Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date:
  • Current Version: 1.3.9
  • Adult Rating: 4+
  • Developer: Cornell University
  • Compatibility: Android
9,381 Ratings
$ 0

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab App

What's that bird? Merlin Bird ID helps you solve the mystery in 5 questions, or with a photo of a bird. First, Merlin asks you a few simple questions. Then, almost like magic, it reveals the list of birds that best match your description. Pick your bird, then delve into more photos, sounds, and ID tips about your bird! If you have a photo, Merlin can help there as well. Take a photo, choose from your camera roll, or snap the viewfinder of your zoom camera, and Merlin's powerful AI will suggest an identification almost instantly. Merlin is fun and easy to use—whether you’re curious about a bird you’ve seen once or you’re hoping to identify every bird that comes to your feeder. The answers are waiting for you with this free field guide app from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Features • Created for birders and bird watchers of every level, Merlin identifies the 2,000+ most common bird species of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and Europe. • Merlin will now identify a photo using powerful deep learning algorithms. Select your photo, tell Merlin where and when you took it, and you'll see a short list of suggested identifications. • Bird packs available for United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Guatemala, Belize and Costa Rica, with more coming soon. • Explore birds by location and date with a list of species seen in the area. • Intelligent results. No more scanning through hundreds of possibilities! Merlin shows the birds near you that fit your description. • Customized location and date tools generate best answers for your neighborhood and time of year. • Powered by eBird to deliver the most accurate results based on millions of sightings from bird watchers across North America. • Enjoy more than 15,000 photos of birds, including males, females, and juveniles. • Learn ID tips from Cornell Lab of Ornithology experts. • Listen to beautiful bird sounds, including songs and calls for each species from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. • It’s all free! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s goal is to help you and millions of others to learn about birds.​ Merlin is the most advanced bird guide app available, and is expanding to new regions of the world. ••• Bird Packs ••• Merlin Bird ID currently includes bird identification help for the United States with regional packs for the: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas and Oklahoma, Alaska, and West Coast. Canada is covered by Eastern Canada and Western Canada packs. Mexico bird identification is available for each region of the country. Central America packs include Guatemala, Belize, and Costa Rica. South America packs include the Medellín region of Colombia. Bird identification help is also available for Europe with our Great Britain and Ireland pack, a Western Europe pack, and a pack covering the Scandinavian countries. These packs make Merlin the perfect pocket Bird Guide to North America, Bird Guide to Mexico, Bird Guide to Guatemala, Bird Guide to Belize, Bird Guide to Costa Rica, Bird Guide to Europe, Bird Guide to Great Britain, and Bird Guide to Scandinavia. ••• About Photo ID ••• Powered by Visipedia, Merlin Photo ID 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 from birders at 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.


Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab app screenshots

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab app reviews

  • Bad 1/5

    By Ursomrano61
    I could not identify any birds I took pictures of and I haft to know where I found it so zoo bird pictures are useless and even if I knew where I found it it still can’t identify

    By BTofArl
    HECK YES! Helping me find alllllll the birds
  • Just keeps getting better!!!!! 5/5

    By Slywatcher
    Each refinement of this app makes it better
  • Surprisingly Helpful 5/5

    By GR747
    The natural world is huge, and to be certain of any identification is mostly the realm of specialists, as far as I know. I'm not an expert in identifying birds. But with a conscientious resource, the smallest detail can unexpectedly cue you in and suddenly there seems to be no question. I love this app for the care that was put into this process. On top of that, the spectrograms rock.
  • Inspired! 5/5

    By iDocJC
    Can’t imagine a better, more engaging, practical and easy to use app for learning about birds and loving it. So much to say - but please just try it and join in the fun!
  • Makes birdwatching easy and fun! 5/5

    By Koux33
    I LOVE this app, and can’t believe its free! I’ve been able to identify SO many new species I’ve never noticed before. Very easy to use, and informative. Great quality photos, maps, and “sounds” to help identify bird songs/calls. Great FREE app!!
  • Best ever!! 5/5

    By penelopebi1
    How can it get the right bird every time??? Usually the first one!!!!
  • Very useful 5/5

