Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

23.2K 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
23.2K reviews
Sara Keeler
June 21, 2022
I love it. It makes a few IDs that make me go "hmmm," but it's a pretty incredible tool. I've started to learn the less easy-to-remember calls, chirps, and bits. Wish list: a phone attachment to capture more distant sounds and a quick start button on my home screen to instantly start capturing calls. Could work better: a way to manually set my location when out of cell range. If there is, I couldn't get it to work (I didn't read any directions, see "out of cell range").
10 people found this review helpful
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Chris Schenck
June 7, 2022
This is a wonderful app. I use the "Sound ID" all the time when I'm sitting out in my yard. I love how it creates a living list of the birds it's hearing, flashing a yellow highlight each time it hears the bird again. One thing I'd like to see is the ability to use Sound ID without making a recording. So it would just kind of be like a live field guide, but wouldn't chew up enormous amounts of space recording it all. Maybe the app already does this, and I just didn't see the option.
60 people found this review helpful
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Kat Sheppard
May 28, 2022
Amazing app! Correctly identifies birds with the touch of a button! It's user friendly and hasn't given me any issues! I highly recommend it for anyone, new to birding and experts alike! Having so many different ways to help identify birds really helps depending on your situation. If I went on a trip with my camera, just have to do a quick scan. If I'm out in a walk with my family, it will identify all the birds we hear as I record. I love that it highlights the birds whenever they make noise!
34 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.