Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

42.7K 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
Apr 21, 2023

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
Committed to follow the Play Families Policy

Ratings and reviews

41.6K reviews
James Israel
May 25, 2023
I see here and searching online that a lot of people are having trouble with the Sound ID feature. One Merlin reply says disabling Google Assistant worked for some. I tried, didn't work. I do notice that it will record lower frequency sounds but not high pitch bird sounds, seems like a high-pass filter problem. Anyway, a work-around is to record via a simple record app, then import that file into Merlin. Works, but it's a hassle. Update: This has been fixed. Back to 5 stars!
56 people found this review helpful
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May 11, 2023
The app overall is fantastic! I reserved a star though as it still needs a few tweaks. Recently, I lost 2 lengthy lists while in the midst of recording-too easy to accidentally touch the unlabeled X that deletes the recording. Adding a 2-step process to delete would eliminate that. Also, with each update it seems a bit less sensitive to identifying birds in the distance. Finally, using Android and IPhone simultaneously, each phone picked up a few birds the other did not.
90 people found this review helpful
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David W. Peterson
May 13, 2023
Awesome in almost every way! Record for too long and it will never open that list again. Sometimes crashes in the middle of recording and so is not working but also says it is, so it won't close or restart. Aside from those issues, the occasional misidentifications are more than acceptable for how simply wonderful this app is, so useful in many ways, making me a MUCH better Birder by ear! I've become addicted to using it!
60 people found this review helpful
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What's new

- Now, when you tap on a bird in your Sound ID recordings, you can cycle through multiple results for that bird. This is a great way to compare different results and find the one that you're most confident in.
- We've also made it easier to explore your Sound ID recordings by highlighting the singing birds, same as the live recording. This makes it easy to see which birds are singing and to identify and learn the songs and calls.