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Merlin Bird ID

The Merlin Bird ID website, for an app that lets someone identify the birds you see or hear with Merlin Bird ID

Cornell Lab of Ornithology has been making bird identification more accessible through Merlin Bird ID, a free app for your phone. To use Merlin, first download the app, then in the app install the regional field guide ("bird pack") for the location you live in and the location you will travel to. Use the "Explore" menu to access this portable field guide.

You can integrate Merlin with your eBird account too, so that you can see which species you have seen when exploring birds in Merlin.

Merlin (and other apps) make it possible to easily play bird calls and songs while in the field. This is a powerful tool for altering bird behavior, so take some time to learn how to use it responsibly. David Sibley's article "The Proper Use of Playback in Birding" (2011) is still a good summary of best practices.