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Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Omegon Night Vision Device Alpheon+ NV 4.5x40


I reached-out to several manufacturers (Bushnell, et al)...But only one Vendor among them, were kind enough to send me a loaner unit, to test and review here. It is The Omegon Alpheon+ NV 4.5x40.
Further details about the specific device may also be seen right on Amazon (direct link). 


Omegon Night vision device Alpheon+ NV 4.5x40


This is my first "review" of a Night Vision device. I use quotations, because this cannot actually qualify as a review - More of a quick overview.
It is a rather affordable unit, called The Omegon Night Vision Device Alpheon+ NV 4.5x40. 

It may be ordered directly from the manufacturer's Site. As well as directly from Amazon Here.

The (new) loaner unit, was delivered to me (here in The U.S.) from Germany, very well-packaged, and without issue.

The device itself, measures 200mm long x 86mm wide x 56mm high. It weighs 400 grams.

The current retail price, ranges between $257 and about $300 US Dollars, depending on where you shop.
This is basically, a low-cost/entry-level Intro to night vision devices. Theoretically, it would be well-suited to a beginner on a low budget.

In a nutshell, I can't recommend this device. It's difficult to operate, it's controls (buttons) are counter-intuitive (and menu-driven), and the resulting stills & videos are low resolution. I was unable to acquire any truly satisfactory images or videos of terrestrial mammals - let alone bats in flight.

The search continues...for an affordable night vision recorder, which produces good results. Particularly, when trying to record bats in flight (twilight/low-light conditions).

I will continue my efforts, to acquire (loaner) Night Vision optics to review here, for the benefit of everyone who detects/records bats.
At this point in time, I won't go into all of the (obvious) reasons why Night Vision devices would be very useful for Bat Workers, those involved in Bat Research, et al... There are a myriad of uses for optics of this kind, even for hobbyists. This has been made possible by the affordability of many of the Night Vision units available today.

If anyone has a Night Vision device which they would like me to review, you may contact me via email at: batdetectors -at- gmail.com.

Happy bat detecting!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Temporary Update Post


I want to share the link to the amazing bat detector I am currently testing and reviewing. It is The LunaBat DFR-1 from Animal Sound Labs in Poland.

Not only does it have the appearance, form, and function of the quintessential bat detector - But it is an outstanding performer. Especially when it comes to: sensitivity, ability to pick up bats at considerable distances, and capture excellent quality FS recordings!

 Stock Photos from Animal Sound Labs


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Review Of The Titley Anabat Swift Part 3 Of 3 - Three Optional Microphones Tested

This Post serves as Part 3 Of 3 of The Titley Anabat Swift Review (If you haven't already, see Part 1, Part 2)
As well as the testing and comparison of the 3 microphones which are currently available, from Titley Scientific. These optional Mics allow additional, significant customization of your AnaBat Recording set-ups. 
 
In it's current state, this post is just a rough outline, I'm posting it here as a placeholder. It will be added to, as soon as time allows.

Owners of either The Anabat Swift, or The Anabat Express bat recorders, should be aware of the 3 Microphones currently available, from Titley Scientific.
The post immediately preceding this one, lists some detailed specifications and information on each of the 3 Mics (as per Titley). 
What follows below, are just some of my findings:

1. The Anabat Omnidirectional Ultrasonic Microphone - US-0 V3

While doing some experimental tests, using The Bat Chirp II (artificial bat, made by Tony Messina); I was able to get (mechanical-looking) sonograms. I'm sharing these here, mainly as a "curiosity".

This was at a distance of 50 feet.
Here is just a small section of the sonogram, as recorded by "Mic #1": The US-0 V3


The Bat Chirp II as heard by the US-0 V3 Mic on The AnaBat Swift



2. Anabat Directional Ultrasonic Microphone US–D V1
 
This was at a distance of 50 feet.
Here is just a small section of the sonogram, as recorded by "Mic #2": US-D V1



 
For my own purposes of organization, I refer to this microphone: Anabat Omnidirectional Acoustic Microphone AS–0 V1
as "Mic #3" - I apologize for not having a spectrogram from this Mic to share. I am currently still sorting through the recordings made using this Mic (again with the aid of The Bat Chirp II [artificial bat]). I will be adding (at least) one sonogram to this post soon...
 

