15 Best Birding Apps to Download Today (iOS & Android)

Pied Avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta, black and white in the green grass, bird in the nature habitat, Spain

The development of birding apps has revolutionized bird watching. Nearly every aspect of this hobby has an app made for it. There are birding life list apps, bird identification apps, bird sounds apps, bird sighting apps–birders are spoiled for choice!

To help you navigate among the many options, let’s discuss the features and functions of the best birding apps available today.

Best Birding Apps

1. eBird


Screen source: eBird
Type: Bird list app, hotspot finder
Price: Free
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: over 9,500
Locations: International

This is a mandatory app for any bird and nature lover!

If you’re looking for a bird checklist app to keep track of your excursion, look no further than eBird Mobile. Available on iPhone and Android, this app allows you to download “packs” or a list of species observed by fellow eBirders in your area. 

When you identify a bird, type the species along with the number of individuals you saw. Once submitted, it syncs with your eBird website account and adds to the vast repository of birding knowledge.

Highlights

  • Bird checklist
  • Hotspot finder
  • Can be used offline
  • Location and time tracker
  • Citizen science platform
  • Available in 26 languages
  • Can be used internationally 

2. Merlin Bird ID


Screen source: AllAboutBirds
Type: Bird identifying app
Price: Free
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: over 9,500
Locations: International

This is the second mandatory app for every bird lover.

Merlin Bird ID is the best bird identification app for birding beginners. Answer 5 simple questions about the location and date sighted, size, and colors, the behavior of your mystery bird, and the app come up with a shortlist of possible species for you to choose from. 

If this sounds easy, wait till you hear about the other identifying feature: Take a photo of the bird, upload it, and the app will tell you what it is. 

Highlights

  • Bird identifier app 
  • Field marking practice
  • Photo identification ability
  • Bird information repository (trivia, pictures, calls)
  • Beginner friendly
  • No sign-ups
  • Can be used internationally

3. Audubon Bird Guide

audubon app

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird identification, field guide, bird listing, hotspot finder, photo sharing
Price: Free
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: over 800
Locations: North America

The Audubon bird guide app is the best birding app for those who want a handy birding one-stop-shop. Consult it as you would a field guide by browsing through North American bird info, pictures, and sound recordings. Use it to identify birds based on field markings. 

Track your sightings and keep your birding lists updated and organized. Share your photos with other Audubon birders. Explore nearby hotspots to plan birding trips. So many features–all in one birding app.

Highlights

  • Bird identification using field marks
  • Field guide
  • Bird call recordings
  • Bird list tracker 
  • Hotspot finder
  • Bird photo sharing 
  • Over 800 North American birds 

4. Larkwire Learn Bird Songs

larkwire app

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird song learning
Price: Free
In-app purchases: 6 options
Number of species: over 400
Locations: North America

Among the bird apps for iPhone, Larkwire is the one that focuses solely on teaching birders how to identify bird by sound–and it is really good at it. The lessons are presented as games that have been optimized using the latest cognitive learning techniques, so successful learning is practically guaranteed. 

You have to make in-app purchases to access the full features, but it’s not a bad deal for over 2,500 digitally mastered song and call recordings of over 400 North American birds. 

Highlights

  • Fun and effective sound recognition games
  • Adaptive algorithm adjusts to your learning style
  • Digitally mastered recordings with no background noise
  • Multiple recordings of each bird call
  • Over 400 land and water birds of North America 
  • Can be used offline
  • Works great for kids and adults alike

5. EyeLoveBirds: Bird Checklists

birding app

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird listing, bird identification
Price: Free
In-app purchases: 10 options
Number of species: 10,000
Locations: North America and selected countries

If you’re looking for an easy-to-navigate bird watching app, you’ll want to check out EyeLoveBirds. IPhone users will enjoy browsing through comprehensive but well-designed bird profiles that integrate field marks, trivia, beautiful pictures, high quality recordings, and location maps. 

These are arranged in packs by location which you can purchase depending on your area. Customizable options allow you to organize bird lists in a way that makes sense for you.

