Shazam for Bird Sounds: Free app to Identify Birds from their Sound

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In this article, you will read about a free mobile application that helps you identify birds from their sound.

Merlin Bird ID is a free mobile application that allows you to identify the categories of the bird in whichever geographic zone you live. Although there are some limitation for the geographical location from this application, but you can use this application in almost any national park or quiet forested area to know the type of birds and other information about them. It covers major continents from Americas, Asia, Europe, upto to Oceana and Africa.

This mobile application is developed under the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is designed for every bird watcher out there who likes to know more about the birds in their area or birds in general.  This application allows you to find the details of the bird with photo of the bird you’re watching or simply by the sounds of them.

Shazam for Bird Sounds: Free app to Identify Birds from their Sound

Merlin Bird ID is like a Shazam app that helps you identify the type of birds around you with just the sounds they are making. Although there are other features of this application, but here, I will discuss the sound feature of this application. As with any other mobile application, you can start by installing the application from Google Play Store or App Store (if you want to use this application on iPhone or iPad) and signing up to the application using your email ID.

I’ve used the Android application here for the testing purposes of this application. You can click here to go to the download page of Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab application from Google Play Store.


Once you have installed the application and done with the process of signing up to the application, the application will ask you to turn on the location of the device to preview the type of Bird Pack you want to install in the application.

Allow Access

Choices of the Bird Pack is available based on the your geographical location.

Bird Packs

Once you choose the Bird Pack and install it in the application, then you can go ahead with exploring the application as you like.


To identify the bird from the sound, click on the “Sound ID” in the sliding menu section.

Access menu

Then, the pop up of downloading the file of Sound ID to run in the application will appear. You can download this suggested file onto the application as it works smoothly in the application.

Get Sound ID

Once installed, you will be requested to “allow” the application to record the audio.

Allow access to record audio

After this process, you can simply go ahead in a quiet place and hit the record button on. The bird sounds that surrounds you at that particular time will be heard by this application and will instantly provide you with the type of bird(s) you’re hearing.


During Recording

The graph of the intensity as well as the location of the bird, along with other details about the birds will also be listed almost instantly whenever the sound is picked up by the application.

Bird Identified

All the sound recording history can be accessed in the “My Sound Recording” section once you finish the recording.


That’s it, this application will identify birds that surrounds you only with the sounds.

In brief

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab application can come handy when it comes to identifying the bird with just their sounds so that there can be minimal disturbance to the delicate environment during your bird watching experience.

Try this Android App here.

Try the Apple App here.

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