Here is a sonogram of a real bat, made using "Mic #1" Anabat Omnidirectional Ultrasonic Microphone US-0 V3
 

  
A real bat, recorded using The US-0 V3 Mic on AnaBat Swift
(bat was approx. 100 feet distant)


For further, current Info, on these Mics as well as other compatible accessories, have a look at this page, from Titley's Scientific's Site.

Until then, Happy bat detecting!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Update Post - Things In Progress...

Currently working on the comparison / review of the 3 currently available microphones, from Titley Scientific. It will be the next review posted.

I'm also very excited about the next bat detector, which will be tested and reviewed here soon... I've been looking forward to getting my hands on this wonderful bat detector for quite some time.

The lovely LunaBat DFR-1 bat detector is here.
First impressions confirmed everything I'd hoped for! This one ticks all the boxes.

For now, I'll just share the manufacturer's Link. More to follow... It really is an outstanding bat detector.

Also, folks have been writing me, asking about The new Song Meter Mini-Bat from Wildlife Acoustics. Asking about my thoughts & experiences with it, etc.
Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to test and review one yet, so I can't speak about it specifically. However, knowing Wildlife Acoustics's track record, I'd say you can buy with confidence.

Happy bat detecting!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Titley Scientific's Microphones - Announcing 3 Mics Which Are Now Available!

This Post serves as a precursor to Part 3 Of 3 of The Titley Anabat Swift Review (If you haven't already, see Part 1, Part 2)
It is also a preliminary look at the 3 microphones which are currently available, from Titley Scientific.

Owners (or potential owners) of either The Anabat Swift, or Anabat Express bat recorders, should be aware of the 3 Microphones currently available, from Titley Scientific.
See below for some detailed specifications and information on each of the 3 Mics, as per Titley:

1. The Anabat Omnidirectional Ultrasonic Microphone - US-0 V3

It is a versatile and affordable option, for recording bats in all weather conditions.

Brief Info: The latest iteration of their omnidirectional microphone is versatile and affordable. Titley's most popular microphone for recording bats in all weather. The ability to attach directly to the detector or via a cable means that you can make the most of your detector and microphone placement, avoiding echoes off hard surfaces.

Features:     
  • Can be attached directly to the detector or on an extension cable.  
  • Improved weather resistance with waterproof acoustic membrane
  • Compatible with Anabat Swift and Anabat Express
  • Low power consumption

Specifications:
  •  Weight: 22g
  •  Dimensions: 48mm (length) x 17mm (diameter) 
  •  Frequency Response: 10 – 130 kHz 
  •  Colour: Black 
  •  Directionality: Omnidirectional 
  •  Compatible with: Anabat Swift, Anabat Express

2. Anabat Directional Ultrasonic Microphone US–D V1

Highly sensitive directional microphone, perfect to target bats and avoid noise.

Brief Info: The directional microphone is a specialized ultrasonic microphone designed for the Anabat Swift and Anabat Express. It’s highly sensitive and directional zone of reception mean you can target your recordings and avoid ambient noise. This is the only weatherproof directional microphone commercially available, and allows you to record bats up to 250kHz. 

Features:
  • Can be attached directly to the detector or on an extension cable
  • High signal to noise ratio (very low noise)
  • Frequency response from 10 kHz to 250 kHz 
  • Compatible with Anabat Swift and Anabat Express 
  • Parylene coated microphone element for improved weather resistance       
  • Corrosion resistant stainless steel grill

Specifications:
  • Weight: 60g
  • Dimensions: 60mm (length) x 46mm (diameter)
  • Frequency Response: 10 – 250 kHz
  • Colour: Black
  • Directionality: Directional
  • Compatible with: Anabat Swift, Anabat Express

Weatherproof multipurpose microphone, record all audible wildlife. 

