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A new smart phone app developed at Oklahoma State University can help the ODWC provide more accurate hunting forecasts. (Photo by Kane Kinion, Agricultural Communications Services)

New smart phone app is for the birds

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wildlife specialists at Oklahoma State University have developed a new smart phone app that is literally for the birds.

The Gamebird Brood Observation app is free and available for both iPhone and Android. Simply search for gamebird observation from the appropriate app store. It is designed to record observations of gamebirds to help estimate annual reproduction, said Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist, and Bollenbach Chair in OSU’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management.

“The app will allow people to report the number of young game birds they observe in the field. This information will help biologists at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation have a better forecast for bird hunting season,” he said. “While people can enter information into the app at any time, we’re particularly interested in observations during breeding season, which is April through October.”

The gamebirds selected for the app are the scaled (blue) quail, prairie-chicken, bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant and wild turkey. Once the app is open, choose which species is being observed. Enter information regarding how many adult birds are present, how many chick/poults are observed, the county in which the observation is being made, the date of the observation, along with any comments the observer would like to make.

Elmore said it is important for this type of information to be collected because, currently, brood reports of young birds are limited across the state, and annual reproduction can vary from county to county. This can make hunting forecasts and annual monitoring less reliable.

“We tried to make the app simple so it would be quick and easy to use,” he said. “It will work only if a lot of people use it broadly across the state. We’d like to get information from as many counties as possible.”

Story by Trisha Gedon

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