eBird Mobile makes it easy to record the birds you see in the field and seamlessly link these observations with eBird—a global online database of bird records used by hundreds of thousands of birders around the world. This free resource makes it easy to keep track of what you see, while making your data openly available for scientific research, education, and conservation. eBird Mobile is the only app that passes information directly from iOS and Android devices to your eBird account on the web. Check out our video from the eBird Essentials course or read the instructions below to get started.
Download eBird Mobile
Set your preferences
Once you've downloaded the app, you'll be prompted to enter your user information. You can easily create an account within the app if you don’t have one yet. After you've entered your user information, just choose the display language for your bird names and your units of distance (metricor imperial).
In Settings, choose whether you want Common Names or Scientific Names to show during data entry. If you pick Common Names, then choose your Common Name Language. We support more than 28 languages, and 24 more regional dialects within these options.
To change the common name, just click the box with the current common name language. You will get a list with all of the common name languages in eBird. Select your preference, make sure a check appears next to your selection, return to the home screen, and give the app some time to install the new set of names.
Download a pack
Packs are lists of birds you are likely to see in a given region of the world. By installing a pack, you can use a species list of birds tailored for your area regardless of connection. Just install new packs before you travel somewhere new.
Now we're at the fun part—reporting your bird sightings! Before you start the checklist, select if you’d like to Record Track. Tracks will keep an automated GPS path of your route and record your distance traveled and time spent in the field so you can focus on birding. We highly recommend this!
Now tap the Start New Checklist button to view the checklist page! Here you can enter every bird that you find, numbers of each species, and comments for those sightings. Use eBird Mobile Quick Entry to rapidly enter data. Tap on a bird's name to enter comments about that sighting or to add breeding & behavior codes. Continue to enter the birds you see or hear, and when you're done birding, tap "Stop" or "Review" to be taken to a summary page.
There are several ways to view a list of species tailored to your area: you can view the list by Smart Sort, based on how frequently those species are reported in eBird, or by Taxonomic Sort, organized by bird taxonomy like traditional field guides. You can also choose to “Show Rarities” to see the full list of species that have been reported for the region.
Selecting a location
There are three location selection options: Recent, Nearby, and Map. You can choose your location during the checklist or at the end when you Review and Submit.
Recent Location has the last 50 locations that you've used on eBird Mobile; you can choose from these locations without the need for an internet connection. As you use locations within the app, this list will automatically populate.
Nearby Location uses the phone’s GPS to show a list of all the nearby eBird locations: both nearby public hotspots (orange balloons) and your personal locations (blue balloons).
Map Location uses the phone’s GPS to show all nearby eBird locations as a map. Hotspots are shown in orange, personal locations in blue, and the currently selected location for the list in green.
You can choose a location for your checklist on the map —either pressing to make a new personal location, or choosing a hotspot or previously eBirded location. If you create a new location, consider editing the location name to something more meaningful than the automatically-generated name.
Submitting & sharing finished checklists
Tapping "Review & Submit" will take you to a summary of your checklist. Here you'll answer the most important question in eBird: are you reporting all species? If you're using 'tracks', your protocol, distance, and duration will be automatically filled in for you. You can also view your track if you were traveling by tapping on the icon next to the distance number. If you backtracked during the checklist, only report the unique (one-way) distance traveled.
Next note how many people were in your party. If you were birding with other folks, you can share your checklists with them by increasing the Number of Observers and entering their eBird username in the “Share checklist with” field. You can store as many checklists in the app as you'd like then submit them as you go or when you get back to a place with Internet.
Once you've filled out that information, tap "Submit" in the lower right corner of the list, and you're all set! You'll need a cell signal or Internet connection to submit the checklists. This will take you to your My Checklists page in the app, showing all sightings you've entered through the app.
Make sure to submit your checklists! All checklists submitted and marked "Accepted" are preserved as a part of your eBird account. "Accepted" checklists can also be accessed from eBird.org and will appear in your My eBird summaries across devices. These data are never lost. However, any checklists under the "Not Submitted" tab are NOT preserved on eBird.org. If something happens to your device, "Not Submitted" checklists will be lost.
NOTE: eBird Mobile currently does not display any checklists you've entered through the eBird website and does not 'sync' with other devices. The My Checklists page in the app will only display checklists you have submitted from that device.
My eBird easily keeps track of your life, year, and month lists for anywhere in the world! It also compares your sightings between years, letting you know how your progress is compared to your own past birding. Can you beat your past self?
Tap on any of the green numbers in My eBird to see your list for that place and time period. If you want to search for a location, use the location icon (the green balloon) in the upper right to view or search for other counties, states, provinces, or countries. Have fun!
Best Practices for eBird Mobile
Entering bird sightings through smartphones has revolutionized the collection of biodiversity information worldwide, and with great power comes great responsibility. Check out our tips for how to make your checklists most valuable in eBird, both for your records, and for science.