Brief Info: Another of Titley's latest microphones allows you to record audible frequencies with your Anabat Swift. Weatherproof and durable, you can survey birds, frogs and other vocalising wildlife for months at a time. 
Features: 
  • Can be attached directly to the detector or on an extension cable 
  • Low power consumption 
  • Improved weather resistance with waterproof acoustic membrane 
  • Comes with military grade, water repellent wind sock
  • Compatible with Anabat Swift

Specifications:
  • Weight: 23g 
  • Dimensions: 60mm (length) x 30mm (diameter) (including wind sock)
  • Frequency Response: 100 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Colour: Black
  • Directionality: Omnidirectional
  • Accessories: Wind sock
  • Compatible with: Anabat Swift

I'm happy to report, that each of these microphones are currently being evaluated/tested and compared. And I'll be posting my findings and remarks on the blog soon.
For further, current Info, on these Mics as well as other compatible accessories, have a look at this page, from Titley's Scientific's Site.

Until then, Happy bat detecting!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Review: The AnaBat Scout From Titley Scientific Part 2 of 2

Review: The AnaBat Scout From Titley Scientific Part 2 of 2

Let's begin with a quick summary, or overview of The AnaBat Scout - some of my first impressions:
As can be seen in the preceding posts (in Part 1 of this review, etc.) the AnaBat Scout arrives very well packaged and protected. I like the overall aesthetic of this unit; I can see that they have molded The AnaBat Scout into an ergonomic design. It is lightweight (with batteries installed), and it feels natural and comfortable in the hand.


A short video, demonstrating powering on The AnaBat Scout (with display set to Low brightness).

Amoung some of The Scout's features, are:
  •  The ability to record voice notes (as previously mentioned, the Mic for this is located above the display screen).
  •  Glow-in-the-dark buttons. In practice, I found that the buttons were not easy to "charge" (expose to a fairly bright light source). And not at all easy to see in the dark (out in the field, etc.).*
  •  It includes a protective case and lanyard.
*I couldn't help but to immediately think that Tritium would've been very effective, instead of the material currently used for the buttons. Although I have a feeling, that some Ecologists might object to it's use...

The built-in Bat Counter of The Anabat Scout will be a welcomed feature for Ecologists / Bat Workers performing emergence surveys, etc. It will record the date, time, and location with each button press, into a .csv file (commonly read with Microsoft Excel). By default, the increment (each In or Out button push) is 1, but may be increased up to 10. Interesting, and no doubt useful for unique situations.

The AnaBat Scout comes with the free version of Anabat Insight software, which you may download Here (there is a version for Mac as well as Windows). You will notice that the User Manual may also be obtained on that Web page.

I installed the 2 AA sized batteries required, as well as a new 16GB SD memory card (I happened to have available); and pressed the OK button to power on. The user is greeted with the OLED display, featuring text (and icons) of a yellowish-green colour.

Changing the brightness level, from High to Low


My (point & shoot) camera did not give an accurate representation of the display. It appears a bit too bright in this video. In reality, it looks clear, crisp, and not too bright.

I was glad to see that the display brightness is adjustable, from High to Low. Because I prefer to keep bat detector displays as dim as possible; especially when in the field.

Short video of powering off The AnaBat Scout.

To power off the detector, hold down the OK button - The display will read "Would you like to shutdown?" And you press the Yes soft key (on the right).

The Anabat Scout has the ability to have it's sensitivity (event trigger) changed; you may choose Low, Medium, or High (High is the default setting). Very useful, for those instances when bats are flying low and/or close.

Minimum frequency is 10 kHz, and maximum is 160 kHz (both are the default settings). Either/or may be adjusted to suit the situation, under Trigger Settings on the unit. Also by default, the Recording Mode is set to triggered mode; and this may also be changed to Constant Recording Mode, when and if needed.
 
