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eBird Mobile makes it easy to record the birds you see in the field, 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.
Entering data on eBird Mobile
- Download eBird Mobile
- Set your preferences
- Download and install packs
- Start a checklist
- Select a location
- Review, Submit and Share
1. Download eBird Mobile
The first step is to get the app—available for free on both the Google Play and App Stores. Click the above links to go to the download page for each.
2. 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. Then choose the display language for bird names and set your preferred distance unit (metric or imperial).
Common vs Scientific names
In the app Settings you can choose whether you want Common Names or Scientific Names to show during data entry. If you select Common Names, you can also choose your Common Name Language. We support more than 28 languages, and 24 more regional dialects within these options.
When selecting a new Common Name Language, 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.
3. Download and install packs
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 reception or wifi connection. Just install new packs whenever you travel somewhere new.
To download a pack:
- On Android devices: tap on the three bars in the upper left corner, and then 'Packs' from the dropdown menu.
- On iOS devices: tap on the three dots by the word 'More' in the bottom right corner, and then 'Packs' from near the top of the screen.
Nearby suggested packs will automatically appear, but you can search for any regional pack in the world by tapping 'All' or the magnifying glass icon and typing the name of the region (State/Province or Country).
Pack Smart: Going out of service? Install new eBird packs before you travel so your mobile device has a list of local birds ready for your first checklist upon arrival.
4. Start a checklist
Before you begin, you'll need to select a date and start time. If you're about to begin birding, use the current date and time, or you can adjust these values to a previous time period.
Record Tracks is selected by default. 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!
Once the date, time, and tracks are set, tap "Start New Checklist". Now we're at the fun part—reporting your bird sightings! Enter every bird that you see or hear and the numbers of each species. Tap on a bird's name to enter comments about that sighting or to add breeding & behavior codes.
Pro Tip:Use eBird Mobile Quick Entry to rapidly enter data. Add species to your list in just four letters!
Custom sorting - There are several ways to view a list of species: 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.
Can't find a bird on the list - Choose to 'Show Rarities' for a full list of species reported in the region, try typing a scientific name in the search box, or learn more about adding species to your checklist.
5. Select a location
At any time during the checklist you can select an exact location for a more precise list of birds in your area. You must select a location before you submit your checklist.
Choose a location that accurately represents the entirety of your birding activity. To select a location, tap the pin and location name at the top of the checklist. You can then choose from nearby locations, recent locations, as well as from a map. Click here for a step-by-step guide to selecting locations in eBird Mobile
6. Review, Submit and Share
When you are done birding, tap "Review & Submit" to generate a summary of your checklist. If you're using 'tracks', your protocol, distance, and duration will be automatically filled in for you.
Distance - Report the unique (one-way) distance traveled while birding. If you were traveling with Record Tracks turned on, you can see your track by tapping on the icon next to the distance number.
Observers - Enter how many people were birding with you. You can share your checklists with other eBirders by increasing the nubmer of Observers, tapping “Share checklist with”, and entering their eBird usernames.
Finally, you'll answer the most important question in eBird: are you reporting all species?
Save and Submit
Once you've filled out that information, tap "Submit" in the lower right corner of the list, and you're all set! Note: you'll need a cell signal or Internet connection to submit the checklist.
No reception? No problem! Press "Close" instead of "Submit" to store the checklist on your phone until you have an internet connection. Stored checklists can be found on the "Not Submitted" tab of the Checklists screen. Make sure to submit your checklists as soon as you have reception!
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.
Where are my other checklists?
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.
More Tips & Tricks
If you want to learn more about using eBird Mobile, please check out our eBird Mobile Tips & Tricks.
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.