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Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

By Cornell University

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What’s that bird? Merlin Bird ID helps you solve the mystery. First, Merlin asks you a few simple questions. Then, almost like magic, it reveals the list of birds that best match your description. Pick your bird, then delve into more photos, sounds, and ID tips about your bird!

Merlin is fun and easy to use—whether you’re curious about a bird you’ve seen once or you’re hoping to identify every bird that comes to your feeder. The answers are waiting for you with this free app from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


• Created for beginning and intermediate bird watchers, Merlin identifies the 400 most common bird species in the United States and Canada (excluding Hawaii).
• Intelligent results. No more scanning through hundreds of possibilities! Merlin shows the birds near you that fit your description.
• Customized location and date tools generate best answers for your neighborhood and time of year.
• Powered by eBird to deliver the most accurate results based on millions of sightings from bird watchers across North America.
• Enjoy more than 1,000 photos of birds, including males, females, and juveniles.
• Learn ID tips from Cornell Lab of Ornithology experts.
• Listen to beautiful bird songs and calls from the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library.
• It’s all free! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s goal is to help you and millions of others to learn about birds.​

What's New in Version 1.0.3

• Full content and features for 50 additional species for a total of 400.
• Network connection error message occurs less frequently.

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Customer Reviews

GREAT Bird Identification for Boy Scout Bird Study/Fish & Wildlife Merit Badge

I highly recommend "Merlin Bird ID" App for Boy Scout "Bird Study" merit badge requirement 5 (Observe and be able to identify at least 20 species of wild birds) and requirement 6 (Explain the function of a bird's song. Be able to identify five of the 20 species in your field notebook by song or call alone. For each of these five species enter a description of the song or call, and note the behavior of the bird making the sound.) It would be great to be able record a sound and have the app identify the bird. Also on my wish list is the ability to tap on the picture of the bird and see a range map and add the picture and my personal pictures and bird song recordings to my personal album. My son successfully completed merit badge picture albums using this app. The creators have successfully enriched our lives as we watch the birds at our bird feeder. Go bless you!

Birding Enthusiasts

Living on a farm, surrounded by fields and forests, my husband and I are able to enjoy scores of nesting birds: Summer Tanagers, Blue Birds, Red-tailed Hawks, Indigo and Painted Buntings, Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Barn Swallows, Eastern Phoebes, House Wrens, and, to my husband's and my dismay, Brown-headed Cowbirds, as well as many other birds that come through the neighborhood. In the last two days, since downloading the Merlin ID App, we have identified a Mississippi Kite and another new type, too! The app is excellent! Kudos to you, Cornell Ornithology! (In the 70's, while my father was on Sabbatical at Cornell, our family became acquainted with your professor who specialized in eagles; I have delightful memories of visiting him, viewing his eagles!). Thank you for your excellent work! (of particular note is the "Bird Call"--Keith and I now have your handy reference [iPhones] at our fingertips to answer our many song-questions.)

Merlin is a terrific app!

I really like the fact that unlike most printed guides you buy there are several photos for each bird providing a range of variations you may see in the field. The calls are good though the locations are typically limited which sometimes changes the character of the call. For example some calls seem to have an echo associated with them based on where they must have been recorded. If you hear the same bird in a different acoustic environment it can sound somewhat different. It would be nice if you didn't have to start all the way at the beginning with every bird you ID but that is a pretty minor issue. All in all I really like this app and would recommend it for any novice birder interested in developing their field skills.

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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  • Free
  • Category: Reference
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.0.3
  • Size: 637 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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