Song Sleuth: Auto Bird Song ID

Song Sleuth: Auto Bird Song ID

By Wildlife Acoustics

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2017-02-15
  • Current Version: 2.2
  • Adult Rating: 4+
  • File Size: 385.67 MB
  • Developer: Wildlife Acoustics
  • Compatibility: iOS 10.0+
Score: 2.5
From 87 Ratings


Song Sleuth turns your iPhone or iPad into an automatic bird song identifier covering the 200 most common vocalizing land birds in North America. 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: -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.)


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Worked first time right out of the box!

I’ve been trying to ID an ovenbird by sound for the past several weeks and this did the job right off the bat! When I replayed the song the bird flew into my area very distraught. I turned it off right away as I’ve read this can cause distress. I’m going to try it next on what I think is a Prairie Warbler. Love this app!
By luvcrubbage

Great features, but birdsong ID more miss than hit

I actually like the app a lot—for its catalog of birds common to my area, for the compilation of bird songs/calls, and for the illustrations of the birds. The ID is flaky though. Often the app will suggest three birds to match my recording and, to my ear, those birds sound nothing like what I just heard. It is a convenient feature though to be able to toggle back and forth between one’s own recording and the suggested bird songs. What I’ve been doing a lot is recording a bird, then just going down the list of common birds in my area to locate the one I find that sounds similar. That’s how I matched a song to the Carolina wren for which the app suggested three other (and to me distinctly different- sounding) birds. In that way, I’m becoming more familiar with the various bird songs. So the app helps me in that way.
By Amy A123

Song Sleuth

A great disappointment. It cannot ID Carolina Wren, Summer Tanager, Carolina Chickadee, and even Northern Cardinal 90% of the time. Only consistent ID was Blue Jay’s “Jay” call. I am amazed that David Sibley lent his name to this piece of trash. A waste of money and time.
By 1029384650


I am an avid bird fan. I go bird watching, I feed them and have nursed them back to health. I love this app. When I’m alone and do not want to be with “people,” I find serenity going off on my on with my binoculars and my bird calls.
By Pamelacg

Not really worth the $10

The spectrogram is very interesting and it is picking up all sounds, but unable to identify...or identifies incorrectly. This is even when isolating. Disappointed.
By JCPhelps

Pay twice for iPad/iPhone

Guess I should have checked-“iphone app offered” means you’ll have to pay - no sharing. Most apps bought on an iPad are shared for free on an iPhone. NOT THIS ONE!!! You have to pay $10 twice. Ouch! My most common use would have been with iPhone. I just started using the app and I’m already angry!
By RadioPT

No thanks

This app does not accurately ID anything except humans and squirrels. Very disappointing.
By human ID

No. Just no.

Incompetent and wrong. Complete waste of money.
By marleyjune

Not even close

It was clearly a Towhee, and the sleuth suggested it was a hermit thrush or a wood thrust.🙁
By joe h7

Has NEVER gotten one right.

On the open prairie, with no noise except the air (3 mph wind, phone placed on a fence post) could not identify a Bobwhite literally 25 feet away. A red winged blackbird literally 30 feet away. Those are just two examples of how I’ve wasted my time and money. I keep trying but I will finally delete it because it is so frustrating.
By Birder (always working on it)


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