Get Free ID Help With Our New Merlin Bird ID App

January 9, 2014

UPDATED July 25, 2014

The free Merlin Bird ID app is now available for Android. Merlin Bird ID has also been also expanded so that it covers 400 species and contains more than 2,000 photos and 1,000 sounds.

Your Gift Counts Twice!

UPDATED March 19, 2014

An update for the free Merlin Bird ID app is available in the App Store featuring the following improvements:

  • 65 species added, including photos, calls, and ID text
  • many spring migrants such as warblers and waterfowl are now covered
  • additions bring the app’s new total to 350 species. Here’s a full list of the species in the app.
  • improvements to the ID algorithm and a fix that now allows sounds to play even when your phone’s mute switch is on.
  • an Android version is scheduled for release in June. At that time, both versions of the app will contain 400 species. Sign up here to be notified of the Android release.
  • the update is about 70 MB in size and brings the total app download size to 582 MB

Original post from January 9, 2014:

Today we’re launching Merlin Bird ID, a free app to help beginners identify birds. When designing it we asked, What if an app could quickly tell you which birds are most likely based on your location, date, and a brief description? Not just which birds theoretically could occur near you, but which birds are actually reported most often by other birders. That’s what Merlin Bird ID does. Watch the video (above) for more on how it works—and please share it via Facebook, Twitter, or email with anyone you know who’s interested in birds.

Merlin Bird ID covers 285 of the most common birds of North America (with more on the way). In addition to help with ID, it contains expert tips, more than 1,400 gorgeous photos, and sounds for each species. It’s available now for iPhone and other iOS7 devices, and it’s coming in spring 2014 for Android.

About Merlin Bird ID

  • Available for all iOS7 devices; optimized for iPhone; Android and Web-based (desktop) versions coming soon
  • Built for beginning and intermediate bird watchers; also great for instructors and bird walk leaders
  • Covers 285 species in North America (more are in development)
  • Accesses the eBird database to pull most likely species from your location and time of year
  • Features more than 1,400 great photos, 800 audio recordings, and range maps from the Birds of North America Online
  • Created in collaboration with Birds in the Hand, developers of the eBird BirdsEye and BirdLog apps
  • Supported in part by the National Science Foundation, Pennington Wild Bird Food, and friends and members of the Cornell Lab.

Most important of all, Merlin Bird ID was built with input from real bird watchers who contributed their time to data-gathering exercises hosted here at All About Birds via our Merlin Labs project. We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who participated.

Do you have questions about Merlin Bird ID? See our Merlin frequently asked questions post.


  • Carol

    Is this app free?

  • Betsy brown

    I cannot get my app to work because the keboard does not have numbrrs or @. so i am unable to register. Please help

    [This comment has been migrated from an earlier post version by Cornell Lab staff.]

  • Hugh

    Hi Betsy, depending on which phone you have, look on the keyboard for a button that says something like “123.” Most virtual keyboards have a button like this—on an iPhone it’s in the lower left of the keyboard. Press this button and the keyboard will change to show symbols such as numbers and punctuation. If you continue to have trouble, please contact us through this form and we’ll help you: Good luck! – Hugh

    [This comment has been migrated from an earlier post version by Cornell Lab staff.]