Name: Chris Duke
Subject: New Birding App Testers Needed
Message: Dear Palomar Audubon,
I am a PhD Biology student at Washington State University, and I have just released a new, free App that I’ve been developing for iPhone and iPad that I feel is in line with the Audubon Society’s goals of increasing knowledge and accessibility of birds to the community.
The App is called Kea: Learn Birds Through Play, and it is designed to make the process of learning to recognize birds faster and more fun by turning it into a game. Our initial version was kindly tested and critiqued by Audubon members, and we have incorporated their feedback into the current version. I am writing today to ask if any members of your organization would be interested in primary testing the latest version of the App.
To provide a bit more background information, Kea uses a series of different games that help users recognize images of birds, rather than rote memorization. As a level is passed, the user earns tokens that can be used to unlock new levels, modes, and habitats. Users start with ‘Backyard Birds’ levels, to allow them to recognize the birds they are most likely to see close to home.
A user can also play with levels organized according to taxonomy, rather than habitat. They can use their learning to unlock all the birds in North America, Europe, and Costa Rica including Pelagic species and Rarities. For more advanced birders, modes can be unlocked to learn the scientific names of all species, or in a Timed Mode that
sharpens rapid identification skills.
Since Kea is designed to be free to use, Beta testers would be asked to download and try out the App, then provide feedback through a questionnaire. If they are interested, they can then elect to be part of our Beta Testers group, further helping to direct the future of Kea.
I would greatly appreciate if you could pass this email on to any of your members that may be interested. Anyone interested in primary testing Kea on their iPhone or iPad can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send them a questionnaire, and once they turn it back to me, they can choose to be on the advanced notice list for future expansions if they like. The App itself can be accessed through Apple’s App Store, and the Android version should be available this fall.
I’m very excited about bringing this tool to the birding community, and can’t wait to hear great feedback that can make it better. Thank you very much for your time, and happy birding!