Some of the features of The Anabat Scout, which I particularly like as seen on the display are: The GPS indicator, Number of Satellites in View indication, % of SD Card Memory Available, and Tuned/Peak Frequency.
Again, those doing emergence surveys will be pleased to see the Out and In Count.
A very clear representation of these features, may be seen on Page 6 of the (freely available) User Manual.
I would encourage the reader to have a look at pages 12-14 of the Manual, which describe further opportunities to fine tune aspects of: Triggering, Recording, File preferences, and various Audio Settings. 
For audio output - You may choose between heterodyne, frequency division (which is divided by 16) - Or, if using earphones, both! In other words, heterodyne is heard in one earphone, whilst FD is heard in the other.

Some additional features which I liked were: 

When a recording is triggered, a recording symbol appears, on the bottom center of the display.
The Heterodyne auto-tune - Described on page 14 of the User Manual. 
Transect Mode - Which uses the built-in GPS to save your track as a .gpx file (it checks GPS points once per second).
The Anabat Scout also has the ability to run diagnostics on itself (should the need arise).

A user may also subscribe to receive email alerts, whenever Scout firmware is updated; very neat!
The process of updating the firmware is just what you might expect: You copy the (scout.adx) file to the root of the SD card, insert SD card, and power on the unit. At which point, you will be asked "...Would you like to update now?". At which point you'd press Yes, and wait for it to complete the update. After which, it will restart itself.

During my extensive testing, I found the the AnaBat Scout's microphone to not only be substantially sensitive, but to produce accurate-sounding results (audio tones) from the front-facing speaker. Careful analysis of the recorded bat calls, further confirmed the sensitivity, range, and overall accuracy of it's recording abilities.

I found The Anabat Scout to have sensitivity and range comparable to many other Professional-level bat detectors. Especially within it's price range. A couple of species of my local (North American) bat species, were recorded at distances of 100 meters.
See pages 20 to 21 of the User Manual, for a concise answer to the question: How far away can a bat be detected?

Pros:
  •  Bat emergence In and Out Counter (separate button for each).
  •  Excellent sensitivity and pick-up range of bat calls.
  •  Pleasing (and adjustable) OLED display, preserves a user's night adapted vision; while providing live pertinent information.
  •  GPS/transect and logging capabilities.
  •  Adjustable sensitivity, and frequency range.
  •  All metadata recorded on The Scout is saved to files in the GUANO (Grand Unified Acoustic Notation Ontology) format.

Cons:
  •  Not weatherproof.
  •  Glow-in-the-dark buttons need improvement.

The Scout has excellent features of value to Ecologists and Bat Workers who are tasked with doing bat emergence surveys. In addition to many of the capabilities one would expect from a Pro-level bat detector, it possesses some which are specifically geared towards bat emergence surveys.
The Anabat Scout also records metadata -
All metadata recorded on The Anabat Scout, is saved to files in the GUANO (Grand Unified Acoustic Notation Ontology) format. This format is now the industry standard in the field of bat acoustic studies. Details regarding this configuration may be seen on page 20 of the User Manual.



More will be added to this (part 2) Anabat Scout review soon...

Amoung the next items to be reviewed here, are some interesting new microphones designed by Titley, for use on their AnaBat Swift detector.

Happy bat detecting!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Review: The AnaBat Scout From Titley Scientific Part 1 of 2

Review: The AnaBat Scout From Titley Scientific Part 1 of 2

The AnaBat Scout is a full spectrum bat detector, designed to be used for active bat detecting. 
I will state from the start, that I have used it as a passive bat recorder on more than one occasion, and acquired excellent recordings of bat calls.

The Anabat Scout arrived directly from Titley (Australia) very well packaged & packed. The box which contains The AnaBat Scout is seen in the photo below:

AnaBat Scout box, along with included Quickstart User Guide


The AnaBat Scout is 150mm long by 74mm (at it's widest point) and 38mm thick. For U.S. readers, this translates to 5.9" x 2.9" x 1.5" in thickness.
It weighs 160 grams (5.64 ounces) without batteries installed. NiMh, Alkaline or Lithium type batteries may be used. The AnaBat Scout runs on 2 AA size batteries.

