What's that bird? Merlin Bird ID helps you solve the mystery in 5 questions, or with a photo of a bird.
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!
If you have a photo, Merlin can help there as well. Take a photo, choose from your camera roll, or snap the viewfinder of your zoom camera, and Merlin's powerful AI will suggest an identification almost instantly.
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 field guide app from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
• Created for birders and bird watchers of every level, Merlin identifies the 3,000+ most common bird species of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and Europe.
• Merlin will now identify a photo using powerful deep learning algorithms. Select your photo, tell Merlin where and when you took it, and you'll see a short list of suggested identifications.
• Bird packs available for United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Brazil with more coming soon.
• Explore birds by location and date with a list of species seen in the area.
• 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 15,000 photos of birds, including males, females, and juveniles.
• Learn ID tips from Cornell Lab of Ornithology experts.
• Listen to beautiful bird sounds, including songs and calls for each species from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
• It’s all free! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s goal is to help you and millions of others to learn about birds.
Merlin is the most advanced bird guide app available, and is expanding to new regions of the world.
••• Bird Packs •••
Merlin Bird ID currently includes bird identification help for the United States with regional packs for the: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas and Oklahoma, Alaska, and West Coast.
Canada is covered by Eastern Canada and Western Canada packs.
Mexico bird identification is available for each region of the country.
Central America packs include Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
South America packs include the Medellín, Bogota and Cali regions of Colombia, and southeastern Brazil.
Bird identification help is also available for Europe with our Britain and Ireland pack, a Western Europe pack, Iberian Peninsula, and a pack covering the Scandinavian countries.
These packs make Merlin the perfect pocket Field Guide to North American Birds, Bird Guide to Hawaii, Bird Guide to Mexico, Bird Guide to Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, Bird Guide to Colombia, Bird Guide to Brazil, Bird Guide to Europe, Bird Guide to Spain, Bird Guide to Portugal, Bird Guide to Britain, and Bird Guide to Scandinavia.
••• About Photo ID •••
Powered by Visipedia, Merlin Photo ID uses computer vision and deep learning technology to identify birds in photos. Merlin learns to recognize bird species based on training sets of millions of photos from birders at eBird.org. When using Photo ID, enter the date and location where you took the photo; those clues improve Merlin’s accuracy by helping it focus on the species you most likely encountered there.
We periodically release updates with small bug fixes and improvements based on your feedback.
Ratings and Reviews
Amazing tool, but a few minuscule issues
This app is amazing. I use it every time I go bird watching, and it is far more efficient than most of the manuals I own. However, it is not without its minor faults.
The first and most blaring is the fact that Isee many birds with many more than only 3 colors, and when I see birds with only 3 or less colors they might be different colors than I have the options I have to pick from! I understand that there are limitations that make it difficult, but the app would be that closer to perfect if you added more colors and the option to pick more than three colors.
The other issue is that on a very slim chance I cant find the bird im looking for! This is for the most part my fault, but I think that sometimes it is because the bird isn’t on the list of birds registered on the app. It could also be because of the pictures of the birds do not include all or most variations of the bird I see, so I cannot confirm my sighting. If the roster of birds was filled up more, and there was more pictures, then all of those problems would be solved!
It is such a great app with such great features and it almost never fails me. The only issues it has are so minor, or could be fixed in an update soon, that it makes them nearly irrelevant. Because of all of this the app is virtually perfect, and i recommend all bird watchers newbies and veterans alike to download this app.
Amazing App for easy Bird ID
This app is wonderful! I knew next to nothing about birds until a Eastern Goldfinch landed in my bird bath one day spurring interest into exactly what the name of this beautiful bird was. I searched inline but characteristics I described didn’t help me find what I was looking for so I checked in the App Store for a bird identification app finding many games but only a couple of identification apps I downloaded 3 but found this to be the best for me. Since then I have become an avid bird watcher! The app is easy to use even for me. I was disabled by a drunk driver in 05’ & fed up with tv so great to find a hobby I can enjoy outdoors. Even my parents joined in & my daddy after suffering a head injury himself in 2011 took up the hobby along with wood working. Together we would make feeders & houses to help attract more birds. He would build & I would paint different types of houses I researched on the website to help attract birds of all types. Unfortunately We lost him to cancer in February of this year (2018) but the time we spent birding together these past 7 years is something I’ll always hold near & dear to my heart. Thanks so much to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Birds in the Hand, & the developers of the Merlin Bird ID for providing us with this wonderful app that has given me some very sweet memories & a wonderful hobby.
Best free birding app
This app got me started with birding. Last spring, I downloaded it to start identifying the common birds around me like American Robins, European Starlings, Common Grackles, and Northern Mockingbirds. Soon, I moved from merely identifying birds to counting them also, and soon after, I started recording full checklists with the EBird app (I think also a product of the Cornell School of Ornithology?), which is the best solution for those who wish this app would record their sightings. Now, less than a year later, I have 150 species on my list and have found a new lifelong hobby that I expect to bring me joy for decades to come. It’s all thanks to Merlin!
Though I eventually found that a high quality illustrated field guide (I use Sibleys in the US and Collins in Europe) is more useful than any app, I still reference Merlin for sounds or any time I don’t have my guide on me. I was very excited when Merlin came out with bird packs for Europe right before I traveled to Greece this past fall, and I look forward to seeing more bird packs coming out for other parts of the world as time goes on. It’s fun to scroll through the foreign packs and dream about traveling to new places and seeing those birds. I’d glad that when I do go, I’ll have Merlin with me to help identify them!
- Cornell University
- 72 MB
- Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- English, Portuguese, Spanish
- Age Rating
- Rated 4+
- © Cornell University
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.