Introduction to the Best Birdwatching Apps in Australia
In the modern technological era, Australia’s birdwatching has been made more accessible and fun through the invention of handy apps and guides that can be accessed online or on a smartphone. These make everything from identifying birds, to tracking and sharing sightings with other birders like you, to learning more about bird species, substantially easier.
We’ve compiled the best birding apps for bird identification, bird calls, bird lists and sightings in Australia, like the free Birda app, so look no further as we delve into their features.
One of the best birdwatching apps in Australia is Birda. Birda is a birding social app that turns the discovery and exploration of birdlife and the outdoors into a game by using challenges, leaderboards and fun badges.
Its sleek and clean look is unique and makes identifying and logging species a breeze. Birda’s stand out feature, aside from its powerful community bird identification features, is its emphasis on community.
Not only is the Birda app free, it is focused on conservation and shares sightings with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). It also promotes creating healthy habits, getting outside into nature and a little bit of fun competition too. Think Strava meets Pokemon Go, but for birdwatching!
Plan your birding;
There are a few points which make Birda one of the best birdwatching apps in Australia; there are two main features you can use to plan your next birding trip. Challenges and Locations; Challenges are a great way to encourage you outside and create a healthy habit of getting back into nature, and find new places to go birding with the help of Birda Locations.
Record your birding;
Recording your birds is a great way to keep track and look back on your birding. You can log your one-off sightings or a larger active session where you can track every bird you see on a walk, in a bird-hide or in your garden. Birda’s integrated free Species Guide really helps you ID your birds and makes your birding more streamlined with a single press of a button.
Easily identify Birds
Having trouble with bird identification? Birda is the app for you! Simply log your bird as ‘Unidentified’ and add a picture and description to let other birders anonymously help identify your bird. It’s that simple! Birda uses Human Intelligence (HI) instead of Artificial Intelligence (AI) when birders ask for help. Improve your bird ID skills further and delve into the comments where birders give helpful tips and tricks for next time.
Reflect on your birding;
Birda is all about community. Seeing where other people have gone birding, what they could have seen and who has liked your posts on Birda. Birda also automatically logs your lists; All Time, Year, Month, Patch, Home and Photo List, where you can peruse your birding achievements! Reflecting on your birding also gives you such a sense of progress!
Adding your pictures to Birda also helps you reflect on what you’ve seen too. If you’re interested in starting your photography journey, read about the Best Cameras for Bird Photography here.
Each sighting you log also helps scientific research. The GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) could use sightings in research for species distribution! What a great app to be part of!
Stand out features of Birda include -
- It’s free!
- Available on both Android and Apple
- Choose your preferred taxonomy
- Intergrated Species Guide
- Localised species list
- Import sightings from other apps
- Lists are auto-generated
- Keep track of your health metrics; time in nature, days wild etc
- Use Birda offline
- Fine-grained privacy controls
Try Birda, it's FREE
Australian Birds Sounds Pro- Automatic Recognition (IOS Only)
This is the Shazam of the birdwatching world! Simply record the bird song in question through the app and the culprit will be identified in seconds – it even works offline! It boasts an impressive 85% success rate and covers birds around Australia.
The app is well put together and constructed logically thus making it easy to navigate and record. The drawback of this app is that its species list is ever-growing but not complete and there are many birds missing from its archives. You’ll also need to ensure that you get good quality recordings or else the app can throw up false positives. It also only recognises birdsong not calls, which seasoned birders may find frustrating. However, for beginners and hobbyists, this is a great app to start with.
New to birdwatching? Why not check out our helpful guide on how to get started with birding!
Aussie Bird Count
The Aussie Bird Count is a really useful app whose main purpose is to allow people to participate in the annual bird survey, and thereby contribute vital data to conservation efforts and scientific research.
The Aussie Bird Count App is really only useful when the Australian Bird Count is active, usually in October of each year, but in the meantime, whilst you wait for the survey to begin, you can brush up on your ID skills as it is extremely accessible and user friendly which is perfect for novices and hobbyists.
