Help Identifying Birds

Rose-ringed Parakeet and Black-rumped Flameback by Gaurab Talukdar/GBBC.

Bird Identification

Birds are a joy to watch, but they can be tricky to identify. Below are tools to help you improve your bird identification skills.

Merlin Bird ID app

Get help with a bird ID anywhere in the world!

  • FREE and easy to use!
  • 5 simple questions to ID a bird
  • Option to ID from a photo
  • International bird ID on mobile app
  • Available in 12 languages, for 7 continents
  • Answers can be dropped into Great Backyard Bird Count list

         OR

Examples of the questions you are asked in Merlin
Merlin Screenshots/Cornell Lab.

(Note: The web version of Merlin only identifies birds of the United States and Canada. Download the Merlin Bird ID app to identify birds outside of these countries, identify birds with a photo, and save birds to your life list.)


Audubon Bird Guide app

Mobile app for in-depth identification and biology information for birds in the U.S. and Canada

  • Free and easy to use for all experience levels.
  • Contains over 800 species of North American birds, more than 3,000 photos, over eight hours of audio clips of songs and calls, multi-season range maps, and in-depth text by leading North American bird expert Kenn Kaufman.
  • It’s easy to identify a bird by indicating color, size, habitat, shape and more. It can filter the list automatically based on your location and time of year.
  • Keep track of all the birds you see and your life list.
  • See where the birds are with nearby birding hotspots and real-time sightings from eBird.
  • Post your photos to the Photo Feed so other Audubon Bird Guide users can see your best bird shots.
Yellow Warbler identified on a hike using the Audubon Bird Guide app.
Yellow Warbler identified on the Audubon Bird Guide app.

Audubon’s Guide to North American Birds

Web app for in-depth identification and biology information for birds in the U.S. and Canada

  • Web-friendly database for North American birds
  • Beautiful David Allen Sibley illustrations
  • Range maps adapted from Lives of North American Birds
  • Easy to use search tool by name, family, or region
American Oystercatchers feeding on a beach.
American Oystercatchers by Rob Sabatini/Audubon.


All About Birds

Web app for in-depth identification and biology information for birds in the U.S. and Canada

  • Web-friendly database for North American birds
  • Search for specific species and compare with similar species
  • Learn about bird life history, distribution, and sound identification
  • Be inspired by thousands of beautiful bird images
  • Read the latest bird news from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Tricolored Heron on a log hunting for fish.
Tricolored Heron by Thomas Anderson/GBBC.