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.)
I use this app every time I go out birding! I use it to help me identify the species - no, it is not perfect for that, but it usually gives me ideas and most importantly allows me to record, make notes and then analyze later. It is helping me learn and to get better at identifying the song/call myself. I also like how you can reduce the background noise for better ID.
I bought this app despite some not-so-complimentary reviews. I’ve been VERY disappointed! To test the app after some trials at identifying birds, I played a RECORDING of the Common Loon (tremolo and wail, separately) and the app thought it was a human, a Barred Owl, or a Screech Owl. WHAT???? I want my money back!!
No matter what I record the ‘match’ is always the same and the ‘song’ never sounds like the recording. Plus one of the three ‘matches’ is always a bullfrog!
As a lot of other reviews have pointed out, the ID feature of this app is hit or miss. I’ve been using it for over a year now and have figured out how to isolate the songs I’m trying to record a little better. Even so, it’s accurate less than 50% of the time. However, this is still the best app I’ve found for recording birds. And has a lot of great features! - It records an a loop so that when you hit record, it includes the previous three seconds in your recording. This is huge! I’ve nailed so many more recordings that I never would have gotten without letting the recorder run for a minute or more waiting for the bird to song again. - It provides you a visualization of song to help remember it. - It geotags all your recordings - It organizes your recordings with file names including date/time and species name (if known). I know everyone is looking for a Shazam for bird songs. This is not it, but it allows you to make great recordings and keep them organized and sometimes it helps you identify the songs. That’s pretty good!
It could not identify a Whipoorwill.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.