Saturday, April 6, 2013

So, You Can't Afford Auto Bat Call ID Software?

So, you can't afford Auto Bat Call IDing software? But you'd still really like to do some of your own (back garden) bat research...What now?

Well, for one thing - I shall digress a bit, for a moment: And, I should point out that Wildlife Acoustics has developed their own bat call identification software. It's called Kaleidoscope, and is currently being offered as a free 2-Week Trial download Here. I've been trying it out myself, and it's rather interesting. A big plus, is that it features the identifiers for American bats (As well as UK bats). I will probably post a mini-review of it, in the near future.

Although some hobbyists/enthusiasts try to justify the expense... And, there are a small number of bat detecting fans that do end up investing quite a bit of their own funds into expensive products...The fact remains that the vast majority of hobbyists simply cannot afford the high-end (very expensive) bat call ID software.

Well, there is a simple solution, really: Get back to basics...
If you live in The UK, or Germany - You're in luck - As there are plenty of "ready-made" guide books available, which cover the species in your area.
As an example, the book I recently reviewed here ('British Bat Calls...') is a perfect illustration. Armed with this book, and some perseverance - You would be able to correctly analyze (and identify) the bats that you've recorded. A bit of diligence, comparing the sonograms (and other facts) from the book, to the ones that you've produced: Will go a long way in verifying the species you've picked up.

When you stop to think about it, there are two primary reasons why this (method) is inherently better than (and more accurate than) relying on an expensive software package to determine  the species for you.

1st. (and probably most important) is accuracy. There is simply no more accurate method to determine species, than to carefully study, and compare your sonograms "manually".

2nd. Many hobbyists (would agree) that being more involved with species determination, makes for a more enjoyable experience overall. 

Happy bat detecting!

1 comment:

  1. What if you don't live in Germany or the UK? Is there a book for the western US?


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