Highlights

  • Bird list tracker
  • Bird identifier
  • Well-organized and easy-to-read bird profiles
  • Interesting and relevant bird trivia
  • 2,200 high resolution bird photos
  • Over 800 recordings of bird calls and songs
  • 500 range maps for sighting and migration routes

6. Collins Bird Guide

app screenshot

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird listing, bird identification
Price: 14.99
In-app purchases: Yes, 5 options
Number of species: over 700
Locations: Europe

The beautiful illustrations from the famous Collins Bird Guide are now accompanied by crisp recordings and mobile bird listing capabilities. But the powerful search function and comparison feature set this bird guide app apart from the rest. 

It allows you to filter species based on characteristics and not just by name, and it curates a list of birds that look most like the one you’re trying to identify. Once you try it, you’ll understand the rave bird identification app reviews.

Highlights

  • Over 3500 beautiful illustrations
  • Over 750 call and sound recordings
  • Powerful search tool for bird characteristics
  • Comparison feature to differentiate between similar-looking birds
  • Bird list recording and organization
  • Professionally edited bird videos (in-app purchases)
  • Range maps for each season (in-app purchases)

7. Smart Bird ID

app

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird identification by photo and sound
Price: Free
In-app purchases: Yes, 10 options
Number of species: over 1000
Locations: North America

If you want a bird photo and bird call identifier app, you should consider downloading Smart Bird ID. Take a picture, video, or song recording of the mystery bird, run it through the app, and you’ve got yourself a match. It even works offline! 

Then add the sightings to your birding lists and share it with other birders. In-app purchases include unlimited identifications, fun quizzes, cloud back-up and a family membership to get everyone in on the fun.

Highlights

  • Identify birds by video, camera, or sound
  • Can ID offline
  • Record sightings in customized lists
  • Share sightings with other users
  • Offers family account 
  • Birding quizzes to hone identification skills
  • Cloud back-up

8. iBird Pro Guide to Birds

app

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird identification, bird guide
Price: $14.99
In-app purchases: Yes, 10 options
Number of species: over 900
Locations: North America and selected countries

A big favorite among birding apps for Android and iPhone, iBird is well-worth the purchase. It showcases both beautiful illustrations and pictures of each bird species (often showcasing male, female, juveniles, subspecies) toggled with field marks. 

Each species profile has song recording to help you confirm the bird’s identity. The Photo Sleuth feature allows you to identify based on pictures–even grainy ones! Its powerful search function lets you look for birds by their characteristics and not just by name. 

Highlights

  • Over 1000 illustrations and photographs of birds species
  • Search for birds based on a set of 35 characteristics 
  • AI-based iBird Photo Sleuth identification feature
  • Search birds near your GPS location (in-app purchase)
  • Search birds by activity level at time of day (in app-purchase)
  • Bird packs for United Kingdom, Ireland, Hawaii and Palau (in-app purchase)

9. Chirp! Bird Songs & Calls USA


Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird song learning
Price: $3.99
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: over 300
Locations: Continental United States

Chirp! is among the best bird call apps for anyone who finds it difficult to distinguish one bird song from the next. Beginners can start with learning calls of birds commonly found in their area, or arranging the sounds by song type. 

You can save your favorite ones for easy access. Once you’re confident, take a quiz to test your knowledge. This bird sound app  also a handy slideshow feature to learn more about birds as you relax. 

Highlights

  • Over 300 bird songs and calls
  • Up to 34 seconds of recording per bird
  • Explore bird song by selecting area on the map
  • Arrange by song type or by commonness of species
  • Quizzes to learn how to identify bird calls
  • Customized quizzes for more targeted learning
  • Relaxing slideshow feature 

10. Bird Song ID USA songs & calls

app

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird song identification
Price: $4.99
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: 118
Locations: United States

If you want a bird id app based on sound, you may want to try Bird Song Id USA. Get a 30-second recording of your mystery bird’s song, and upload it on the app to get it identified. 

It works best if it’s a high-quality recording with minimal background noise. You’ll know it will work based on the visual cues on the app’s recording graph. You can save your recordings in a diary within this bird call app.

