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Birding Apps - Best Android and Kindle Fire Apps for Birdwatchers

Updated on January 12, 2013

Apps for Bird Identification

What's that bird?
What's that bird? | Source

There’s an App for that!

Dedicated birders are often identified by the paraphernalia that they carry. A birder will have binoculars and his life list, a camera and tripod, and field guide and notebook. How much easier a birder’s life would be if he or she didn’t have to lug around all that stuff!

BUT WAIT! There’s a birding app for that!

If you have an iPad, Smartphone, Kindle Fire or other android device, you can get an inexpensive app that will outshine your current field guide by miles. How would you like an all-in-one place to look up birds, their habits, habitats, photographs, bird calls and shapes? In the same location, you can update your life list and keep notes. Check out the nifty new electronic field guides made especially for birders and naturalists.

An app for birdwatchers

No kidding, a birdwatcher who is in step with modern technology can carry many of these necessities electronically in one small device. With an android phone, a Kindle Fire, and iPad or other compatible device, birdwatchers can carry a library of field guides, their life list and a notebook all in one lightweight piece of technology.

Identify birds by shape or color

Did you identify this Mexican Jay?
Did you identify this Mexican Jay? | Source

Add notes and update your life list

As an amateur birdwatcher, my very favorite app is Audubon’s Field Guide for Birds that I use on my Kindle Fire. In addition to a comprehensive guide for bird identification, there is the option of keeping notes and updating your life lists. This provides a wonderful place to keep records of your observations and sightings for review later.

National Audubon Society: A Field Guide App for your Kindle or Android

My favorite field guide app

The National Audubon Society Field Guide for Birds

How does it work?

Browse by Shape - This gives you a selection of basic shapes from which to choose. Match a shape with the shape of the bird you are trying to identify, touch the screen, and a list of all birds with that basic shape will appear. Touch the bird you think it is, and you will get a more detailed listing. For example, if you choose the shape of "swallow-like birds", you will get your choice of swallows or swifts. You then touch "swallows" and get a listing of different kinds of swallows.( bank swallows, barn swallows, tree swallows...etc.). If you chose one of these, you get a selection of full color pictures usually including adults, male, female, juvenile, sometimes including pictures of the bird in flight or in the nest.

At the bottom of the screen, you can touch "Range", Voice, description or similar to get more information or go on to see similar birds.

Other Field Guides for your Android Device

Sibley Birds of North America
Sibley Birds of North America

Sibley's Birds of North America for the android is very similar to the Audubon Field Guide. View color photographs, listen to bird calls and find information on habitat and identification all on your smart phone!


Browse by color, habitat or similar birds

The app is easier to use than a paper book as it just takes a touch to flip through similar birds, birds of the same color or birds with the same habitat. One of the features that I really love is that the photographs are so much better than many of the field guides I’ve had. In most cases there are several shots of the same bird, male, female and young so that you can see different colors.

Hear the actual Bird call recordings

Best of all, is the bird call section. With a touch of the button, you can listen to prerecorded bird calls of the bird you are identifying (you might want to get ear buds if you are using this out in the field). I was particularly impressed that some birds had a selection of bird calls representing their morning song, distress signal and song during mating.

Other Field Guides for your android or Kindle Fire

Field guides for an iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire or other android device are sure to be useful references for anyone interested in bird, flower, butterfly or insect identification. There are some free apps available, too, but I personally prefer the Audubon Field Guides with their beautiful photographs and comprehensive information. Check them all out at!



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    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      xstatic - I use mine on my Kindle and love it. The color pictures are so much more realistic than my bird field guides and have several different views. I think you'll enjoy hearing the bird songs, too! Have fun!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      This is great! I got an IPAD for Christmas, and never thought about this as an aid for birding. I will look up some apps.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Bridalletter - I use the birding app on my Kindle Fire, but I know several people who use it on their iphones and love having a colorful field guide at their fingertips. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you for sharing. I never had time to stop and think that this may be an ap for my phone. I watch hummingbirds daily in my backyard. The recent birding movie is a lot of fun to watch too.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Check out the birding apps on Amazon - there may be one that works for you.

    • saudia profile image

      saudia 5 years ago

      good hub , I'd love to find one like that for my Samsung S3

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Linda, Amazon dropped the price on the Audubon Field Guide app recently - it's really a good deal for what you get. I love the photographs and the bird call feature. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love birds and I love of both worlds! Thank you for the heads up!:)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Blessed365 - If you are a birder, I'm sure you'll find these electronic field guides to be useful and fun. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

    • blessed365 profile image

      Vicky C. 5 years ago from New England

      Great Hub. It is good to know you can use these apps on the Kindle Fire. I am a birder so these apps would come in handy.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Randomcreative - I think that bird watchers are really enjoying the new technology that allows them to view their field guides and listen to bird calls while out and about. Thanks for stopping in to comment!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great topic for a hub! These will be useful resources for any avid bird watcher.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      LetitiaFT - Check out the Amazon links in my article - I'm sure the Audubon Field Guides are available for the iPhone! You'll love the photographs and the bird calls that you can actually listen to!

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 5 years ago from Paris via California

      Fantastic! I'd love to find one like that for my i-phone...

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      JKenny - I don't have a smart phone, yet, but I do love to use the bird app and some of the others on my Kindle Fire. Glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for your comments and votes!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Great hub Stephanie, I've still got an old fashioned mobile phone that only phones and texts (doesn't even have an camera) But if I ever decide to step into the 21st Century, I shall check out the apps you've highlighted in this hub. Great work. Voted up etc.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Will,

      If you have a smart phone or Kindle Fire, I think you'll enjoy the Audubon Field Guide to Birds app. Amazon recently dropped the price, so it's a deal right now. Thanks for check out my article!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great Hub! I'll check this app out!