    By Nosilla Draces
    Id prefer it had more results to choose from after entering the search, but it is overall an extremely accurate and informative app. I highly suggest it.
  • Magical app, but still needs one CRITICAL feature 3/5

    By Joe Bird
    This app is extremely easy to use and accurate for identifying birds based on both sighting characteristics and photos. The photo identification feature nearly aligns with Arthur C Clarke’s third law, that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and hence the app name of Merlin is extremely appropriate. HOWEVER, it does not allow you save your bird history, DESPITE the app explicitly stating that your sighting “response has been recorded to improve Merlin’s accuracy.” Such an oversight is nearly inexcusable, as it requires you to save your own screenshots or enter the info in a separate document or in eBird (for which both the interface and ease-of-use are greatly inferior to and clumsier than those of Merlin). I am practically begging the developers to add a bird history/tracking function to this app ASAP (as they have claimed to have been working on for at least the last six months), as I would be more than willing to pay for such functionality and the app would no doubt merit the full five out five stars.
  • Love this app as a novice 5/5

    By HooDoc
    I am a novice birder though I do have a biology degree. Recently, I have developed an interest in exploring the variety of birds in my community. This app is intuitive and has been spot on with every identification!
  • Great 5/5

    By Enderization
    Get it.
  • So helpful! 4/5

    By Otis512
    Great app makes it easy for a novice (such as myself) to ID birds at my feeder. The only feature I would add to the app is the ability to look back on the list of previous species I’ve identified.
  • Fantastic app and FREE! 5/5

    By Android FAR superior to iPhone
    The folks at Sapsucker Woods did a great job with this app!
  • Spot on! 5/5

    By IDpro
    This app has been spot on for my backyard bird identification. It’s easy and fun to use. I really appreciate the description that comes with each bird. Be sure to click “Submit” to add each bird you identify to Cornell’s ornithology database. Suggestion to Cornell: add a feature to let users save a personal list of birds we identify.
  • Easy to use, great learning tool 5/5

    By Rebecca33333
    I’ve been using this app for over a year and loved it. I am so happy to be able to report the birds I’ve seen and learn more about them. The sound feature helps me to differentiate birds by their calls. Highly recommended. Have fun.
  • Amazing app 5/5

    By OcOwnSunShine
    Been lost without an app like this!
  • Excellent! 5/5

    By Rebmarcus
    Prior to a trip they helped me narrow my field. Excellent responsiveness.
  • Needs a favorites list 4/5

    By Kris-KD
    As a resource, I like it. However, once I've identified a bird, I need to be able to go back to it at different times. A "favorites" tag and list would be nice to use and would be easy to reference. I downloaded the complete US and Canada "pack." It takes up quite a bit of storage space, but I need it in order to access bird info from the three (neighboring) states I frequent most.
  • Awesome 5/5

    By A44mag4dave
    This app is great at bird id, asked a few questions and ID’ed my bird correctly, quickly. It even correctly ID a bird from my photo. I would recommend this app to any beginner border!
  • AMcFH 2/5

    By AMcFH
    Honestly..... with all due respect… kind of thin on information.
  • Best app 5/5

    By BJN4460
    Easy to identify birds, calls, and locations. Reliable and informative. Best electronic field guide!
  • Best birding app 5/5

    By Sapphira80
    This is the best bird ID app I've found. My kids and I have learned so much about birds using it. Now we can point out all the common birds in our area.
  • High quality app 5/5

    By Haleyrea
    Very accurate and user friendly
  • A tune to my ears... 5/5

    By anonymous rr
    Stunning interactive media...updated impressively!
  • Fantastic 5/5

    By Crquack
    Fantastic app that makes bird watching a pleasure. It’s also nice to be able to contribute to the community. The only feature I’d love to see is the ability to track which birds I’ve spotted.
  • Great tool! 5/5

    By TxDaisyCat
    Love this app. The photo id feature is spot on. The song snippets are useful (and fun to drive my cats crazy).
  • Very good bird app 5/5

