New eBird/iPhone app puts local knowledge in your pocket

December 3, 2009
eBird app screen

Here comes another leap forward in knowing where to go birding: the BirdsEye iPhone app. Combining the huge data stores and mapping abilities of eBird, photos from VIREO, sounds from the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library, and descriptions from Kenn Kaufman, BirdsEye can help you plan your birding outings on the fly.

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Ever since the days of rare bird hotlines and birding listservs we’ve been getting better and faster at telling each other where our best sightings are. BirdsEye now lets you tap into any species recently reported to eBird in North America north of Mexico, making it useful to beginners and hardcore listers alike. (The eBird sightings database, a joint project of the Cornell Lab and Audubon, gets upwards of 1 million reports per month.)

BirdsEye allows you to choose your location and browse maps of nearby sightings reported in the last few weeks—it even tells you how long ago the last sighting was. Or you can choose a species and find out if it’s been seen near you recently. You can even get directions to it. As developer Todd Koym says, “It’s like having thousands of local birding experts in your pocket.”

Once you’re out birding, BirdsEye gives you resources to identify the birds you’re looking for. You can see photos of each species, listen to recordings of the birds singing and calling, and read tips on behavior and habitat written especially for the app by birding veteran Kenn Kaufman. You can use BirdsEye to keep track of your life list (and the app will even tell you how many birds near you would be lifers!).

BirdsEye is on sale now on the App Store, and it works on both iPhone and iPod touch. For $19.99 you get information, sounds, and photos for 470 frequently seen North American species. You can upgrade to the full complement of 847 species for another $19.99—or purchase groups of species like warblers and hawks at smaller increments, according to a nice review of BirdsEye at Birder’s World magazine.

BirdsEye is produced by Birds in the Hand LLC of Virginia. Portions of BirdsEye sales go back to the Cornell Lab to help support our research, education, and citizen science projects, and to the Academy of Natural Sciences to support VIREO, the world’s largest collection of bird photographs.

Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, iPod touch, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


  • Any plans for adapting the app for Blackberry?

  • Jewel

    How about making this available for “the droid?”

  • Dyanne

    Will this stay as only an Apple app; or are there plans for the other players, such as Zune?

  • AJ upstateNY

    I also want this for my Droid! And I want it NOW! LOL

  • Thanks for the interest in development for other platforms. Our development partner has committed to creating the next version as a way to enter eBird sightings into our database, so I think they’ll tackle that next. They are keeping track of which platforms are most requested, so keep voting for your own smart phone!

  • peter sibley

    Droid! Droid! Droid!

  • Ann Birder

    Please adapt this app for the droid. What a great tool.

  • Allan Bowdery

    My vote is also for the Droid.

  • AJ upstateNY

    GBBC coming up February 12-15, 2010! This app on my Driod would be great for that count! Hurry, Hurry, Droid,Droid!

  • Chad Williams

    Yes, please work on the this for the Android Platform!!!

  • Linda

    Would like to pinpoint locations of birds I see in the iPhone app. Will that be added in the future?? Ebird is very hard on the iPhone but would be so great for pinpointing locations when out and about… Or am I missing a function??

  • Rhoda

    Please adapt this application for the Blackbeery Tour.

  • Therese

    I vote for an adaptation for the Droid!

  • Lori Rogers

    Android please!!

  • Mike I.

    Android for sure!!!! And Palm Pre is my second choice.

  • steve engler

    Motorola Droid in my pocket – needs BirdsEye! Please! Thanks!

  • Mike Crim

    The sooner you get Birds Eye on Droid the better- please put my name on an email notification list-thanks-Mike

  • sarah

    This will be a factor in picking my next phone/plan — looking forward to it!

  • mike

    I hope this is develpped for Droid application. A real void exists in the market now.

  • Nancy

    I already love my new iPhone and now I can’t wait to put ebird on it!

  • This is great! I Love Iphone. Recently I saw a good iphone clone. He also supports the compass and emap. Chinese fellows

  • JP


  • Ty

    This would be a fantastic addition to the Android app catalog – especially for all those new Droid/Nexus One users!

  • Amazing feature of birdseye.

    This plan is simply cool. Thank you for sharing!

  • David

    Please develop for the Motorola Droid today!

  • I like this page, it is very similar to the subject i’m dealing with at my space. keep up the good job… devi,

  • Sean Et Cetera

    I’d like to see it on the Droid.

