requests from users, Bird Brain now indicates that a sighting is one of your world life list records. It displays a blue asterisk by the Record number field for each such record.

Also, on lists, the common names of world life list records appear in blue. There is a option that lets you turn this feature on or off.

Blue List

The Sighting Record view

Sighting RecordThe Sighting Record view shows all of the information about a particular record, with many fields in it. It has container fields that can store up to three images or other files.

It also has tab areas, with each tab displaying different information.

The first two tabs are for fields notes, Notes and More Notes. Both Notes fields can handle up to one billion characters of text.

The third tab, Range and Subspecies, shows the range information for the record's species, along with all the ranges for each subspecies.

The fourth tab, Auxiliary Info, provides the species' taxonomy and shows which ABA region and ABA areas the species is found in. And, if you have imported data from a previous version of Bird Brain or a different database, the imported names are also displayed.

In the fifth tab, Splits, shows the any species splits relating to this species and lets you click to choose the one you want.

Other views

ViewsEvery record in your database has a large of number of fields associated with it. In a database like Bird Brain, there are more fields than will fit comfortably on a list report, which displays many records on one page.

To handle this, Bird Brain gives you a choice of many different Views. Each View displays certain information and omits other.

They can be ordered alphabetially, chronologically, or by location, simply by clicking the head of the appropriate column. To put a list in taxonomic order, it's as easy as clicking a Tax Sort button.

All lists can be restricted to include only the sightings that you choose. You can restrict records to those from a date range, from a nation, state, county, location, habitat, region, area, or any combination of field parameters. For any selection of records, you can create a life list, showing only the earliest-dated instance of each species in the selection.

Family GroupThere is also a list, Group by Family, that sorts your records into taxonomic order and lists the species under headings for their family groups.

All of these views can be printed out or exported to an Excel spreadsheet.

In case you don't find exactly the list format you are looking for, you can open the Mega List, which contains all the fields.

Although the Mega List is far too wide to print, you can save it as an Excel document, from which you can select and customize the data any way you wish.

There are also two table views, which let you re-order the columns and alter their widths. This is an efficient way to create special reports that suit your purposes.

Easy-to-understand documentation

ManualBird Brain receives high praise from users for its well written, user-friendly manual. There are lots of screen shots to keep you oriented. It's a PDF document, designed both to be read online and to print out as a book. The User Guide is always accessible from within Bird Brain.

FileMaker powered

Bird Brain 6.5 is made in FileMaker Pro and incorporates FileMaker's many powerful features, such as the ability to make any kind of selection of your records that you can imagine. FileMaker is owned by Apple and is one of the most widely used databases in the world. It is likely to be around for a very long time.

However, you do not need to own FileMaker in order to use Bird Brain. Bird Brain is self contained.

Importing from other databases

We have helped many customers import data from other birding databases. We convert the data for you and send you a file that you can import into Bird Brain with a simple menu choice. We usually charge a small fee for this service. Please contact us for more information on doing a custom import.

Click to email us

Phone us: 800-779-7256 or 641-472-7256

Write us:

   Birdwatching Dot Com
   2197 236th Blvd.
   Fairfield, IA 52556

If you previously used Bird Brain 5

Here are instructions for getting your records from Bird Brain 5 for importing them into the new Bird Brain 6.5.

Bird Brain minimum system requirements

Bird Brain 6.5 requires Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks. Your system must match or exceed one of the following:

System Requirements


Click to email us

Phone us: 800-779-7256 or 641-472-7256

Write us:

   Birdwatching Dot Com
   2197 236th Blvd.
   Fairfield, IA 52556

Order here | FAQ | Downloading Bird Brain Installer | What's new in 6.5?