    By Lawfirm2
    Very good bird id app.
  • Best free bird app out there!! 5/5

    By Alwayswright458
    I’ve only been a birder for less than a year and quite frankly it’s because of your app that I became one!! I had stumbled on it when I had rescued an injured bird and I needed to know what kind of bird it was and what it ate until it was healed enough to go back out into the free flying world it came from! And after downloading the app I was able to identify the bird and help it! And from time to time that Eastern Phoebe still stops by my balcony to say hi to me. I’m sure he would say thank you if he could. And because of this app I’ve made a life long bird friend! Thanks Merlin!
  • New interest 5/5

    By Hello Flyboy
    We never had any birding interest until my 90 year old mother began serious bird watching with the feeder we put outside her window. Watching birds gave her peace and joy. We then got this app and our interest and knowledge exploded. We now find the same peace and joy she experienced and recommend the app constantly.
  • A Lifesaver 5/5

    By D584fjf689
    You really can’t beat this app for birding (within the ranges they cover). For beginners, it’s excellent for doing IDs, and for more experienced birders, it provides a wealth of information and is very convenient. And for free! A great companion to eBird—ID with Merlin and log your list with eBird. No more fumbling with paper guides and notebooks while wrangling a pair of binoculars.
  • Great Resource 5/5

    By topspn
    For years I had used Peterson Guides. I found them difficult to use for me. I always have had trouble with warblers and some water fowl. This guide has been a fantastic reference. Having photos versus sketches and now with digital representation with calls instead of print paper. Marvelous!
  • Love this app!! 5/5

    By Leannbmxmom
    I have house finches. I can sit outside and play their calls through the speaker on my cellphone and all the birds flock to me. My husband was shocked when 40 birds landed around me.
  • Gr8!!!¡¡¡ 5/5

    By Wolf+ Ruby= cool dog
    So many kinds of birds in this app. Very very helpful. I recommend this app for anyone. It includes bird sounds, where they live and information about the birds
  • Awesome for the curious! 5/5

    By SkinMD
    I am not a birdwatcher per se, but when we moved to California I found that I did not recognize many of the birds I saw on my property. This has hands-down been the most fun and efficient way of identifying any birds that I see and now I use it just for fun when I travel to other areas of the country. Reliable algorithm for ID’ing all types of birds. Love that it also plays the sounds they make!!
  • Excellent 5/5

    By Kgilson
    It was a little helpful when it first came out. Now it’s great and keeps getting better!

    By eatinfruit
    I use this app all the time. It’s so easy to use and has many pictures to compare birds. I have it 4 stars because I think it could be greatly improved with a history tab. I wish it saved birds that I’ve identified with their locations and dates.
  • Great bird app. 5/5

    By stihlmania
    Just downloaded this app and have identified all my unknown bird photos thanks to this very easy to use app.
  • A Wonderful Wealth of Knowledge! 5/5

    By Cconner79
    I live in the country on a small 100 acre farm that's been in my family for many years. After I was hit by a drunk driver I was left permanently disabled 13 years ago at the age of 25. I cannot care for myself so my wonderful, loving parents took me in & hired a nurse to care for me while they work. I was quickly fed up with the garbage that's on tv these days (& with the internet too). I was always a tomboy & spent most of my youth tagging along with my Daddy horseback riding, fishing & mud bogging I grew into an outdoorsy woman & ince I was able to I started to sit on the porch & watch the birds at the birdbath in our yard. One day I saw a beautiful American Goldfinch & though Daddy & I 1st thought it was a canary but both remembered watching a program somewhere that canaries were not actually yellow nor l were they native to the area I live in but after finding out online it was an American Goldfinch & doing some research I thought this is so aggravating I had one article say it was a “wild canary” but another say it was an American Goldfinch that’s when I started searching for a simpler more definitive way of identifying birds by looks sound & That's when I stumbled across your website and discovered your app. After an easy download I was able to name many of the birds in our yard. It wasn't long before I was hooked & My Daddy built me a bird feeder for my birthday and some tiny bird houses for the smaller birds, some medium sized ones for the blue birds & red birds & some even bigger ones for the larger owls down in our Barn, in order to attract more birds! I was so happy to have found this app it's really helped me because I can fill in a few parameters such as colors -I like that you can put in up to 3 but sometimes wish there was a step that allowed users to input where each color is in the general area of the bird to make identification easier for us novices. I also have a hard time identifying the different owls we have around here as well as the whip poor wills because the identifier doesn't work for nocturnal birds. I hope this will be remedied soon as I have seen several owls around in fact we had a fam of barn owls to nest in an old milk barn by our house (we live in an antebellum farmhouse circa 1889) & when I got my dachshund puppy they swooped in & nearly got away with her even with the 3 of us less than 6 feet away! Luckily she was a feisty pup & sunk her razor sharp puppy teeth into its leg causing it to let go just as we got close enough to make a grab for her & saved her from them. They have since moved into the bigger horse barn as their old barn has been cleared out & is being redone as a camping area for long term guests who come to visit. But I hear them caterwauling a good bit if that's them we also have a screech & an old hoot owl all of which can be heard most nights esp this time of year. I just wish I could get help from the ID app to see which owl is doing what. All in all this is a great app & the best I've found for identification personally. Especially for a novice like me. I recently lost Daddy to cancer but our bird watching days will be one of the many special memories I cherish for years to come. Thanks so much for creating this free app it's been a wonderful wealth of knowledge for me & my family!
  • Simple pleasures 5/5