If purchased directly from Titley Scientific, The AnaBat Scout is going for $850 U.S. dollars.

NHBS also has them in stock:



As well as Wildlife And Countryside Services (UK)

The AnaBat Scout has the ability to listen to bat calls in real time, in either: Heterodyne, auto-heterodyne, or frequency division audio modes. 

It also has the ability to record in either zero crossing or full spectrum mode. The AnaBat Scout also features a built-in GPS for transect mode and geotagging. It also has an In & Out bat counter, with automatic time stamping and geotagging; as well as the ability to record voice notes. 
These are all excellent features for bat surveys.

The AnaBat Scout comes with a free version of AnaBat Insight software. It is also provided with a lanyard, a protective carry pouch, and glow-in-the-dark buttons.

The AnaBat Scout has an easy to use robust design, with a front-facing mic element. With the Mic for voice notes located just above the (OLED) screen, facing the user. It has an easy-to-navigate keypad, located just beneath the display.

Before you begin recording bats with the AnaBat Scout: It is advisable, to set the current time zone. If this isn't done, the time stamps on your recordings will be incorrect. 

The AnaBat Scout worked very well as an unattended recording device, despite the low temperatures.


The AnaBat Scout would serve as an ideal unit for both Professionals; and amateur naturalists, who enjoy using a full-featured bat detector.

The AnaBat Scout would be an excellent tool for Professional Bat Workers who frequently perform roost surveys and/or emergence counts, since it has a built-in In and Out Counter - More on this, in Part 2 of the review.

The construction of the AnaBat Scout itself, feels very solid. There are no protruding parts on the unit, which you need to worry about breaking off, or damaging. 
The Scout packs a lot of technology and features into a fairly small, and easy to handle unit. I've found The AnaBat Scout a joy to use, with it's slightly curved design fitting quite comfortably in the hand, and it's front-facing microphone. 

Of course the omni-directional microphone itself, is larger in size than the opening (seen upon closer look at the front panel). This is a clever way to keep the mic element protected, from any would-be harm encountered while outdoors.

Once your main settings have been set, and your preferences selected, it only takes a few button presses - To begin monitoring, recording, or even un-attended recording (one of my favorite methods). The process of using The Scout will be covered in detail in Part 2 of this review.
After an evening of recording, and inserting the unit's SD card into the laptop: I was able to easily select and manage large numbers of bat recordings.

I did manage to run through one set of AA-sized batteries...This is the warning displayed, when batteries are low.

I'm happy to report, that when the Anabat Scout arrived here (in the Northeastern U.S.) in late October (2019) my local bats were still active; and they provided me with excellent recording opportunities!
Overall, I have been very pleased with the overall performance and accuracy of The AnaBat Scout from Titley. I also admire the fit, finish, and attention to detail demonstrated in it's design; and functionality!

Much more to follow soon, in Part 2 of this review. Which will cover out-of-box set up, ease of use, recordings & resulting spectrograms, etc.

Happy bat detecting!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Review: Bat Call Identification Software (BCID) Part 2 Of 2

Bat Call Identification Software Review (BCID) Part 2 Of 2

During my most recent, extensive testing, I've found BCID software to be very accurate when identifying (predicting) bats down to species. It provides a neat / uncluttered result file (.xls format) along with the relevant accuracy (estimate) data. Which is to say, how "sure" BCID is, as to the ID of the bat species.

The software installs easily, directly after downloading. BCID software has no problems handling files/recordings from all major bat detector manufacturers.
BCID was designed to handle large sets of data; and is capable of analyzing approximately 2,600 call files per minute. 

By default, BCID automatically analyzes all of the zero-cross recordings contained in the user specified file folder.

