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BirdNET's interface and neat features.

Birdsong at your Fingertips
How BirdNET is Transforming Avian Research and Deepening Human Relationships with Nature
For release: June 4, 2024


The advent of smartphone applications has transformed human behavior in many ways, allowing us to search for true love with a swipe, adjust the thermostat from the toilet, and with the release of the BirdNET app, unlock the secrets of the skies.


BirdNET is a free, revolutionary sound identification app available in 13 languages on both Android and iOS. It enables users, regardless of their birding expertise, to identify the sounds of over 3,000 common bird species across North America and Europe. The app relies on a species identification algorithm and a user interface that records and transmits audio and anonymized metadata to a server, then provides species identification with a descriptive confidence score*.


A paper published on BirdNET in PLOS Biology highlights the progress being made to achieve the app’s goals: cultivating new possibilities for avian research and promoting positive interactions between humans and birds.


Using 5.8 million observations across North America and Europe, the paper demonstrates how BirdNET provides insights into avian ecology, including mapping the migration patterns of the Common Crane (Grus grus). The data confirmed a newly described flyway across northern Italy [1], used by only a few thousand individuals.






Future changes to the app include enabling users to generate longer audio recordings, which would include both detections and non-detections. Connor Wood, the paper’s lead author, noted that this would be “… much easier to analyze than 'presence-only' data… knowing where birds are is good; also knowing where birds aren't is even better.”


The team is also considering adding a social networking component to the app. This could allow users to organize competitions or conduct community bird surveys. Pooled observations from multiple users could support community-driven projects such as estimating local species diversity and creating educational materials.


Importantly, BirdNET has shown that removing the need for advanced species identification skills and equipment lowers the barrier to citizen science participation, a key component of the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics’ mission. This benefits avian research, fosters deeper connections between users and their environment, encourages environmental stewardship, and improves the well-being of communities [2].

The app is not only free, but accessibility to its data is too! If you are a researcher interested in using the BirdNET App data, reach out to And if you're interested in tracking app statistics, check out @BirdNET_App on X.

*Since the publication of the paper in June 2022, a new data analysis portal has been launched, allowing users to analyze their own observations at greater detail and explore other observations in their surrounding area.


The app’s creators have also established a Live Submissions Map, where one can look at the distribution of different species across time and space and gain insight into the patterns of these species, such as the Tennessee warbler (Leiothlypis peregrina) who has recently been observed at its typical June breeding grounds in the boreal forests of Canada.




























  1. Mingozzi T, Storino P, Venuto G, Alessandria G, Arcamone E, Urso S, et al. Autumn Migration of Common Cranes Grus grus Through the Italian Peninsula: New Vs. Historical Flyways and Their Meteorological Correlates. Acta Ornithol. 2013 Jun; 48(2):165–77.

  2. Bratman GN, Anderson CB, Berman MG, Cochran B, de Vries S, Flanders J, et al. Nature and mental health: An ecosystem service perspective. Sci Adv. 2019 Jul 1; 5(7):eaax0903. 

Common Crane observations corresponded with the species' known migration routes from the Iberian Peninsula to northern Europe and, to a lesser extent, across the Po River Valley in northern Italy.

Temporal distribution.png
Tennesse warbler spatial.png

An example snapshot of the Live Submissions Map dashboard showing observations over the last 24 hours by location and time.

An example snapshot of the Live Submissions Map dashboard showing an observation of a Tennessee warbler at its breeding grounds in the boreal forests of Canada.

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