Song Sleuth: Auto Bird Song ID

Song Sleuth: Auto Bird Song ID

By Wildlife Acoustics

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2017-02-15
  • Current Version: 1.1.1
  • Adult Rating: 4+
  • File Size: 382.96 MB
  • Developer: Wildlife Acoustics
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 10.0 or later.
Score: 3
From 47 Ratings


Song Sleuth turns your iPhone or iPad into an automatic bird song identifier covering the 200 most common vocalizing land birds in the U.S. Developed by Wildlife Acoustics, in collaboration with world-renowned bird expert and illustrator David Sibley, the app records bird songs and suggests matching species. The identification algorithms are the result of over a decade of research and experience designing professional bioacoustics recorders and software. Not just for beginners, the app also has features for intermediate birders who might need an identification hint or wish to study the included example recordings to take their ear birding to the next level. Advanced birders who don’t need any identification help will appreciate the ability to make and keep recordings for further study. PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING Song Sleuth gets you started with suggested matches, but it is not perfect. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the final identification. The app is intended to be an interactive and fun way to learn birding by ear. The more engaged you are in the process, the more we hope you will learn. Please read the following information on the app’s capabilities and limitations. You can also scroll to the bottom of this page and tap on “Developer Website” to learn more and watch a walk-through video to get a better sense of how the app works. -The app does not identify simple calls, chips and scolds, only bird songs and more distinct calls that are characteristic of that species. -The app does not recognize birds that are mimicking other birds such as the Thrashers and Mockingbird. -It is ideal to get a recording of a single bird singing. The app can be confused by noise or background birds but tools are provided to trim and filter your recordings to improve the results. - The app performs best outdoors with live birds, and not as well with pre-recorded sounds. Also, Song Sleuth automatically selects the birds that are likely to be in your area at the present time of year, so you need to be sure the birds you are playing are selected in the SPECIES LIST. SONG SLEUTH HELPS YOU IDENTIFY SINGING BIRDS Simply press the record button when you hear a bird singing and the app begins recording a few seconds back in time using the built-in microphone. Tap the record button again when the song is complete and Song Sleuth immediately shows you three most likely species. To assist you in determining the correct bird, you can listen to your recording and the example recordings of the likely matches as well as compare their spectrograms side-by-side. SAVE, VIEW, LISTEN TO AND SHARE RECORDINGS Recordings are saved in the RECORDING LIST where you can view the recording’s spectrogram, listen to the recording (and speed it up or slow down), add a text note, or view the GPS location. You can also trim the recording or filter the frequency range to remove extraneous sounds. Recordings can be shared with other Song Sleuth users via text messaging or email. INCLUDES DAVID SIBLEY BIRD REFERENCE INFORMATION The included David Sibley Bird Reference lets you learn more about each species. The reference includes Sibley illustrations of each bird, a description of each bird and its songs, zoomable range maps and a bar chart showing the likelihood of each bird’s presence in your area throughout the year, using Sibley’s extensive database of bird presence. COMPLETE COLLECTION OF EXAMPLE RECORDINGS Well-known nature recordist Lang Elliot and friends spent countless hours recording in the field to provide over 1,000 world-class recording examples of the included bird species. You can listen to a all the vocalizations made by each species or compare spectrograms to your own recordings or examples from other species. SEE YOUR RECORDING LOCATIONS Recording locations can be viewed on a satellite or road map or transferred to a computer and viewed in Google Earth. (Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.)



  • Works great, looks beautiful!

