Sunbird Images has longstanding experience in carrying out citizen science projects through commissioned iOS and Android apps. In conjunction with the German Birdlife partner NABU, Naturschutzbund, Sunbird Images has supports an annually nationwide garden bird race as well as an insect count with the help of customized Citizen Science apps. A combined 200,000 participants annually have contributed to understand species abundance and distribution of the most common insect species and garden birds.

Both apps have been marketed since 2018 and have now been downloaded over 1 Mio times! Get in touch with us if you plan to set up a citizen science project fuelled by solid mobile applications. Benefit from our expertise in this field regarding setting up a tailor made app that fits your needs including the perfect UI & UX (User Interface & User Experience) and profit from our longstanding experience about how to reach the top of the app store charts to maximise user aquisition through ASO (App Store Optimization).
Read about our NABU Vogelwelt app example which continous to support NABU’s Citizen Science bird race in the future:

The “NABU Vogelwelt” is  the most downloaded app in Germany to identify birds.

Twice a year a Citizen Science project on bird counting takes place throughout Germany. The NABU, together with the Nature Conservation Youth (NAJU), calls for one hour of bird watching, counting and reporting during the Stunde der Wintervögel” and “Stunde der Gartenvögel, respectively 

With the NABU app “Vogelwelt” everyone can get to know and identify all the bird species that regularly occur in Germany. NABU-Vogelwelt is the free app for bird lovers and all others who are concerned about the protection of our nature with its diversity. 

The NABU (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union) is the oldest and, with more than 770,000 members and sponsors, the largest environmental association in Germany. NABU’s main objectives are the preservation of habitats and biodiversity, the promotion of sustainability in agriculture, forest management and water supply and distribution, as well as to enhance the significance of nature conservation in our society. NABU volunteers take care of the practical protection of species and biotopes on-site, get involved and with their expertise are sought-after advisors on all questions of nature and environmental protection. 


Building the best bird app in Germany

NABU Deutschland

The NABU already had a bird app, but it was not suitable for counting birds and was no longer up-to-date in terms of content and technology. In order to address an even broader mass of the population, and especially younger people, NABU needed a new bird app. The requirement was nothing less than to become the best bird app in Germany and to satisfy the needs of amateurs and professionals alike. The new NABU-Vogel-App replaces the former NABU-Vogel-App, but contains 80 additional bird species and a lot of new features.

Meeting the needs of different users

The app was released as a freemium app. The fully functional free basic version already contains detailed information on all 308 bird species, with 1400 pictures on lovingly arranged determination tables as well as a “beginner mode” where only 100 species are shown. For each species there is a separate destination board. These are the special wow-effects of the app, because they consist of exempted photos, which are hardly distinguishable from the best bird drawings, but show much more details. The boards show the typical feather dresses of each species, the most important features are marked directly in the boards. Also European distribution maps of all 308 bird species as well as a search and renewed determination function are already included in the free basic version. The practical comparison function and the similar species that appear at the touch of a button also ensure reliable identification.

Users can create individual observation lists and export them both for their own use and for participation in the NABU campaigns “Stunde der Wintervögel” and “Stunde der Gartenvögel”. These nationwide reporting campaigns in early January and mid-May are aimed at all nature lovers. By taking part, everyone is enabled to helping to identify trends in the populations of individual species and helping to initiate the necessary conservation measures.  

In-app purchases

Extending the App individually

The basic version of the app can be extended by in-app purchases: These include bird calls, photos of the eggs and video sequences showing the typical behaviour of the birds in their natural environment. Thanks to the proceeds from these extensions, the app with its basic functions can be offered free of charge. Another part of the proceeds of the In-App purchases will be used to support the work of NABU for the protection of nature and especially the native bird life.

The free basic version contains:

  • Detailed information on 308 bird species
  • 1,400 images in 308 determination tables with unique exempted photos
  • Species portraits of each species with information on appearance, identification and possibilities of confusion, ecology, song, clutch, behaviour, frequency and population
  • European distribution cards of any kind
  • Possibility of limiting the list to the 100 most common birds as an aid for beginners
  • Gallery view with groups of similar bird species
  • Group view with a strict taxonomic order according to the families of the IOC list
  • A-Z view with birds displayed in alphabetical order
  • Show species names in 20 different languages
  • Search function for finding a bird species quickly
  • Intuitive determination function
  • Show similar species
  • Compare function for direct comparison of images, distribution maps, eggs, and bird calls of up to 8 species on the iPhone and up to 16 species on the iPad
  • Location determination and data acquisition via GPS
  • Creating watch lists
  • Export of watch lists
  • Extensions

    The app can be extended with the following in-app purchases:

    Birdcalls with 1000 songs, calls or the drumming of woodpeckers from all 308 bird species


    Egg pack with pictures of eggs with scale comparison for each bird species included in the app

    Bird video package 1 with professional film clips of 102 of the most common bird species

    Bird video package 2 with professional film clips of 102 rather rare bird species

    Bird video package 3 with professional film clips of the remaining 104 bird species of this app

    Distribution maps showing the distribution of all species in Germany


    The app will be extended in the future with further packages


    Automatic bird call recognition

    Photo recognition

    With the purchase of In-App functions you support important NABU projects for the protection of Germany’s native bird life.