Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab 4+

Identify Every Bird You See

Cornell University

Designed for iPhone

    • Free

iPhone Screenshots


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, Marathi, Malayalam, Afrikaans, Arabic, Indonesian, Russian, 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.

What’s New

Version 2.1.5

New in this release
• eBird/Clements Taxonomy 2022 - Updated species names to align with eBird
• Updated app translations
• Support for both Portuguese (Portugal) and Portuguese (Brazil)
• Support for ID text in Marathi and Malayalam

Also included 2.1.4
Updates to My Sound Recordings screen to quickly explore and manage your recordings
• Quickly view the top species
• Search by species, location, and filename
• Sort by date, recording length, and file name
• Select multiple recordings to share or delete

New common name options
• Spanish (Honduras)
• Portuguese (Angola)

Other updates include:
• Support audio imports from iCloud
• Show recording length for Sound ID session longer than 1 hour

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
630 Ratings

630 Ratings

SushiNora ,

Great app! And only getting better

Highly recommend Merlin to anyone to use.
There are several ways to find birds and there is lots of different pictures and sounds for most birds, making ID much easier than with a guidebook.
We love using this app at home in Australia. The bird sound ID needs a bit of work (which I am sure it is getting- as the developers seem very good at working on and updating this app).
We also discovered a bird pack for Sulawesi, Indonesia for our trip there which is fantastic! We were struggling to find a guidebook for this area and we’re very grateful that Merlin added a pack for it. They seem to add packs and updates quite often.

Rocko ,

Brilliant App

If I could give it 10 stars I wouldn’t hesitate in doing so. Being an admin of an Australian Native Bird group I often have to get an ID of a bird. Since I own no field guide books or anything I use Merlin with the Australian pack only to filter out similar species from overseas. I have had a 99.9% success rate finding out the positive ID with their calls & distribution also. I would say 100% success rate as it’s never been wrong but you never know it might be wrong once. Also being a free app they usually have limitations but I have found none that impact the information I need. Great work from The Cornell Lab in producing such an amazing & helpful app ..

YeehaCreations ,

Fantastic app, but still needs some work

I love this app, but I still require the internet and the General bird search to find my bird. For example I just put in a black and white bird and it came up with a galah, sulphur crested cockatoo, Australian king parrot and a rainbow bee-eater among other black and white birds. My bird wasn’t listed and I accidentally ID’ed the wrong bird. I ended up finding with the help of google and their bird list, but I can’t see any way of retracting my bird nor can I ID it through a general search. It has a lot of potential, it’s helping to keep an eye on bird populations.m and it’s free so I give it 5 stars.


App Privacy

The developer, Cornell University, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer's privacy policy.

Data Linked to You

The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

  • Identifiers

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Location
  • Contact Info
  • Usage Data

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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