    By SemperCogito
    Recognizes all the birds around me, and the Sibley pictures are gorgeous. I love this - so much fun when I’m out!
  • I want this to work. :(

    By gluten free
    No matter how clear the (trimmed) recording is, the app consistently misses the ID. I recorded a red-wing blackbird: They’re so distinctive and loud. But the app doesn’t provide RWBL as an option. It often comes up with birds that I have never seen or heard anywhere near my backyard. I did Carolina Wren, another loud, pure, clear song - not an option when it evaluated the recording. It’s frustrating to use. I notice that it lists birds as uncommon at times when they are, in fact, quite common. That part baffles me. (Birds I can hear all. day. long. Like red-winged blackbirds in the wetland that is my backyard.) This could be SO useful. But for the cost, it is disappointing... however, I’ve already invested in it, so I will continue to check it out to see if performance has improved. **I’ll update my review if it does improve IDs.** In the meantime, I will keep training my ears with birdsong ID discs on my commutes.
  • Should be recalled

    By May Cheetah Lee Ann
    This app truly should be recalled and people’s money be refunded. I have had it for many months and the updates have not improved the horrible field performance. I have read all the instructions and watched videos but nothing helps. It has maybe 10-15% accuracy. Even common birds singing typical songs right next to you will come up with bizarre choices that sound nothing like the real bird. It gets wrong Black-capped Chickadee, European Starling, Dark-eyed Junco, American Tree Sparrow, Common Grackle and the list goes on. Even when you do all the proper editing of the recorded sound and have the right state chosen it still fails most of the time with none of the choices being correct. How can a chickadee be mistaken for an Osprey? This is a great concept but poor execution. The app should be removed until it is able to have at least 85% field accuracy.
  • Well thought out and a great learning tool

    By monkachino
    There are not many birds around at the moment but I am using the app to brush up on my bird song skills for spring.
  • Fun

    By Talskid
    Sitting on my back porch in Georgia and the app has identified Bluejays, common grackle, an osprey and our pesky squirrels!
  • Needs work

    By JRV1953
    Found it very inaccurate in identifying songs. Took five tries recording a Song Sparrow that I could see before it came up as a potential choice. On the upside it is easy to use, just not accurate. Hopefully newer versions will improve performance.
  • No it's not a frog

    By Shewolfdc
    I used this app and it never even close to identifying the bird song. As a matter of fact three different times it's first choice for the bird was a Spring Peeper, which is a frog. They should not be selling this app until they get it fixed.
  • Waste

    By lytae
    It thinks Zebra when pony is the answer. Is that needs work. I was looking at a extremely noisy cardinal. The app suggested chickadee.
  • Has potential but not worth the price.

    By FirstChAoS
    First off, if this was a prototype app I'd say it had real promise. As it is now it feels unfinished, inaccurate, and not worth ten bucks. Why do I say that? I purchased this ap for my iPad Air yesterday and took it in the field twice. First off it has trouble IDing bird calls. In general if the bird is not within ten feet or less of your location the app cannot detect it. Then it's identification ability depends on the species. Also the bird must do its full song to be identified. Chirps and partial songs do not work. What species does it id well? Robins and Prairie Warblers. What species does it often have trouble IDing? Eastern Towhee, Common Yellowthroat. What species can't it ID at all? Chipping Sparrow, Catbird, Chestnut Sided Warbler. What species can it not hear at all? Eastern Bluebird. The ap is also bad at filtering out background noise and distinguishing calls when two or more birds call at once. Footsteps, crickets, traffic, strong wind, and barking dogs can all ruin its ability to identify. Also if you are trying to ID one bird singing and another starts singing mid song it cannot ID it. Such as when a Phoebe starts calling while a Robin sings. The ap has an odd habit of suggesting vireos for Warblers. If it cannot hear anything it either tells you that or suggests three of the following: human, a corvid, an owl, or a dove or pigeon. Also, if you have a cover on your tablet it cannot hear sounds correctly. This ap does have potential if it gets a lot of work, but at the moment it is a waste of money.
  • App is good at recording bird songs

    By Tim in Salem, OR
    I am primarily interested in the app for recording bird songs, uploading the recordings to iCloud, and including recordings with my eBird observations. The app does a great job at that using an iPhone SE. I like how the app allows for "prerecording" by continuous monitoring. I like the ability of the app to clip portions of a recording. I also like that it allows me to identify the bird in the recording and store the recordings with proper identification. The ability of the app to id birds works marginally well.