It all started in 1993 in a programmer's mind who happened to have a passion for ornithology. In the beginning, the software only allowed users to manage their own ornithological comments and observations. Then, multimedia contents were gradually added, and it finally is a pretty complete and elaborate version that is awarded 1st prize during a competion organised by IBM in 1994.

But it is Jean C. ROCHÉ and Frédérick ROCKER 's association which gave a real professional twist to the project, initially called "birds".

Atlas of European Birds - WinBirds 1.0 (1996)WinBirds 1.0 (1996)


In 1996 the first version of Winbirds is realeased under the title "Birds of Europe". This CD-Rom, co-edited by the CNPD and SITTELLE, includes 358 species of European birds. Each species is presented with several photos including one in full screen, a recording of bird songs and calls, a distribution map and a detailed descriptive text. A data base allows users to manage their own field observations.

A second version version of the software is published by Sittelle in June 1998. Nature lovers, and more specifically, bird lovers can learn to identify 358 western European species. Each species is presented with photos (over 1450 photos), a drawing showing the main identification characteristics, sound sequences of songs and calls (4 hours altogether), a distribution map, and a descriptive text including physical characteristics, migration, feeding and breeding habits… Using the integrated software as a tool to manage ornithological data, users can save their own observations and notes, add their own photos and sound recordings and edit charts. They can also create slideshows with bird songs and written comments, just by selecting the desired species.

Atlas of European Birds - WinBirds 2.0 (June 1998)
WinBirds 2.0 (June 1998)
Atlas of European Birds - WinBirds 3.0 (November 2002)
Version 3.0 (November 2002)

 

In its third version, Winbirds includes 450 species and published by ALSYD. It is now called "The Atlas of European Birds".
The software is now translated into German and released in Germany, Switzerland and Austria by United Soft Media (USM).

A 4th version is published by Mindscape in 2004. Thanks to Mindscape's still ongoing partnership with USM, over a hundred videos were added for different species. Other partnerships were established, especially with the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) and GEO magazine.

Atlas of European Birds - WinBirds 4.0 (October 2004)
Version 4.0 (October 2004)
Atlas of European Birds - WinBirds 4.1 (November 2006)
Version 4.1 (November 2006)
Atlas of European Birds - WinBirds 5.0 (October 2007)
Version 5.0 (October 2007)

The 5th version, released end of 2007, includes a number of additional species, videos and updated data:
• A brand new « user friendly » design;
• Over a hundred videos with comments;
• Over 8 hours of birds songs;
• Over 450 European bird species;
• A « biology » module which enables the user to learn or discover purely physiological aspects of a bird’s life : feeding, migrating, protections ;
• Over 1600 HD photos;
• Hundreds of drawings, maps and sketches;
• A customizable notepad enabling the user to follow up on his/her observations and notes;
• Possibility to add observation notes, recordings and photos in order to create and maintain your own data base.

For the first time, with this new Winbirds 6.0 version – The Atlas of European Birds, the user will experience a new dimension: WinBirds is online!
Directly from the software, a (registered) user can connect to the shared online database. This opening allows you to share notes and observations with other WinBirds users and only them. This opening also enables you to access observations that other users published. As a compromise, they, too, will be able to read yours. In all cases, the data sharing part is not compulsory – it is only to be considered like a new and powerful means to enlarge your ornithological observations.
The new improved interface, as well as the revised design of the The Atlas of European Birds, characterizes this new version. It also offers beginners a very friendly and clear environment and performance:
• When starting, the program automatically searches for any available update (on the net),
• When selecting a species, you get an instant preview of all the available information,
• When picking a species in the family tree view, a new window opens, showing all the information on the chosen species, a drawing with identification criteria, a descriptive text and a distribution map.

WinBirds 6.0 - Atlas of European BirdsVersion 6.0 (November 2009)
Atlas of European Birds - WinBirds 6.1 (july 2011)
Version 6.1 (july 2011)

  For the first time, this new 6.1 version (july 2011) is available in English. Compared to previous version 6.0, it also includes many improvements :
• Corrections in the identification part for the Coots.
• When selecting a species, all information on that species are displayed in the one window instead of having one window per media.
• Optimization of time when downloading the species list (selection window).
• Correction: tool bar displaying information when playing a song.
• Size and place customisation of the main window is saved and used each time you start the software.
• Corrections on the display of statistics by date.
• In order to help users add a species, sorting by columns has been added.
• New icon under the menu bar allowing to display a window containing all media for a species.
• Correction: sometimes, standard Windows icons appeared in the top right corner of the main window.
• Addition of a new function allowing a known user to recuperate information on his/her account.