The Great Outdoors calls kids and families, especially in the spring and summer months. Birdwatching is one fabulous life-long hobby you can enjoy together as a family, and that kids can take with them to enjoy for life. Set the stage with these fabulous tools – digital logs, field guides, games, and even some feathery stories for young birders.
Introducing Birding Fun: Just for Kids
Bird Guide for Kids
PGS Software S.A. – Free with in-app purchases
This interactive atlas is the perfect introduction to birds of the world for kids. It features beautiful HD photographs, high-quality digital recordings of bird calls, and a read-aloud information section filled with facts and trivia. The birds featured are from Central Europe, so kids will see and hear a wide array of new birds.
The app is well-designed with kids’ safety in mind. There are no advertisements, no interaction with social networks, and no location tracking or other data collection tools. There is an optional in-app purchase to complete the bird collection.
Video Touch: Wild Birds
SoundTouch Interactive LTD – $2.99
Treat your toddler and preschooler to these baby-friendly bird video clips. It’s fun and friendly, and very simple to use. Each of the 12 birds features four different video clips showing nest building, flying, and bird calls.
The app is highly recommended, with a 4.6 star rating on the App Store. There are no in-app purchases, and it effectively prevents babies from accessing other parts of the internet.
Dentist Bird: A West African Folktale
Literary Safari Inc. – Free
Introduce young children to the wide array of birds in the world with this beautiful digital picture book retelling of an African tale. This award-winner will fire up children’s imaginations and whet their appetites to learn more about the many unique birds in our world.
The book also includes minigames to make the story interactive, a read-to-me mode with word by word highlighting to develop reading skills, and a separate additional game inspired by the folktale. There are no in-app purchases.
And finally, check out 12 Huia Birds. It’s an engaging story about an extinct New Zealand bird. You can read the full review and get the link HERE.
Bird Watching with Kids
Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab
Cornell University – Free
Figuring out what kind of bird you saw is as simple as 1-2-3 with this great app. Simply answer the five questions, or upload a quick photo, and Merlin will magically let you know what you are looking at. The app also is well-equipped to help you and your children build a life list. This list of every bird you’ve ever seen is a dream of many bird watchers.
The app is free from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and was created by some of the most renown bird experts in the world. The focus is on North American birds, but you can get supplemental packs to expand the reach to various other areas.
Audubon Bird Guide
National Audubon Society – Free
Snatch this chance to have info about over 800 different species of North American birds in your pocket- it doesn’t come along very often! This app will help you identify the bird on your feeder or the one that you see on the trail, then provide you with loads of related information. It’s simple to use and makes a marvelous field guide.
The Audubon Bird Guide is a fabulous resource for beginners and expert birders alike. The app does have some interaction- hobbyists can upload their sightings in real time so you can find the current hotspots nearby, where all the cool birds are hanging out.
North American Birds Free
luminous Apps – Free with in-app purchases
This app may stand out with kids because in addition to having the usual bird identification system, field guide, and sightings list, it also includes games to help children become more proficient at identifying birds on the fly, so to speak. They can try their hand at identifying birds by shape and even by sound.
The app is free to download. In-app purchases expand its capabilities for ninety-nine cents each.
Cornell University – Free
This offering from Cornell Ornithology Labs is unique in that it makes it easy to note the location of birds you spot. You can easily input your location, and your sighting will be added to a worldwide database using the phone’s GPS capability. Best of all, it works offline, as well, so now you won’t lose access to your birding tools when you stray out of internet coverage range.
This app is free and has some location features that outstrip other birding apps. Download it right away and see what you think!
Song Sleuth Auto Bird Song ID
Wildlife Acoustics – Free
Put a twist on your bird watching activities with this cool app. Record that beautiful birdsong you hear, and this app will find the match among over 200 North American species. So often you can hear the birds before you spot them, and this app will help you learn to match the song with the bird on your hikes.
Recordings can be saved and even shared once you’ve found them. The app will select the three most likely candidates based on the sound you recorded, and then it’s up to you to determine which bird you are hearing. Sometimes the species will even give you a hint about where to look- some birds favor treetops while others hang out in bushes.
Larkwire Learn Bird Songs
Larkwire – Free with in-app purchases
This app offers a gamified way to learn to identify birds by their songs and calls. It provides structured practice with the skill that will help your young birders stand out among the rest. Once they can identify birds by their sounds, kids will be a lot more successful in spotting them since they will know what they are looking for.
The app comes with basic birds that most of us have in our backyards. You can add to the library and the app’s capabilities by purchasing additional birding packs for prices ranging from $9.99 to $24.99 for core and pro editions for various parts of the United States.
Bluebird Technology Limited – Free with in-app purchases
This powerful bird watching journal app can grow with your kids. It’s great for simply recording the types of birds observed, and later, when they want to add notes, photos, recordings and so forth, it’s right there for them to use. Most beginning bird watchers that start out young will want to continue as they grow, and this is the perfect app to help them become more and more sophisticated in their entries.
Data stored in this system is secure and portable- it’s stored in a remote location so it can follow your hobbyist even through device changes and catastrophes. The app is free to download, and you can unlock a host of additional features with a subscription available as an in-app purchase for $30.99 per year.
And if you are searching for still more bird watching fun, check out this review of Birds Pro HD!