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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!