Merlin Bird ID App

Bird identification and exploration tool.



January 22, 2024
Sound ID
Photo ID
Best For
Wildlife Biologist
Park Ranger
Nature Tour Guide
Use Cases
Bird Learning
Birding Memories

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What is Merlin Bird ID App?

Merlin Bird ID is a free mobile application developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is designed to help users identify birds by answering a few simple questions, uploading a photo, recording a singing bird, or exploring birds in a specific region. The app utilizes the vast database of bird sightings, sounds, and photos from eBird, providing accurate and real-time suggestions for bird identification. Users can use the Bird ID Wizard, where they answer three questions about a bird to receive a list of possible matches. Additionally, the Sound ID feature listens to the birds around the user and offers real-time suggestions for who is singing. Photo ID allows users to snap a photo or choose one from their camera roll, and it provides a short list of potential matches. Users can also explore customized lists of birds in their location using the app’s filter options. Merlin Bird ID is an excellent tool for anyone interested in identifying birds, learning about their characteristics, or building a digital scrapbook of birding memories.

Merlin Bird ID App Features

  • Bird ID Wizard

    Answer simple questions to receive a list of possible bird matches.

  • Sound ID

    Real-time suggestions for identifying singing birds by comparing your recordings.

  • Photo ID

    Identify birds by snapping a photo or selecting one from your camera roll.

  • Explore Lists of Birds Near You

    Customize and explore bird lists based on location and time of year.

Merlin Bird ID App Use Cases

  • Bird Identification

    Users can utilize Merlin Bird ID to accurately identify various bird species by answering simple questions, uploading photos, recording bird sounds, or exploring birds in specific regions.

  • Bird Learning

    The app serves as a valuable tool for bird enthusiasts and learners, providing information and characteristics about different bird species, helping users expand their knowledge and understanding of birds.

  • Birding Memories

    Merlin Bird ID allows users to create a digital scrapbook of their birding memories by using the "Save My Bird" feature. Each time a bird is identified, it can be added to the user's growing life list, providing a way to track and document their bird sightings.

Related Tasks

  • Bird Identification

    Easily identify bird species by answering questions or uploading photos.

  • Sound Recording Analysis

    Record bird sounds and compare them to the database for accurate species identification.

  • Photo Recognition

    Upload bird photos for instant matching with potential species.

  • Explore Bird Species

    Browse and discover different bird species based on location and time of year.

  • Species Research

    Access extensive information and characteristics about specific bird species.

  • Life List Tracking

    Build and maintain a digital record of observed bird species in a personal life list.

  • Learning Tool

    Utilize the app as an educational resource to deepen knowledge and understanding of birds.

  • Citizen Science Contribution

    Contribute to bird science by submitting observations and recordings to the eBird database.

  • Birdwatcher

    Uses Merlin Bird ID to identify and document various bird species during field observations.

  • Wildlife Biologist

    Relies on Merlin Bird ID to assist in bird identification and data collection for research and conservation efforts.

  • Park Ranger

    Utilizes Merlin Bird ID to enhance knowledge of local bird species and educate visitors about the avian wildlife in the area.

  • Nature Tour Guide

    Uses Merlin Bird ID to provide accurate bird identification and interesting information to tourists during birdwatching excursions.

  • Ornithologist

    Relies on Merlin Bird ID as a valuable tool for cataloging and studying bird species in their research and academic pursuits.

  • Environmental Educator

    Incorporates Merlin Bird ID into educational programs to teach students and the public about local bird identification and ecology.

  • Wildlife Photographer

    Relies on Merlin Bird ID to accurately label and caption bird species in their wildlife photography work.

  • Conservationist

    Uses Merlin Bird ID for bird monitoring and identification to assess the overall health and status of bird populations within specific habitats.

Merlin Bird ID App FAQs

Why didn't Merlin list my bird as a possible match?

Merlin may not have listed your bird if the information provided did not match any known species in its database.

Why are some of the bird photos grayed out?

Some bird photos may be grayed out if they are not available for offline use.

Can I use Merlin when I don't have internet?

Yes, you can use Merlin in offline mode to identify birds using the Sound ID and Photo ID features.

Why do I have to provide an email address, and what do you do with my email?

Providing an email address helps Merlin save your records and improve future performance; your email is not shared or used for other purposes without your consent.

Why should I enable Location Services and allow Merlin Bird ID to access my current location?

Enabling Location Services helps tailor bird suggestions based on your geographical area, improving the accuracy of bird identification.

Does Merlin Bird ID work in my location?

Merlin Bird ID is designed to work worldwide, but the accuracy and coverage may vary depending on the availability of data for the particular location.

Is Merlin available if you don't have a smartphone?

Merlin Bird ID is primarily available as a mobile app, but there may be alternative ways to access similar functionality through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's website or other platforms.

What is the best way to set up Merlin for use in a class or group, like in a school or nature center?

For setting up Merlin in a class or group, it is recommended to have individuals install the app on their devices and ensure a stable internet connection for optimal performance.

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