  • Lori Rogers

    Droid please!! And soon! There is no app available for the droid for birders yet and that’s a big gap in my opinion…

  • Dawn Zuengler

    My blackberry is one day old – and it needs the BirdsEye app ASAP!! (please)

  • I’d love to have it on my Palm Centro.

  • Atul

    Hi can we add our data directly on this?

  • Julie Johnson

    Droid, please. Pretty please. And soon, please. TIA

  • Arthur

    Another vote for Droid

  • I vote for an adaptation for the Droid!

  • Ken

    I’d like to see this for the Droid too.

  • Thanks for the great post!

    I am not personally a birdwatcher, but this app certainly makes me want to give it a try. In fact I’ve already downloaded it and plan to use it this coming weekend here in California.

    We have already reviewed this app on the AppShouter as well, please check it out.

  • mfox

    Yet Another enthusiastic vote for DROID compatability.

  • Debra

    Bird lover and Droid owner needs this app for my Droid. Vote Droid!

  • John Kennington

    Palm Pre PLEASE!!!!

  • Gregg

    Our company develops writes iPhone app’s would like to discuss adding a feature to BirdsEye with you & your developer. Could you have someone contact us via email, please?

    -Digital Phenomena

  • Adam Sedgley

    Please help out us avian-deprived Droid owner/operators! We would GREATLY appreciate it!

  • Dick

    Droid App Please!

  • nice. thanks for sharing…

  • George Anderson

    Please hurry up the adaptation of Birds Eye for the Droid.

    I would love to have it for my Texas birding trip the 3rd of June 2010.

    Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

  • Bruce

    Another enthusiastic vote for Droid compatibility. Birders everywhere will flock to this app.

    Please put my e-mail on the notification list.

    Thank You!

  • Hugh Jarvis

    Another vote for Android, specifically the Eris. Thanks!

  • Mike

    DROID, please!

  • joeybird

    Droid Needs.

  • Lewis

    Another enthusiastic vote for BirdsEye on the Droid! Would be indispensable…

  • Michael

    Begging for Android!!!

  • Ricky

    Please make this app for the Droid, because the Droid Does!

  • Angela C. Herschel

    Blackberry Blackberry we NEED THIS and bird ID too!! Yes an App for birding for the Blackberry too !!

  • carol

    Droid!! Yes!!

  • Roxanna Deane

    I need this for my Droid. What a great program to have in my pocket.

  • Steve Chesney

    I sure hope the Blackberry Bold will get an eBird app.

  • Becky Clark

    Droid vote here too! I have an Ipod touch but MUCH prefer the ease of Droid and the Verizon 3g network means I could look live info while in the field

  • Edward Russell

    Another vote for Android support …

  • Debi

    Droid me PLEASE!!!

  • tom rowland

    plz put my name on the email list for when this app is available for the droid.

  • Karen Horn

    Another one for Android!

  • Kathy Kellner

    Another vote for the Droid please.

  • Carol Langford

    Please, I need Birdseye for a DROID.

  • Jen

    Droid, would love to download a birder app

  • Amar


  • Droid soon please

  • Barb Dalderis

    I bought BirdsEye for my iTouch and have used it extensively around the US. Now I have a Droid phone and would love to have it for my phone.

    When will you make the app for the Verizon Droid

  • k


  • jeffrey707

    I’ll add my name to the long list of requesters.. .Droid, please.

  • Fred Johnson

    Keep it on iPhone and just make updates to it. I want to see the ability to enter birds straight to ebird with it!


  • dave

    Droid app please

  • jk

    I’m curious about this app, but it’s too expensive. If the lite version were free, it might show me the value of the paid version, but too much of a gamble as it is. There are not a lot of active eBird’ers in my area, so I’m not sure if this would be of any value to me.

  • Hugh

    Hey all you Droid fans—rumors are swirling that BirdsEye will make its Droid debut later this spring. Also up: list sharing and world eBird data entry. Find more information at Laura Kammermeier’s blog post for the ABA: Good birding!

  • NS

    Spring is almost over. Any news? :-)

  • melanie

    looking for the program in the droid format please :)

  • Harold Newman

    I vote for Droid too

  • Hugh

    Thanks to all the Droid users who keep checking in. Just to reiterate, BirdsEye is not developed by the Cornell Lab, so we can’t really control its release schedule. I know the developers are interested in expanding to Droid, but I don’t know their schedule. There’s a bit more in this O’Reilly interview from last year:

New eBird/iPhone app puts local knowledge in your pocket