It is compatible with both zero-crossing and full-spectrum recordings of bat sounds. Selecting your detecting location, under the Species tab, is straightforward. Two states are shown, in my example screenshots below:


 
New York

South Carolina


The User Manual for this software program, is accessible from withing the software itself. By clicking the 'Help' tab; the 7th (and last) tab on the right hand side of the main screen.
Clicking the 'View Manual' button brings up the latest User Manual (Ver 2.8a, 4-29-19). It is produced in a very well laid out, and easy to read format.

Points of interest in the BCID User's Manual are:

  • Pages 4 -to- 18 clearly describe the functions of each of the program's main tabs.
  • Page 19 and 20 provide tables of accuracy rates (examples). Demonstrating the program's ability to accurately discriminate between bat species.
  • Pages 21 and 22 cover troubleshooting, suggestions, and the process for reporting any bugs a user might encounter.
I should add, that during my extensive test period, I did not encounter any bugs.

Pros 
  • Has a very easy to use, simple interface.
  • Uncluttered, clearly readable results report.
  • Printing results/reports is 2 clicks away.

Cons
  • More expensive than it's closest competitor (Kaleidoscope).
  • Customization of ID sensitivity, settings, etc. not as easy as K-Scope.

BCID Software may be ordered directly from The Bat Call Identification Website.

It's very refreshing to use a bat call ID software as uncluttered and easy to use, as BCID. I enjoy printing out the results/report files listing the bat species recorded.

There are still many Professionals, Ecology Firms, and Organizations who prefer to use zero-crossing recordings for their bat surveys, and sometimes even research. In situations where ZC format is the predominant method of recording, BCID software should be given very serious consideration.

Since I am also in the process of reviewing new bat detecting instruments; chief among them being The AnaBat Scout from Titley, as well as optional microphones (designed for The AnaBat Swift) I expect to be adding some more info to this part of The BCID software review.

Until then,

Happy bat detecting! 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

A Recent Arrival! The AnaBat Scout Bat Detector From Titley Scientific!

I'm pleased to report the recent arrival of the latest (new) bat detector offered by Titley Scientific - The AnaBat Scout!

I'm happy to report, that it arrived here (from Australia) several days ago. And made it here (to NorthEastern U.S.) in time to record some bats!

The AnaBat Scout arrived well packaged & protected from Titley Scientific

There were bats recorded as late as October 30th (none on the 31st, I'm sorry to say). This is great news for the upcoming testing and review.
For now, I can say that it is a charming bat detector, with many nice features which Pros will enjoy! Bat calls (in Heterodyne output mode) sound great! Volume for audio output goes from 0-25. I found it to be quite pleasing at a setting of ~18 for unattended recording (near an open door or window).


Having a quick look around with The AnaBat Scout bat detector from Titley

Bat detecting is on-going, and as always, I will hold out hope on any nights of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above. I'm also excited about two additional microphones, received for testing, from Titley Scientific. These are for The AnaBat Swift (recently reviewed here). I will probably need to resort to artificial/electronic bat calls for testing; more on those later.

In the short video clip below, we see The AnaBat Scout in action - As it first senses (and begins recording) a bat call, the recording activity indicator may be seen illuminating. A round indicator, in the lower center of the display. You can also hear the (heterodyne) sound produced as the bat flies by. 
This happened to be one of my "resident" Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus fuscus); and it was flying fairly close.


The AnaBat Scout recording a backyard bat on October 28th
(upstate New York)

In addition, on October 30th, The AnaBat Scout got a great recording of a bat, from a distance of approximately 35 meters. It was at 7:20 PM (19:20), sunset was at 5:52 PM, temperature was 59 Deg. Fahrenheit, humidity of 99%, with wind from SSE at 6 MPH.
 
Part 2 of 2 of The BCID software is also in progress...

Happy bat detecting!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

BCID Software Version 2.8B Review (2019) Part 1 Of 2

BCID Version 2.8B Review (2019) Part 1 of 2

BCID stands for Bat Call Identification; it is Professional-level software for the automatic analysis and identification of bat species, via recorded audio.

