Ways for the community to help

Merlin Bird ID has been downloaded over 10 million times and provides millions of bird identifications to students, naturalists and birders around the world. We are working to expand Merlin to new regions, and there are many ways that you can help us expand to your region. Below is a list of ways you can contribute to increasing and improving the data that the Merlin Bird ID app relies on.

Quick Links

Submit your bird sightings

Upload, Rate, or Box Images

Record Audio

Write Text

Translate Merlin

Submit your bird sightings

Merlin relies on eBird sightings submitted by other birders to provide likely results for any location and date in the world. Each checklist you submit to eBird helps improve the data that is the source for much of what Merlin does. Learn how to submit your sightings using our website or mobile app.


• We need a bare minimum of 100 high quality sound recordings for each species to train Merlin to recognize the species by sound. For many of the world's birds, we don't have enough recordings yet to begin the training process. You can help by recording the birds you hear while you're out birding, and submit the recordings with your eBird checklists. Check out our resources here for gear recommendations, audio processing tips, best practices, etc.
• Reach out to other recordists you know with exemplar media that may be willing to archive their recordings in Macaulay Library.


• Upload photos spanning a broad range of plumages, postures, behaviors, quality, regional variation, etc to help train Photo ID (we need >500 images per species). Photos can be uploaded through eBird checklists. View our current Most Wanted Photos.
• Upload magazine quality images you have taken for possible inclusion in the Merlin photo gallery for a species
Rate community photos: Select a region, or a species, and add a rating to each photo. This helps our team choose feature images, helps in Photo ID training, etc. Learn more about our rating system.
• MerlinVision: Help us train the Photo ID models by drawing a box around a bird. Start boxing today!


To expand Merlin to new regions and new languages, we need translators who can work through all the identification text, or translate the buttons and labels in the app.