Bird Watching Takes Off with Digital Wings


Birdwatching is taking a flight in China with the help of useful digital tools. 

The Tencent Charity Foundation has recently released a Weixin Mini Program called WeBirder, which makes birds identification easier. WeBirder is developed by Tencent Charity Foundation and Chinese National Geography Magazine, targeting a growing population of birders in China.

When users scan a bird with the camera built inside the Mini Program, WeBirder quickly identifies the bird from its comprehensive database that stores information on 1,500 bird species. Users can find information like the kinds of species, growth size, conservation status, habitat, behavior, and geographic distribution. 

The data is provided by The CNG Field Guide to the Birds of China, a comprehensive field guide to birds inhabiting in the country. Digitalizing this data has made it handy for the hobbyists to enjoy their outdoor experience without having to carry a heavy guide. 

Users can also upload photos saved in their album on the Mini Program, or even search by their features like size or color, to find more information. 

WeBirder identifies a Pycnonotus sinensis through the image recognition technology, and shares more information about the species.

The developers of WeBirder also made the location and season as search options. The feature is useful when you want to know what birds are likely to be spotted in a particular season and location.

Birding has become more and more popular, partly due to the enjoyment of recording experiences digitally and forming a community with like-minded people on the app. However, not everyone has the time and energy to do it. That’s where the Mini Program comes in to make the hobby more accessible, by allowing people to find more information and save it in an in-app journal, just through a few taps on the screen.

The Mini Program keeps users’ birdwatching records and notes.

WeBirder also educates users when they’re not out and about looking for birds. Every day, the Mini Program picks a bird species with meanings behind its name, such as falcons which represent victory, and bluebirds that represent joy and hope.

The developers said they will continue to improve the Mini Program for more people to start their birding journey today and help conservation researchers. 

Shape, circle  Description automatically generatedScan the QR code with Weixin and start your birdwatching journey.