If you are looking for the Best iPhone Birding App to download for free, look no further.
Our expert panel of reviewers has tested dozens of apps and we have compiled a list of the 5 Best iPhone Birding App that passed our tests.
Check out our list of the 5 Best iPhone Birding App, tried and tested by our expert reviewers.
5 Best iPhone Birding App
1. Audubon Bird Guide
“The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to over 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you’ve seen, and get outside to find new birds near you.
With over 2 million downloads to date, it is one of the best and most trusted field guides for North American birds.
ALL-NEW: BIRD ID
It’s now easier than ever to identify a bird you just saw. Enter all you were able to observe—what color was it? How big? What did its tail look like?—and Bird ID will narrow down a list of possible matches for your location and date in real time.
LEARN ABOUT THE BIRDS YOU LOVE
Our field guide features over 3,000 photos, over eight hours of audio clips of songs and calls, multi-season range maps, and in-depth text by leading North American bird expert Kenn Kaufman.
KEEP TRACK OF ALL THE BIRDS YOU SEE
With our completely redesigned Sightings feature, you can keep a record of every bird you encounter, whether you’re hiking, sitting on the porch, or simply catching a glimpse of birds out the window. We’ll even keep an updated life list for you.
EXPLORE THE BIRDS AROUND YOU
See where the birds are with nearby birding hotspots and real-time sightings from eBird.
Post your photos to the Photo Feed so other Audubon Bird Guide users can see your best bird shots.
GET INVOLVED WITH AUDUBON
Keep up with the latest news from the world of birds, science, and conservation. Find an Audubon location near you to go birding. Or see where your voice is needed and take action to protect birds and the places they need, right from your app.
FOR NATURESHARE USERS:
Once you log in with your NatureShare account, your sightings and photos will migrate with you into the new app. This is a one-time process. If something doesn’t look right, don’t worry—all of your data is untouched, safe, and secure.
Have any questions or need help? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive.”
2. Bird Codes
Are you looking for a way to speed up your field notes so you can focus on actually looking at birds? Do you see birders using codes for birds on listservs and want to look them up? Do you want to enter your eBird checklists faster?
Alpha codes are four letter abbreviations assigned to bird species as a quick way to refer to them. These codes are commonly used in field notes to quickly record sightings and other situations where writing down the entire species name is impractical. This app allows you to search and learn the alpha codes created using the Pyle and DeSante (2003) system which defines alpha codes for all 2078 species recorded in the AOU (American Ornithologists’ Union) area. You can quickly search by either the birds name or by the alpha code.
“eBird Mobile makes it easy to record the birds you see in the field, and seamlessly link these observations with eBird–a global online database of bird records used by hundreds of thousands of birders around the world. This free resource makes it easy to keep track of what you see, while making your data openly available for scientific research, education, and conservation. eBird Mobile is the only app that passes information directly from the iOS device to your eBird account on the web.
– Enter bird observations from any location around the world.
– Full global taxonomy based on The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World.
– Common names available in local languages (e.g., Portuguese names in Brazil or in Portugal).
– Checklists customized for your location and time of year, showing most likely species based on eBird data.
– Rare species flagged during data entry and on the checklist.
– “Record as you go” functionality for incremental list keeping and counting while birding.
– GPS enabled location plotting to ensure accuracy.
– Map tools that enable selecting from hundreds of thousands of eBird “Hotspots.”
– Full offline functionality, enabling use in places with limited or no Internet connection.
– Trip and Day list functionality that makes it easy to keep track of your species list on a particular outing.
– Support for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
– Entire app translated to German, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Turkish, and Dutch.”
4. iBird Pro Guide to Birds
“iBird Pro, the first complete birding app for the iPhone, is now guided by the 2019-2020 American Ornithological Union (AOU) standard and is 100% compatible with iOS 14. Besides including all 967 species of birds of North America, iBird Pro contains databases for four other regions: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hawaii, and the famous island nation of Palau. And it’s not just a digital field guide; a fascinating new feature called Photo Sleuth uses AI so you can identify a bird from any photo you take or upload.
Released in 2008, iBird was the first comprehensive birding app for the iPhone loaded with features that inspired Apple to put iBird in their famous videos “We have an app for that.” iBird offers functionality that sets it apart from all other birding apps. For example, only iBird offers both photographs and field-marked illustrations for every species. Of course, the beauty of drawings is that the illustrator can emphasize the important identification markings of the bird family, something photographs can’t do. For this very reason, iBird offers composite illustrations. Photographs, on the other hand, let you see how the species appear in real life. So, to optimize your experience, iBird includes both drawings with toggled field marks along with multiple photos of almost every species of bird—usually of the male, female, juvenile, and subspecies. We also include in-flight photos for many of the species.
