Being able to identify birds when you go birdwatching is half the fun. These four birdwatching apps are FREE and conveniently located on your phone and accessible with the touch of a button.
Birdwatching is a lot of fun but correctly identifying birds can be tricky. Bird guides are invaluable tools but can be inconvenient to keep on hand. Fortunately, apps like these four birdwatching apps mean you can have a bird guide with you wherever you go. There are some really great paid apps available but I personally have found everything I need in these four free apps.
eBird – The Cornell Lab – Free
This global app is one of my favorite and it works anywhere in the world! (Well, if you have cell signal.) Record individual bird watching trips and keep checklists which you can submit to the Cornell Lab as a citizen science opportunity. Use this app along with Merlin Bird ID.
Merlin Bird ID by the Cornell Lab – Free
This app works in conjunction with eBird and actually helps you to make bird IDs. If you are unsure of a bird’s identification you can enter a photo or descriptors and the app will use them, along with your location, to suggest the most likely bird. Other features include ID tips, audio recordings, and a custom field guide for your location.
Audubon – Free
This app includes over 800 North American bird species, allows you to track your personal sightings and even explore what’s been spotted in your area. Have a favorite bird? Set the app notifications and you will get an alert when it has been spotted in your area!
iNaturalist – Free
This is an all-inclusive app that lets you track and look up birds, plants, animals, trees and more. You will be required to create an account because the information you record is part of a citizen science initiative through the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic. It tracks data worldwide.
What are your favorite birding apps? Tell us in the comments!
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