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Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology app review: identify and learn about the birds in your neighborhood 2021



Designed for beginner and intermediate bird watchers, Merlin Bird ID is an iPhone and iPad app for identifying birds designed by the by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This free bird identifier app helps you figure out exactly which bird you have just seen.

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology works by asking you some questions and then identifying the bird or listing out several birds based on your answers.

You can pick out the bird you wish to know about and find out lots of details such as photographs, songs, and ways to identify it in the future.

Continue reading our Merling Bird ID app review and let us know if you think it's one of the best iPhone apps for birdwatching.

The best iPhone apps for great outdoors-2021

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab


The Bird Is the Word

There are 285 birds in the Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology database, which includes the most commonly found species of within the United States and Canada, not including Hawaii.

Of course, one would wish to have an app that works anywhere in the world, but perhaps, in the future, the famous Cornell Lab of Ornithology will come up with such an app or update.

This is not a huge drawback, however, because if you are living in the U.S. or Canada, this app can do wonders. The results shown to you are not simply based on guesswork.

This app uses location services to track down exactly where you are, so it can show you the birds that may visit your neighborhood at that particular time of the year.

The best iPhone and iPad apps for bird watching

The Bird Is the Word image

Expert Tips For Bird Identification

There are over 1000 photographs of birds in the Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology database. This includes males, females, as well as juvenile photos of each species.

You can also listen to the bird songs and calls of any bird directly from Cornell Lab's Macaulay Library to see if it matches the bird song you may have listened to in your backyard.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology experts also present some great tips on how to identify different bird species.

The database has been compiled and continues to be complied by eBird, which gathers and produces results on the basis of sightings that have been reported by bird watchers throughout the continent.

I think that the developers over at Cornell University have done a fantastic job compiling such a great app and making it available for free.

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Expert Tips For Bird Identification image

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab


Pros & Cons


  • Use location services and date tools to procure the most likely bird ID
  • View over 1000 photos of the male, female, and juvenile birds
  • Learn to identify birds using tips from the experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Listen to beautiful bird songs and calls from the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library


  • Only helps identify birds within the U.S. and Canada (not including Hawaii)

Pros & Cons image

Final Words

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology is an awesome iPhone and iPad app for all bird enthusiasts, helping you get a better understanding of the flying fauna in your neighborhood. I would highly recommend getting this app and trying it out.

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

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Neha Sinha

Neha has been writing and editing since 2010 and has been reviewing iOS apps since early 2014. She has lived in four different countries and loves having the world at her fingertips thanks to these awesome apps.