Highlights

  • 118 species all throughout the United States
  • 241 recordings in the reference library
  • Bird identification through call or song recordings
  • Software developed with help of published ecologists
  • Save your records in a bird call diary
  • Once downloaded, functions are available offline

11. BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide


Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird finder, bird lists, birding trip planning
Price: Free
In-app purchases: Yes, 10 options
Number of species: 100 for the free pack, over 10,000 for additional packs
Locations: International

The Birdseye suite of apps are among the best bird app for Android and iPhone, and they’ve done it again with their Birding Finding Guide. This syncs with other bird apps like eBird for updated sighting information and bird list synchronization. 

This is the best bird app for those who are looking to increase their life list–it alerts you which birds have been sighted near your GPS location that are still missing from your birding lists.

Highlights

  • Instant bird lists based on location
  • Seamless integration with eBird for stored lists and sighting data
  • Alerts on nearby sighting not yet included in your list
  • Access to bird sound packages from Birdsounds.nl
  • Driving directions and local birding information for trips
  • Increase nearby sighting range to 250 miles (in-app purchase)
  • Rare bird alert (in-app purchase)

12. The Warbler Guide

app

Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird identification, bird guide
Price: $12.99
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: 48 warbler species
Locations: North America

This is the best bird watching app for all things warbler. It allows you to easily find that mystery bird by customizing search filters using both visual and audio observations. It has 3D models of all species allowing you to identify the bird from any angle. 

It helps you tell the age and sex of the warbler you’re looking at. It’s a great identify bird calls app since it pairs songs with sonograms and allows half-speed playback. 

Highlights

  • 48 species with 75 plumages
  • 75 3D bird images to see the bird from all angles
  • Searches based on both visual and audio cues
  • Shows comparison species for more accurate identification
  • Uses objective vocabulary to identify songs
  • 277 vocalizations, 156 songs, 73 contact calls, and 48 flight calls
  • Recordings with sonogram and playback speed control

13. Raptor ID


Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird guide
Price: Free
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: 34 species of diurnal raptors
Locations: North America

Raptors have unique habits and behavioral patterns that set them apart from the rest of the avian species. They are most often seen soaring through the skies, which makes them more difficult to identify. 

So it’s helpful that there is a nature app dedicated solely for this group. With annotated photographs and in-flight videos with commentary on identification tips, it’s an indispensable tool for bird watchers interested in hawks.

Highlights

  • Comprehensive identification information
  • Around 1000 photographs for plumage, age, sex identification
  • High-resolution videos designed to teach identification in flight
  • Recordings of raptor calls
  • Question forum with authors
  • Distribution maps with links to seasonal eBird maps

14. Audubon Owls Guide


Screen source: AppStore
Type: Bird identification, bird guide
Price: Free
In-app purchases: None
Number of species: 19 owl species
Locations: North America

Audubon bird apps are well-respected because they are developed by none other than the National Audubon Society. Their Owl Guide is no exception. Extensive profiles of all 19 North American owl species include appearance, behavior, call and song recordings, and distribution maps that are updated with the latest information. 

It also has games and quizzes to help test your growing owl knowledge. You can use this app to identify owls by using the detailed search filters.

Highlights

  • Extensive database searchable using appearance or name
  • Audio recordings for all 19 North American owl species
  • Professional photographs of owls in their natural habitat
  • Videos with high-quality owl footage
  • Updated regularly for the latest information
  • Share sightings and photos with other users
  • Quizzes and tests to hone identification skills

15. BirdsEye Hotspots‬


Screen source: BirdsEyeBirding
Type: Hotspot finder, birding trip planning
Price: $2.99
In-app purchases: Yes
Number of species
Locations: International

The best bird app for iPhone users who are planning a birding trip or event has got to be BirdsEye Hotspots. It not only tells you what birds you can expect to see in a certain area, it also helps you get there by connecting to navigation apps.

It tells you what to wear and what to prepare by fetching local weather reports, allows you to plan ahead by giving you sunrise and sunset times, and much more.

Highlights

  • Find birding hotspots anywhere in the world
  • Shows species abundance per hotspot
  • Syncs with navigation apps to get you there
  • Provides local weather information
  • Provides sunrise and sunset times
  • Allows sharing of location coordinates
  • Great for birders who want to list by county
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