As we just mentioned, every one of the 967 species accounts contains a detailed field marks layer for each illustration. The layer can be toggled on or off to highlight important identification characteristics along with calling out similar species. These field mark layers sit on top of illustrations that are all high-resolution composite HDR drawings showing each species in its natural environment and can be zoomed until you can see fine feather details.
And to augment your ability to identify a species, iBird not only contains over 4,000 bird song and call vocalizations but also provides the AI-based photo recognition feature—iBird Photo Sleuth. Photo Sleuth can identify a bird from any photograph, even poor photos taken with your smartphone or tablet. Watch a short slide show of how Sleuth works here: bit.ly/ibirdsleuth. A stand-alone version of Photo Sleuth is also available in the app store.
But we’ve saved the best for last—iBird’s best feature is its comprehensive birding search engine that can turn anyone into an expert birder. The engine comes with over 35 characteristics that can be searched (such as body color, GPS location, habitat, bill shape, song type, etc.).
No internet connection is required to use iBird in the field as it has a self-contained database of all content.
The iBird Pro architecture is now “consolidated,” i.e., its default North America database can be supplemented with databases of other countries. You can purchase these additional databases from inside iBird, and instantly switch between them inside the app. Furthermore, you can install iBird Pro on multiple devices and share it with your family plan so that, with one app, everyone can enjoy thousands of new species.
In addition to all of the features we’ve mentioned, iBird Pro offers these fantastic in-app purchase features: Birds Around Me (BAM)—shows just those species within a radius surrounding your GPS location, Percevia™ smart search—a patented feature that helps you identify birds just like the birding experts, Time-of-Day—lets you search for birds by activity levels during day or night, dawn, dusk, etc., and Owls of Mexico—which includes illustrations with field marks, range maps, songs and calls for 16 remarkable Owl species.
Version 1254 adds 38 new illustrations—to see these go to Search > Illustration Update > 12.4.
More Details of iBird Pro Version 12.6.2: http://ibird.com/whats-new/whats-new.html”
5. Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab
Merlin Bird ID helps you identify birds with ease. You’ll get personalized results of birds to expect based on the time of year and your location or your choice of regions around the world, including a digital field guide with more than 80,000 photos and sounds, plus maps, and ID tips! Merlin is the most fully featured and global bird app available, and the only one enabling both sound and photo identification powered by AI.
Merlin offers four fun ways to identify birds. Get guided bird ID assistance by answering a few simple questions and, like magic, Merlin will reveal a list of birds that match your description. If you have a photo of a bird that you can’t ID, tap “Photo ID” to identify your bird. Do you hear a bird that you don’t recognize or can’t see? Tap “Sound ID” to record the bird you are hearing and Merlin will show you which species are most likely, in real time! Or you can pick “Explore Birds” and Merlin will show you all the birds most likely to be around you on that day.
Merlin is free, fun, and easy to use—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 ID app and field guide from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE MERLIN
• Merlin is for everyone! Merlin was created for bird watchers, nature lovers, and anyone who is curious about birds.
• Easily identify the birds you see or hear and build your birding skills.
• Customized to your backyard or wherever you travel so you’ll never be without a bird guide.
• Intelligent results. Merlin shows the birds near you that match your description, photo, or sound recording. No more scanning through hundreds of possibilities!
• Merlin is the only app that uses advanced AI technology to help you identify a bird in a photo or a sound recording.
• Expert ID tips, range maps, photos, and sounds help you learn even more about the birds you spot.
• Merlin lets you build a life list! Save the birds you identify to keep track of the birds you’ve seen.
• Merlin is completely free!
• Choose bird packs that contain photos, songs, and calls, and identification help for many regions around the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, South Africa, Kenya, Northern Africa, the Middle East, Asia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and more. New regions are added every month.
• More than 50,000 photos of birds, including males, females, and juveniles.
• Listen to beautiful bird sounds, including more than 30,000 songs and calls curated by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
• Identification tips in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Hebrew, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese, depending on the range of the species.
• Powered by eBird and the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to deliver the most accurate results based on millions of sightings, photos, and sounds from bird watchers across the world.
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.
Photo ID is powered by Visipedia and uses computer vision and deep learning technology to identify birds in photos. Merlin learns to recognize bird species based on training sets of millions of photos and sounds from birders at eBird.org. When using Photo ID, enter the date and location where you took the photo; those clues improve Merlin’s accuracy by helping it focus on the species you most likely encountered there.”