Using your phone for this survey is great as all the location data can be recorded quickly and easily. There’s a built-in field guide to learn more about each species. What really makes this app stand out is that it feels like you’re being part of something bigger as your information is joining with thousands of others to give a clearer picture for conservation. The app is a little limited with bird call identification and it does have a tendency to be a little buggy but overall it’s a great app to download and to be familiar with.
If your desire is to feel part of something bigger all year round, the free Birda app is a great alternative for you. The birdwatching community are so friendly and each sighting counts towards science! Discover how Birda is one of the best birdwatching apps in Australia.
Pizzey & Knight Birds Of Aus
Pizzey and Knight Birds of Australia is both a field guide and a life-list logger. It’s not dissimilar to Sibley’s Bird ID, an American Bird Guide in that there’s both an online/app version and a printed version. It’s very extensive too – with over 900 Australia bird species in it; each one is beautifully supported by detailed information, images and calls to help with ID and to understand each a little better. It’s been produced by highly acclaimed ornithologists.
It is, however, fairly intense and could be overwhelming for beginners. This app is a little on the pricey side too but for keen birders, this is a must have for Australian birding.
A free alternative to Pizzey & Knight Birds of Australia is the Birda app, with an extensive species guide and up-to-date information on where to find these birds.
Morcombe & Stewart Guide
This app is another guide aimed at seasoned birdwatchers as it’s rich in information and fine detail. However, like Pizzey and Knight this app boasts information on an impressive 790 Australian species with high res images and lots of detailed descriptions. Like other apps, this too has 1800 bird calls to help bring the experience to life. The potential downside of this app is price and app size, but it’s worth remembering that it’s a big app because it works offline to provide the complete user experience.
Australia Birds Sounds Pro (Android)
No prizes for guessing that this app excels in. The Australia Bird Sounds Pro app specialises in identifying even the most exotic Australian species. There are over 300 high quality recordings for over 950 bird species and what’s even better is that this app is free (although it makes its money from in-app purchases).
It sports offline listening and lots of useful features like life lists, quizzes and games and birdwatching checklists. The app does lack some features like maps and detailed information on every species but overall it has plenty to offer.
If you’re into the fun side of birdwatching and are up for a bit of friendly competition, the free Birda app has birding challenges to push you outside into nature. A little bit of friendly competition in birding could win you some incredible prizes, with lots of challenges on Birda having free incentives to win. Not only in the form of online badges, but binoculars, birding kit and tech too! Find out more about Birda’s Challenges.
Stewart Australian Bird Calls
The Stewart Australian Bird Calls app is pretty similar to Australia Birds Sounds Pro. Its main aim is to offer identification through bird calls using the phone as the recording device. It boasts an astounding 3800 recordings for 725 species. It’s really well put together too making it easier for beginners to navigate. It does need an internet connection to work which can be inconvenient at times, especially when birding somewhere remote. However in general, this is a great choice – especially with the ability to share recordings from the app elsewhere.
Smart Bird Id (Australia And Nz)
Like many apps, this one is initially free but offers some paid-for updates to enhance the experience. Smart Bird ID is very easy to use and has a pretty exhaustive list of species within it (over 1000). It has maps, life lists and bird call identifier. Although like the Stewart Australian Bird Calls app, it requires an active internet connection to work and can drain the battery of a phone quickly if used too much.
Similar to the free Birda app, the app has some nice community features where users can ask questions to the forum about anything bird-y!
Birdly - Birdlife Australia
Finally, Birdly is a fantastic choice for birding in Australia. Birdly is AI-powered and sports a rich array of modern features. It can be used to identify birds with startling accuracy and can show 3D modelling, illustrations, maps and more. It’s been developed by BirdLife Australia so it has official backing and therefore also promotes awareness and support for conservation efforts in Australia.
It’s a free app but offers additional features when users opt for the paid version (these include quizzes, checklists and offline functionality). It doesn’t hold the best sound recognition features but its image recognition is state of the art.
No matter which app you choose from the list of best birdwatching apps in Australia, you can always join the Birda app’s wonderful community. You can take sightings from other birding platforms and import them to Birda to take part in challenges.
Hopefully at least one of these apps will be useful for you wherever you’re at with your birdwatching passion. Good luck and happy birding!