    By Black Poodle
    Each year the amount of bird feeders increase and I’m turning into a bird watcher. This app is perfect to help me distinguish between a House Finch and a Purple Finch. It really brings me great joy to take care of them.
  • Wonderful app! 5/5

    By Seavisions
    My kids and I love watching the birds and trying to identify them at our little bird sanctuary that we built at our home. Before this app, I would browse countless books trying to figure out what bird was what. Not any more! A few quick questions and presto you have selection of matches to choose from! It is a wonderful app and I’m so glad my son found it for us! Best money I’ve never had to spend!
  • Needs a lot of work 2/5

    By Cchjkuyd
    I was happy to start using this app, but it’s way too basic. The categorizations are actually silly when you’re trying to ID a bird. You pick from like 5, then it starts randomly showing you “is this your bird”? Borders on idiotic. I mean I know my woodpeckers from my herons, I don’t need them lumped into only 5 size categories. Also the color selection is a joke. I admire the effort and the database involved, but the interactivity aspect needs a TON of work.
  • Great app especially for those new to birdwatching 5/5

    By Salkdkxkdnwbshzjxjd
    Photo is great - Very good for birds perching or on the ground, has more trouble with birds clinging (vertical) at feeders. Really good photo app that will only get better as used more
  • It works. 5/5

    By Duh70
    This bird is is systematic and it works. Good helpful photos.
  • Easy and exciting to use 5/5

    By Kpettersenhome
    I love watching our backyard birds and my granddaughter (age7) and I use the app to track the different birds we see through the seasons. I love it! Easy to use, increases our knowledge and excites kids when they can name a bird that they see! I especially like using it rather than a bird book as it’s fast so I can I.D. the bird before it disappears.
  • Favorite app ever !!! 5/5

    By MountainEd
    This is with out a doubt my favorite app ever!
  • My bird ID’ing just got ridiculously easy 5/5

    By Emery8
    This app is one of the best out there. The normal ID search is incredibly helpful, the photo ID search is amazing. Choose one of your bird pictures, it will bring up a very short list of contenders. Love it!
  • Love this app! 5/5

    By Ab080892
    Amateur bird watcher and this is a great app.
  • Great for localizing and vocalizing backyard birds 5/5

    By kronie
    Appreciate all the data going into the app, and impressed by the data labeling efforts to get a decent match from submitted pictures. Next feature, matching recorded bird calls to their correct species (SoundHound like)?! Thanks, keep it up!
  • Excellent for amateurs (like me!) 5/5

    By colinoscopy83
    This app has been a godsend for an amateur like me! I have definitely wanted to learn more about the birds in my community and all my travels, but would never think to bring a field guide. This allows me to identify and learn about birds by using only a few characteristics (such as location, date, colors, and where I saw the bird certificate). Not only that, by comparing to other birds it teaches me how to distinguish between species as well. Would highly recommend for anyone trying to up their birding skills!
  • Really helps narrow down 5/5

    By brcummin
    On a family vacation in Florida, we had several birds and had fun discussing which was which. We each had resources and debated the bird. Merlin seemed to lock into the final choice. Fun!

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab app comments


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