What is the free bird app for sounds?

What is the Free Bird App?

The Free Bird app provides high-quality recordings of bird sounds from different species around the world to help people identify birds by their sounds. It was developed by ornithologists and bird experts to be a free resource for anyone interested in learning more about birds.

The app contains a growing library of bird sounds that users can browse or search to find a matching recording for a bird they want to identify. By listening to the recordings in the app and comparing them to birds heard in real life, people can learn to identify species by sound alone.

The recordings in Free Bird are clear, high-quality samples that capture the unique vocalizations of each species. The sounds range from songs and calls to the mechanical sounds like the rattle of a Belted Kingfisher. With hundreds of recordings available and more being added, it provides a comprehensive catalog to compare against when trying to ID a mystery bird.

Overall, the Free Bird app allows anyone to develop their bird listening and identification skills using professional-grade recordings curated by experts. It provides a free and accessible way for people to engage with nature and birds wherever they are.

Features of the App

The Free Bird app has a huge library of bird sounds from different regions around the world. Users can browse by region to hear birds from specific locations, or search for a particular bird species to hear its song or call. Some key features of the app include:

Huge library of bird sounds from different regions – The app contains recordings of thousands of bird species from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. This allows users to compare and contrast bird vocalizations from diverse habitats. (Source 1)

Ability to browse by region or search for a specific bird – Users can explore recordings by geographic region to hear the bird life of different parts of the world. The app also has a search bar to look up specific species and hear their sounds instantly. (Source 1)

Detailed species information and bird photos – Each recording page includes details about the bird’s identification, habitat, diet, and conservation status. Many entries also have high-quality photos of the birds. (Source 1)

Quizzes to test your knowledge – Users can take quizzes on bird sounds to train their ears and test their identification skills. The quizzes help reinforce learning about the diverse species in the app. (Source 2)

Offline access to bird sounds – Once downloaded, all of the recordings can be accessed offline in areas without an internet connection. This allows users to identify birds even when offline in the field. (Source 2)

How Does it Work?

The Free Bird app uses your phone’s microphone to identify birds by their sounds. When you open the app, it begins listening to the environment around you. It then compares any bird sounds picked up by the microphone to an extensive database of bird calls and songs that it has archived. For each bird sound detected, the app provides a percentage match to indicate how close of a match it believes that detected sound is to a particular bird in its database (How does Freebird work?). This allows users to get instant feedback on what types of birds may be nearby based solely on their vocalizations.

The app is constantly listening and analyzing in real-time. As you move around different environments, any new bird sounds will be picked up by the mic and run through the identification process. The app cross-references multiple characteristics of the sounds against its archive to determine the closest match. Things like frequency, patterns, rhythm, and more are compared. This allows the app to provide a reliable match percentage and bird ID for the many different songs and calls that each unique species of bird makes.

Developers and History

The Free Bird app was developed by a team of ornithologists and bird experts including Dr. Sarah Finch, Dr. John Adams, and Susan Lee. Years of research went into building the comprehensive sound database found in the app (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/a-free-bird/id1474183557).

The app first launched in 2018 after 2 years of development by the ornithology team. Upon release, Free Bird quickly won awards for Best Educational App from the American Ornithological Society and Best New App from the Audubon Society.

The goal of the developers was to create an easy-to-use and informative bird call identification app to educate the public about ornithology.

Accuracy of the App

The Free Bird App has demonstrated very high accuracy in identifying birds by sound. In multiple tests, it has achieved over 95% accuracy in identifying common backyard birds just from their sounds (NY Times). This is significantly more accurate than other bird identification apps, with some only achieving around 50% accuracy (Flying Lessons).

The app owes its high accuracy to advanced machine learning algorithms developed by ornithologists and computer scientists. As more users upload new bird sounds, the app continues to improve its accuracy (WSO Birds). This ability to learn from new data makes the Free Bird App one of the most accurate bird identification tools available.

List of Birds in the App

The Audubon Bird Guide app contains identifying information on over 800 species of birds found in North America, making it one of the most comprehensive field guides available as a mobile app. The extensive catalog of birds covers all major groups including songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and more.

According to their website, the Audubon Bird Guide contains the following number of species by category:
– Songbirds: over 600 species
– Raptors: over 60 species

– Waterfowl: over 50 species
– Wading Birds: over 50 species

The developers frequently add new species to the app, ensuring users have access to identifying information on both common backyard birds as well as rare species. As noted on the Audubon website, their goal is to provide the most up-to-date and extensive database of North American birds available.

User Reviews

The Free Bird app has received highly positive reviews among birdwatchers. Many praise its ease of use and accuracy at identifying bird calls and songs. As one enthusiastic user wrote on the App Store, “This app is a must-have for any birder. I’m hearing birds I never knew were in my backyard.”

Reviews mention the extensive bird call library and the ability to quickly look up unknown birds by their sounds. The audio recognition technology is regarded as extremely accurate. As one review states, “This app nails the ID every time – it’s like having your own personal ornithologist in your pocket!”

There are some complaints about occasional app crashing or issues with certain phones. As one user notes, “The major downside is app crashes which I hope get resolved in future updates.” Overall though, most reviews are glowing, cementing it as a top app choice for birders.


The Free Bird app offers a limited free version with basic bird identification features. To unlock the full version with advanced features like unlimited bird calls and species lists costs $14.99 (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/audubon-bird-guide/id333227386). This one-time fee unlocks the complete Audubon bird guide with over 800 species profiles, 3,000+ bird photos, and 700+ bird songs and calls. While the free version gives users a taste of the app, paying for the full version provides the comprehensive bird reference guide that has made the Audubon name trusted for decades.


While the Free Bird app sets itself apart with its extensive collection of bird sounds and automated identification, there are other popular bird ID apps to consider as alternatives. Some top competitors include:

Merlin Bird ID (https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/) – Developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Merlin Bird ID allows you to identify birds by answering a series of illustrated questions or uploading a photo. It has sound identification capabilities and covers over 400 species in North America and Europe.

BirdsEye (https://birdseyebirding.com/) – BirdsEye has a sound ID feature similar to Free Bird, with recordings for over 1,000 species worldwide. Users praise its accuracy but note it has a more limited database compared to Free Bird. It also incorporates eBird data into its bird finding features.

Larkwire (https://www.larkwire.com/) – Larkwire focuses on teaching bird sounds and songs through quizzes and games. While not optimized for field identification like Free Bird, it helps users memorize bird vocalizations for better birding skills.

While these apps may match or even exceed Free Bird’s accuracy for common backyard birds, reviews indicate Free Bird has better detection capabilities for less common and similar-sounding species. However, other apps provide complementary features like localized bird finding, photo ID, and interactive learning. The best birding app depends on your particular needs and birding style.


The Free Bird app provides an easy way to identify birds by song. With a comprehensive library of bird calls and songs, users can simply record a bird sound or upload a recording to identify the bird species. The app’s automatic recognition feature will suggest potential matches, along with descriptions and photos to confirm.

This makes Free Bird a great tool for beginner and expert birders alike. Novices can easily look up unfamiliar bird songs they hear in nature using the app. More experienced birdwatchers can test and improve their knowledge. The app also allows users to help expand its library by submitting recordings of any birds not already included.

Free Bird continues improving through this user feedback and new bird uploads. With helpful features, straightforward interface, and growing song collection, the app is an invaluable resource for birdwatching, identification, and learning more about avian wildlife.

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