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Review of birding apps I use on Android (1 Viewer)


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Since I started birdwatching about a year ago, I have tried several birdwatching and bird information apps to help me identify and track my sightings. Below I will discuss the apps I have used so far and what I think their pros and cons are. Of course this is very personal, but I hope it can give you some insights and help to decide which one to use.


Ebird is a big (probably the biggest) scientific birding community. It is a massive collection of webistes (ebird.org, macaulaylibrary.org, birdsoftheworld.org) and apps (ebird mobile, Merlin, and to some degree, birdnet). This is a review of birdnet mobile, the tracker app.

Ebird mobile lets you easily track your sightings directly to ebird. The tracking is checklist-based.


  • Easy tracking with the possibilty to add numbers of sightings, and some specific behaviors seen (singing, nest-building, etc.)
  • Easily add up numbers of birds you have seen
  • You can edit tracks after finishing them (e.g. if you forgot to add a bird, or you realized you mis-identified a bird and want to change it).
  • Bird pack downloads are small (compared to Merlin)
  • Offline use possible (you only need to be online to upload your checklists)


  • No additional information in the program (you have to start Merlin for that), no help with identification (again, Merlin for that)
  • Tracking is based on hotspots or personal locations, so no individual geolocations for single birds
  • You cannot add specific informations to single sightings (let’s say one bird you saw was singing, and another one a couple of meters away is nest building. You cannot add that information to ebird mobile).
  • Export options are limited. None in the app, lifelist and checklist on the website. Checklists without eccurate geolocation though, only user/hotspot location.


I have stopped using ebird mobile, because I prefer birdlasser for tracking.


An ebird app for helping with identifying birds based on visuals, descriptions, and sounds.


  • Very comprehensive collection of bird information. Images, sounds, descriptions, maps.
  • Step-by step identification guide (not always helpful, though)
  • Sound-Id, identifying birds by sound (good in the west, bad in the rest of the world). Where it works, it works much better than birdnet, but birdnet covers more areas.
  • One-click adding identifyed species to an open ebird checklist (or creates a new “casual” checklist). Ebird mobile needs to be installed for this to work well


  • Not all bird sounds available (macaulay library based, and only sounds with a high rating get added to merlin). Xeno-canto has a higher variation of bird sounds.
  • Step-by step Identification sometimes gives me weird suggestions that don’t fit the bill at all. I have more wrong suggestions than right ones. But this might vary depending on which part of the world you are in.
  • Range maps aren’t always accurate, but this relies on user contributions, so in areas with more users it is more accurate. But Africa not so much.
  • Huge downloads for bird packs, which is a problem in areas with bad internet connections. Also sometimes you have to download another huge bird pack for just one or two birds that are missing in the one you downloaded.
  • Sound-Id not available for Africa yet.


  • My main tool for bird identification so far, although I’m not thoroughly happy with it. Some of the things I would like to get added are:
  • -similar birds listing
  • - more options for the step-by-step process. Questions like: is the head a different color from the rest of the body? Streaked? Long tail? And others.
  • Add more African birds to sound-id


A tracking app for bird sightings. The biggest difference to ebird mobile is that it uses Cards that can be for a location, a day, or whatever you like.


  • Each bird (or group) gets geolocated individually.
  • It can be very simple (I saw this bird) to very detailed (I saw three birds, one male, one female, one juvenile, one changing plumage, building a nest).
  • Several export options, one specifically for ebird


  • Purely a tracking app, no id help
  • No website with additional information. There is a website, but it doesn’t do much.


My main tracking app nowadays. I export my sightings to ebird. I use one card per day for my casual sightings and create another one for when I go birding.


The “duolingo” of birding. It gamifies the whole thing. You can connect to other users, see and rate or help other users identifying birds etc.


  • You can track your sightings
  • Bird information within the app
  • Sound samples will be added soon
  • Adds its sightings with the GBIF (same as Birdlasser and ebird, though)


  • No export options. You can import from several other birding apps, but no export. It looks like the specifially want to keep you within their ecosystem.
  • The website doesn’t do much.
  • Imports only through the website.


I don’t like it. It looks neat, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. I like the ebird-ecosystem much better, which is more scientific.


A sound recording app. Runs with AI.


  • Easy to work with.
  • As it continuously runs, you don’t have “click” sounds at the beginning of a recording
  • In Africa the best sound identification app available.
  • Each sound recording gets uploaded and helps with improving the AI further.
  • Opensource
  • You can export your sound recordings (and I upload them to xeno-canto and/or ebird)


  • You have to be online to analyze bird sounds (you can save them offline and analyze them later, though)
  • No way to correct a wrong identification (you can tell right/wrong/i don’t know, but you cannot add your own suggestions)
  • Cumbersome management of saved but not analyzed recordings, especially if you have many of them.


Not a birding app, but a general nature community based science project. You can upload bird pictures as well, though.


  • Big user community
  • Help with identifications (not always fast, and not equally good with insects and plants)
  • Science, many scientists on board


  • Not a birding community per se
  • You have to upload a picture or a sound recording (and sound recordings often don’t get looked at)


I use it alongside ebird and upload images that I have. I also use it for other stuff like plants, insects and the like.

Birds of Africa​

A birding app specific to Africa


Calls, informations, images and range maps

No big downloads (well, in total its big, but it’s not in one big “pack”, so more safe to download than with ebird)

Better information about birds than Merlin. Not only descripions, but also behaviour etc.

“Similar birds” can be displayed

You can also track your sightings (although I haven’t found out whether and were they get saved online


Only one call per bird

The images in the list view are too small

It tells you to log in, but doesn’t tell you where, and doesn’t give a lot of information about it. Probably its on africanbirdclub.org, but I don’t know.

You need too many clicks to open informations on a bird (click on an entry, then click on “map” “call” “information” etc.). Merlin is better in that regard.


Gobird is an app that collects sightings data from ebird and displays it in an easy and fast way. It also collects bird sounds from xeno-canto.


  • Fast and easy.
  • Many images and sounds


  • No additional information about birds
  • No tracking availability


It’s too simple for me. The information is available elsewhere (except xeno-canto bird calls, that one is neat).
No, not yet. Birds for Africa use iGoTerra in the background (I think, they're not clear about it). I looked at their website today, and it gave me a "business" feeling more than a scientific one. Also, I use inaturalist for my other observations, so I don't need another general purpose recording app.

I started with ebird mobile and Merlin, because it's a good combination, and later switched to birdlasser as it allows more options when recording my sightings, but still allows me to export to ebird.
I just like the ebird website and ecosystem. It gives a good, scientific feeling to me, more than birdlasser and birda.
Maybe one more note: I'm a idealist, open source, linux user. I like science and am kind of distrustful against organisations that give a "we want to make money" feeling, especially in community science projects.

I'm also a conservative Christian from Europe, and I don't like the commercialisation of Christianity in America. That's just who I am.
BirdLasser sounds interesting--I wonder what an eBird checklist sourced from BirdLasser looks like (clickable coordinates for every individual?) and if the transfer of sightings is cumbersome.
BirdLasser sounds interesting--I wonder what an eBird checklist sourced from BirdLasser looks like (clickable coordinates for every individual?) and if the transfer of sightings is cumbersome.
The export is easy, and it is in ebird record format. There are no clickable coordinates for every individual, as this is not possible in ebird. You have to select a hotspot or name your personal location in the export process and then all coordinates are set to this location.
After importing it into ebird, if you didn't use a ebird hotspot but a personal location, you probably need to confirm that it is the location you specified. You also might need to "fix" species that were named differently in birdlasser than in ebird (different taxonomies). I normally have one or two that need fixing.

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