Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

19.8K reviews
Content rating
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About this app

What's that bird? Ask Merlin—the world’s leading app for birds. Just like magic, Merlin Bird ID will help you solve the mystery.

Merlin Bird ID helps you identify birds you see and hear. Merlin is unlike any other bird app—it's powered by eBird, the world’s largest database of bird sightings, sounds, and photos.

Merlin offers four fun ways to identify birds. Answer a few simple questions, upload a photo, record a singing bird, or explore birds in a region.

Whether you’re curious about a bird you’ve seen once or you’re hoping to identify every bird you can find, the answers are waiting for you with this free app from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

• Expert ID tips, range maps, photos, and sounds help you learn about the birds you spot and build birding skills.
• Customized lists of birds to find where you live or travel
• Merlin was created by bird experts for everyone.
• Merlin is global—look up any bird at any location.
• Keep track of your sightings—linked to eBird, a global database of more than 1 billion bird observations!

• Powered by Visipedia, Merlin Sound ID and Photo ID uses deep learning to identify birds in photos and sounds. Merlin learns to recognize bird species based on training sets of millions of photos and sounds collected by birders at, archived in the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
• Merlin delivers the most accurate results thanks to experienced birders, who curate and annotate sightings, photos, and sounds, who are the true magic behind Merlin.

• Choose bird packs that contain photos, songs, and calls, and identification help for anywhere in the world, including Mexico, Costa Rica, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Australia, Korea, Japan, China, and more.
• It’s available in your language. Merlin is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Hebrew, German, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s goal is to help you and millions of others to learn about birds. Our nonprofit mission to improve the understanding and protection of birds and nature is made possible by the generosity of Cornell Lab members, supporters, and citizen-science contributors.
Updated on
May 13, 2022

Data safety

Safety starts with understanding how developers collect and share your data. Data privacy and security practices may vary based on your use, region, and age. The developer provided this information and may update it over time.
No data shared with third parties
Learn more about how developers declare sharing
This app may collect these data types
Personal info, App activity and 2 others
Data is encrypted in transit
Data can’t be deleted

Ratings and reviews

19.8K reviews
Mitchell Barber
May 21, 2022
Ever since the last update, it can't ID a single damn bird. I uninstalled & re-installed the app and package a couple times. No deal. The sound bar will scroll across the screen telling me it is 'Hearing a bird' but never identities one whereas, before, it would usually bring up 3-6 matches in less than 30 seconds. Damn shame as it worked great before. I work in IT so should have known better than to upgrade a program that was working fine. If it works, DON'T FIX IT! Deleting it now.
21 people found this review helpful
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Caitlyn Cooper
May 16, 2022
The new sound ID is awesome in situations without background noise. I've had this app for years and am still finding new ways to use it. There's still some room for improvement. As sound ID is a new skill, I knew it had limitations. Wasn't able to get sound ID to work outside of US even with the downloaded bird packs. Might just be in development
17 people found this review helpful
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Stephen Robicheaux
May 13, 2022
I cannot login to the app. It has been unable to determine my location and give accurate sound IDs. The standard bird ID doesn't return anything at all. Even the help and about merlin pages don't load. This app was great before today but now it simply doesn't function. Edit: They released an update the next day, but none of these bugs were fixed.
32 people found this review helpful
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What's new

Sound ID is better than over, with additional birds for the United States, Canada and now the common species of Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East! Record the birds you hear, and watch real-time results show up on the screen to help guide you to the correct identification.