BCID is currently used by several agencies, Ecologists, Professional Bat Workers, and Researchers; to facilitate identification of recorded bat sounds.

I'd written a review of this formidable bat call identification software once before, back in February 2013. And thought it would be a good time to re-visit this application, and write an updated overview for 2019.

BCID has the distinct accolade of being one (of only two) software applications endorsed by  The U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service. More specifically, it is approved by The USFWS for conducting surveys, for the following bat species: 

The Indiana Bat (Myotis Sodalis) - USFWS Link
The Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis Septentrionalis) - USFWS Link

The other software, is Kaleidoscope from Wildlife Acoustics.

At the time of this writing, BCID is available in two versions:
A cursory look at BCID software, for someone who hasn't seen it before, reveals a rather simple-looking (GUI) interface:


Clicking on the BCID Eastern USA link (just above this screenshot), will take you to The BCID Web page, which features (scroll-able) example screens of the application.

To see a list of species which BCID currently covers, and to confirm price ($1479 US Dollars at this time) for 2 Seats / 2 computers, you may click Here.

BCID Software has been continually improved in the years following it's initial release, in 2007. Some of the very latest updates, may be seen Here.
It is a Windows-based software (32 and 64 Bit), which allows a user to quickly and accurately analyze large numbers of bat calls.
The user interface is simple but effective, and very easy to use. The current version of BCID is Version 2.8b.

BCID software should be given serious consideration, by anyone in need of a robust, easy-to-use, and accurate bat call identification software.
It is particularly well-suited to Ecologists, Bat Workers, Researchers, and anyone wishing to have bat calls identified.

The easiest way to use this software, is by starting with ZC recorded bat calls. However, as you'll see, .wav files are almost just as easy to process:
  • From the default screen, click the 'Add Folders to Project' button, on the lower left-hand-side.
  • Drill down to the location of the (ZC) file folder containing your recordings.


In this screenshot/example, the location happens to be 'BCIDConversions' folder.*

  • Click the Species tab, and select your Country, and State. Your local bat species will be displayed. The (already checked) names of the bat species, are also un-checkable; if you have the need to omit a species from being identified.
  • Click the Project tab, in order to make the original bottom tabs visible again.
  • Click on the Identify Calls tab (lower center of screen).
  • After (typically) a few seconds, the interface will look like this:

...Identification process complete.

  • When using the default settings, several report files are created. As seen in the screenshot below:

Assorted files created by BCID (by default) include .anl (AnaLook), .xls (MS Excel), and .txt (text) files (A different folder was used in this example).

  • As evidenced in the screen capture above, when accepting the default software selections, various files are created. As well as the individual bat recordings being converted to .ZC. In my particular case, the .zc files have automatically associated themselves with Kaleidoscope software; which happens to reside on my laptop as well.
  • In general, I've always found BCID software to be fast, accurate, and very convenient to use. There is certainly no steep learning curve here!

*Note: The BCIDConversions folder is automatically created when using BCID's WavToZero feature. And the files chosen for conversion are converted to ZC, and deposited there.  
If you recorded your bat calls in Full Spectrum mode, BCID software has a convenient 'WavToZero' feature. It's a permanently available Tab; 5th one from the left-hand-side of the interface. As the name implies, it allows you to select multiple files (not folders, but multiple individual files) for quick conversion - From .wav files to Zero Cross files.





As seen in the screenshot below, the report files which BCID creates, are in .xls format. I have always found this to be a very welcomed feature; especially because printing the file is so seamless.

For this particular example, I intentionally selected a group of recordings with very little bat activity. For the sake of clarity. Future screenshots, in Part 2 of this review, will illustrate much heavier call volume. Which for many of my readers, is a more common occurrence. 


The output (.xls) files which BCID creates, that is to say, it's report/listing of bat species detected, has always been one of my favorite features.

Very convenient! Looking forward to completing Part 2 of this review.
Stay tuned...

Happy bat detecting!