Best Apps For Identifying Bird Calls

Another app, Scratch-Built, was designed by the National Park Service and allows users to identify bird songs by playing audio samples from a list of 70 common birds. Those who aren’t sure what frequencies they’re hearing can activate a spectrogram display to visualize the sound waves. And if you’re looking for guidance on how to replicate that Ivy-oared warbler call, then this app also provides step-by-step instructions on which notes to hit, as well as suggestions on which types of instruments are most appropriate for the task.

10 Apps Websites for Bird Identification

Best Apps For Identifying Bird Calls

eBird Mobile App
eBird app iconIf you are looking for a convenient and paperless way to log your bird sightings, consider the eBird mobile app. Going digital with your checklists means more birdwatching and less fumbling for paper. With eBird, track and upload your sightings from the field or at home. It offers exact location pinning using your phone’s GPS, wifi or data. Then, easily export your lists to share across social media platforms.

To start, simply sign in with your eBird account and submit any observations.

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Free for iOS and Android users.

In-App Purchases: No

Sign-up Required: Yes

Merlin Bird ID app icon

Merlin Bird ID helps you answer “What’s that bird?” “in 5 questions, or with a photo of a bird.” The learning algorithm uses your photo, location, and date to identify over 3,500 bird species. It’s like magic!

Merlin also enables you to explore field guides in any region by downloading bird-packs. Listen to beautiful calls, examine bird distributions, and enjoy high-quality photos, even offline.

Free for iOS and Android users.

In-App Purchases: No

Sign-up Required: No

Audubon Bird Guide
Audubon Bird Guide App Icon

Audubon Birds offers a guide with 800+ species, over 3,000 images, 8 hours of bird sounds for North American birds. After creating your account, you have access to bird ID help, an eBird-integrated explore section, and field guide. Users are also encouraged to share their own bird sightings lists and photos with other Audubon users. The app’s sleek design makes it fun and easy to use. Plus, no in-app purchases!

Free for Android and iOS users.

In-App Purchases: No

Sign-up Required: Yes

BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide
Birdseye app iconThe free version provides photos, behavior and population statistics on 1,000+ birds across North America. You can view seasonal populations, recent eBird sightings near your location, and create/import your own lists.

The subscription-based version ranges from $2.50/month for North America and $4.00/month for the global membership. The additional features include, “Rare Bird Alert” which notifies you of a rare bird near you, offline use, and unlimited favorite locations.

Free for iOS and Android users.

In-App Purchases: Yes

Sign-up Required: Yes

EyeLoveBirds App Icon

EyeLoveBirds is a simple birding app. With detailed profiles of common species, high quality photos, and bird calls, it is a great tool for the beginning birder.

However, user must purchase each regional bird pack separately, each ranging from $0.99 – $4.99

Free for iOS users.

In-App Purchases: Yes

Sign-up Required: No

The following apps are not free.

iBird Pro
iBird Pro App Icon

iBird Pro is a comprehensive, offline guide for all North American species, with supplements for other countries including UK and Hawaii. iBird offers both illustrations and photos for each species and over 4,000 bird calls and vocalizations,

This app also has a birding search engine that allows users to search for up to 35 characteristics, and an in-app purchase, Photo Sleuth, helps you identify birds with photo recognition.

Price: $14.99 for iOS, Android, and Windows users.

The iBird Lite app for iOS and Android is free.

In-App Purchases: Yes

Sign-up Required: No

Sibley Birds (Version 2)
Sibley Birds App Icon

Sibley Birds has comprehensive information on over 930 North American species, including iconic artwork of David Sibley, distribution maps, and descriptions.

The app also allows users to compare two species, see related species and the conservation status of every bird in a given location

Cost: $19.99 for iOS and Android users.

In-App Purchases: No

Sign-up Required: No

How are these apps working for you? Do you use an app not listed here? Let us know below!

Please note: Apps are constantly developing and the prices here may not reflect their current status. Always check pricing before purchasing.

Bird song identification app free

A bird call identifier powered by thousands of volunteers
Merlin’s pioneering approach to sound identification uses AI technology powered by tens of thousands of citizen scientists who have contributed their bird observations and sound recordings.

“Thousands of sound recordings train Merlin to recognize each bird species, and more than a billion bird observations in eBird tell Merlin which birds are likely to be present at a particular place and time,” said Merlin’s project coordinator Drew Weber.

“Having this incredibly robust bird dataset — and feeding that into faster and more powerful machine-learning tools — enables Merlin to identify birds by sound now,” he said. This would have seemed like a daunting challenge only a few years ago.

Birdsong identification via spectrograms
Instead of cracking the problem by teaching computers to identify the actual sounds, researchers at the Cornell Lab trained Merlin to recognize the visual patterns of each bird song based on spectrograms . Those are images that capture the amplitude, frequency, and duration of the sound. The massively popular song-identification app Shazam uses a similar technique.

“The sound recordings that each user makes get quickly turned into spectrograms. And in the same way that Merlin can identify a bird by what it looks like, it can now also now make an ID by what the bird’s sound looks like,” said Merlin’s lead researcher Grant Van Horn.

This bird call identifier IDs multiple species at once, at the touch of a button
Merlin can help identify individual bird sounds even when multiple birds are singing at the same time.

With one-touch access, you can also go deeper and learn more about each bird. The app offers ID tips, maps, and more than 80,000 photos and sounds from the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library.

“The Merlin app really unlocks a whole new world of sound,” said the Cornell Lab’s Jessie Barry, whose team led the project.

“It helps everyone solve the mystery birds they’re hearing around them,” she said.

Even better, the technology that powers Merlin’s sound identification can also be used for research and bird conservation. This opens up new possibilities for the way scientists can monitor, study, and protect birds.

The Merlin Bird ID app with this new “Sound ID” feature is available now, for free, on both iOS and Android devices.

Merlin Bird ID Features:

Intelligent results: Merlin shows the birds near you that match your description, photo, or sound recording. No more scanning through hundreds of possibilities!
Extra features: bird identification tips, range maps, photos, and sounds that help you learn even more about the birds you spot.
Save your heard birds! Merlin lets save a list of birds you’ve identified to keep track of the birds you’ve seen and heard.


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