One of the best things about bird watching is being outdoors. With so many of us stuck on mobile devices, it’s imperative to say that we should get away from our phones and get outside. But really, you can enhance your birding experience through apps on your phone or tablet. I was hesitant at first, internalizing my strict rules about regulating my use of the devices. But I found these apps useful as options to enhance the birding experience.
We’ve all come to a point in our lives where we’ve either looked closely at birds or observed their behavior. Whether at school, at the zoo or even just sitting around doing nothing in our own backyard. While it might be a great way to pass the time for most of us, birdwatching is actually a passion for a few people. You need binoculars, expensive camera lenses and lots of patience to learn about the birds. So if you have a smartphone and are curious, here are the best birding apps.
1. Collins Bird Guide
best for Educational guide on birds
This app is from Collins, a leading publisher of educational and informational books. In the same spirit, as you will see in the book, this application also offers very complete illustrations and details on more than 700 species of birds. In addition to all this, if you have children at home, you can also take advantage of in-app purchases and enjoy on-screen documentary videos.
I agree that the app is $19 and there are several in-app purchases, but if you have an iPad, I’m sure you and the kids around you will love enjoying this app on a bigger screen. big.
Get the Collins Bird guide (iOS | Android)
2. Merlin Bird ID
best for Determine the type of birds with pictures
Is there an app to identify birds? Yes. Merlin Bird ID lets you click on any bird’s photo or upload it from local storage to get the exact details. Thought it wouldn’t work, but it’s really a great way if you’re out in the wild and need to know what bird you’re looking at.
Another useful feature provided by this app is the downloadable bird packs. These packages contain bird information such as bird pictures and sounds for regions such as USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, etc.
For example, if you choose the southwestern United States, it will show you the complete bird database for the Arizona and New Mexico region. You can scroll through dozens of photos and also read about the visual characteristics of the bird, how to identify it, many high quality audio files, etc.
Get Merlin Bird ID for (iOS | Android)
best for- bird recording
Unlike the app above which is more like a guide to learn more about birds, this app lets you contribute to creating and updating this database. The app is free and also allows the user to enter data without any internet connection.
This application uses geolocation and presents the user with a checklist of birds, filtered by your geographical location, which can help you identify them. You have the option to add bird scenes as you move along the trail using your phone’s GPS. This way you won’t have to stop, open the app and manually geotag every time you see a bird.
Similar to the first app, this app is also supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which means the data displayed is top-notch and factually correct.
Get eBird for (iOS | Android)
4. Song Detective
best for- bird detection by sound
Developed by Wildlife Acoustics, Song Sleuth is described as a Shazam bird, and it will tell you what types of birds are present through an audio sample.
The application also has an audio recording, detection and recognition function. So when you’re on the go and you hear a bird sing, just record the sound and the app will show you which birds are most closely associated with that sound. The sound is displayed as a spectrogram, so you can compare the recording and the sample recording with better accuracy.
I tried playing bird sounds on YouTube, but the results weren’t very accurate. I still think it will look better in the field as you can use the audio editor in the app to isolate bird sound for better detection.
Download Song Sleuth on (iOS | Android)
5. Chirp Birding
best for- Bird social network
If you are a bird lover and want to bond with other birders, this app is a social networking app just for bird lovers. You can login via email or Facebook and the interface is somewhat similar to Facebook for mobile. You can set up your profile, send and receive friend requests, and like and comment on other people’s posts. The best part about this app is that once you have a circle, you can create birding events, invite others, and do more. It can be a great learning experience for both amateur and professional birders to share information.
If you don’t want to use other birding apps like Merlin Bird or eBird, you can use the recording feature of this app and create a bird map for yourself.
Get Chirp Birding on (iOS | Android)
best for- See a map of the presence of birds
Most bird apps seem to be very complex and loaded with a lot of information. GoBird fills exactly this gap. The best part of the app is the menu bar at the bottom. You can switch between the List view and the Photoshop (Maps) view which shows you the places around you where you can go for birdwatching.
If the list of birds and the map view are not to your liking, the Rare Birds section will surely satisfy your curiosity. It shows you user-generated data that helps you identify rare birds in your area, along with photos and background information.
Get GoBird for (iOS | Android)
So, there were some apps that can help you when you go out for bird watching next time. While all the apps mentioned above can be used anywhere. Apps like GoBried can help birders track only birds from their country or region. If you are a birdwatching hobbyist or professional, Merlin Bird ID must be your preferred choice.