3 excellent apps you can use to identify birds (tried & tested)

Published by Finn Hayden

As is the case with mushrooms and trees, despite being surrounded by birds and probably seeing hundreds of them per day, most of us know very little about these creatures. Sure, we might be able to identify a few of the common species, but anything beyond a pigeon or seagull and most people are lost. Luckily though, there are lots of apps out there which can help you to identify birds in an easy and fun way. We wanted to round up the best bird identification apps like this that you can download, let’s get into it:

Picture Bird

Often when you want to identify a bird, you need to be able to do it quickly before the bird flies away. That’s why the Picture Bird app is really useful - as soon as you see a bird that you want to identify, you can whip out your phone and take a photo of it. The app will then do all the hard work of identifying the bird and will present you with a few options that it thinks might be correct. We found the camera function of the app to be pretty accurate when we tried it to identify a few common birds. If you don’t want to use the app camera function then there is also a really excellent database within the app which allows you to look up more than 30,000 different species of birds, so if you see something which looks like a duck, you could type ‘duck’ into the search bar then try to identify the bird that you’re looking at from the results. It’s not as quick as the camera function but it’s still pretty quick. The premium version of the app allows you to identify birds from sounds and photos. Learn more and download it here from the Google Play Store and here from the Apple App Store.
Picture Bird

Smart Bird ID

The Smart Bird ID works very similarly to the Picture Bird app in that you can give the app access to your camera and take photos of birds that you see to identify them. We found the app to be pretty accurate with identifying the birds that we were taking photos of, and we liked that the app gave us a percentage estimate of how accurate it thinks it is. Once you’ve selected which is the right bird from the options that the app gives you, you get lots of information about the bird such as what the name of the bird means and where it breeds. The app also has an extensive database full of birds if you’d prefer to search manually to try and identify the bird that you’re looking at. Learn more and download it here from the Google Play Store and here from the Apple App Store.

Smart Bird ID app

Birds Lite

Birds Lite is a very simple app and doesn’t include any camera function like the first 2 apps in this guide, but it’s still a very useful app and still great for identifying birds. If you know what the bird looks like then you can browse a database of images and simply match the bird that you saw to an image within the app. The free version of the app only include about 100 images of birds found in the UK, but it’s still quite a good amount and most of the birds you’ll see when you’re out and about will be found in this database. If you already know the name of the bird but want to know what it looks like then you can also do that every easily via the app. There is also a bird finder within the app which allows you to type exactly what size and colour of bird you saw, and the app will try to match your details within a bird within its database. This app is simple and quick to use, and we actually think that because it requires you to do a bit of work yourself it’s great for learning. Learn more and download it for iOS here.

Birds Lite app

We hope this guide helps you to find a great bird identification app! Let us know if you've tried any of these apps or if you have any other suggestions for us to download and try! If you want to read something similar then we have a guide to the best mushroom identification apps you can download.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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