Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology by Cornell University (iPhone)
Released: Dec 11, 2013
Version: 1.3.3
Size: 59 MB
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Ranking - Reference (iPhone)

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell University
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, or choose one from your photo gallery, and Merlin will offer a list of birds that best match your photo.

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 app from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


• Merlin will now identify a photo. Select your photo, tell Merlin where and when you took it, and you'll see a short list of suggested identifications.
• Download bird packs containing the species of your region, reducing the app size.
• Created for beginning and intermediate bird watchers, Merlin identifies the 1,150 most common bird species of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.
• 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 3,000 photos of birds, including males, females, and juveniles.
• Learn ID tips from Cornell Lab of Ornithology experts.
• Listen to beautiful bird songs and calls 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.‚Äč

Merlin Bird ID currently includes Bird Pack downloads for the United States including: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas and Oklahoma, Alaska, and West Coast. Canada is covered by Eastern Canada and Western Canada packs. Mexico packs include Yucatan Peninsula, and another for Oaxaca and Chiapas. Central America Bird Packs include Guatemala and Belize.

About Photo ID
Powered by Visipedia, Merlin Photo ID uses computer vision technology to identify birds in photos. Merlin learns to recognize bird species based on training sets of hundreds of thousands 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.

What's new in version 1.3.3
Merlin Bird ID 1.3.3 is a small maintenance release with a few new tweaks. Check them out and let us know what you think!

NEW - Sort by Likely Birds within Families
Explore the birds of an area in a new way. This option groups the birds into the familiar families view, then sorts the birds within each group by how frequently they are reported, making it easier than ever to find the bird you are looking for.

NEW - Search Bird Packs by name
The pack list is growing, this will help you find the pack to install for you upcoming summer vacation.


Also includes many other 1.3+ updates
By popular request, Merlin now helps you discover other birds around you. The updated Explore Birds screen can now be filtered by any location and date, or a Bird Pack you have installed. Explore the birds that have been reported around you, whether you are birding at home, or on a trip.

Sort by Most Likely
The Explore Birds list can now be filtered by how often each bird is reported in your area of interest. The most commonly reported birds show up at the top, giving you a better idea of species you should be looking for.

Sort your list by Most Likely, and then search for “gull” or “sparrow” to see a list of the gulls or sparrows sorted by how common they are. This is another handy way to identify your mystery bird.

New location shortcut
When you are using the Likely Birds feature, just tap the location button in the bottom right corner of the screen to quickly update the bird list to you current location.
Screenshot #1
Our verdict: Great!
  • ➜ Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a highly rated app (5-star).
  • ➜ The app is free.
  • ➜ Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology is currently ranked #36 in free Reference apps for iPhone.
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