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Montreal Families

Apps that make bird-watching fun for kids

Birding, or bird-watching, is a wonderful activity to enjoy with kids in every season. But it’s during Montreal summers that you might spot some of the rainbow of birds who spend the warm months in town. Whether it’s the sparkling Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, cheery Yellow Warblers, or brilliant Indigo Buntings, there’s usually a feathered friend nearby — even in the city.

This activity promotes learning and curiosity, an appreciation for nature, and observation skills, making it a perfect choice for kids and families. Kids can also contribute valuable data by recording bird sightings, helping scientists monitor bird populations, and tracking migratory patterns for events such as the Great Backyard Bird Count and Project Feederwatch from Birds Canada.

Remember to prioritize safety during birding activities, such as dressing appropriately for the weather, using sunscreen, staying hydrated, and doing a tick check when you’re done. Also, be mindful of birds’ natural habitats, and stay on marked trails to avoid disturbing nesting sites or sensitive areas.

To make birding for beginners or children more enjoyable, you can use field guides, binoculars, and birding apps to identify and learn about different bird species. You can also create a bird journal where kids can record their sightings, sketches, or notes. If apps are your thing, there are free or inexpensive versions — some of them specifically aimed at inspiring and educating kids.

Here are a few suggestions.

Bird Field Guide for Kids

With its user-friendly features and kid-friendly language, this app provides an engaging way for kids to learn about 500 common birds. The inclusion of fun facts and playback recordings for songbirds adds an interactive element that enhances the learning experience.
The app’s extensive collection of 1,500+ photos and range maps ensures that kids have visual references and can understand the distribution of different bird species. The option to create a personal life list motivates children to track and document the birds they’ve observed, fostering a sense of accomplishment and encouraging further exploration.

On the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad, as well as on Google Play for Android devices.


This app is particularly useful for beginners. It provides detailed profiles of common bird species, including high-quality photos and bird calls, which can aid in bird identification and learning. While the app itself is free for iOS users, it offers in-app purchases for regional bird packs that need to be purchased separately with prices range from $0.99 to $4.99. This allows users to access additional bird species specific to their desired regions, enhancing their birding experience with a more comprehensive selection of species.

One advantage of EyeLoveBirds is that it does not require users to sign up for an account, making it convenient and hassle-free to use. Users can simply download the app and start exploring the profiles and features right away.

Free for iOS users.

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

Merlin’s user-friendly interface and expertly crafted features make bird identification accessible to both beginners and experienced enthusiasts. By answering a series of simple questions or uploading a photo, users can receive accurate bird identifications in a matter of moments. The app focuses on North American birds and offers the opportunity to build a life list—a record of all the bird species an individual has observed. This feature can be particularly exciting for kids, as tracking their bird sightings and creating a list can be a fulfilling and motivating aspect of the hobby. Merlin also enables you to explore field guides in any region by downloading bird-packs. Listen to beautiful calls, examine bird distributions, and enjoy high-quality photos, even offline.

Free for iOS and Android users. No in-app purchases or sign-up required.

BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide

The free version of BirdsEye offers a wealth of information on more than 1,000 bird species in North America. Users can access photos, behavioral details, and population statistics for these species. The app also provides seasonal population information, allowing users to understand the presence of certain birds during specific times of the year. The ability to create and import personal lists adds a personalized touch to the app.

For those seeking additional features, Merlin offers a subscription-based version and is $2.50 per month for the North America membership. The subscription version offers features such as the “Rare Bird Alert,” which notifies users of rare bird sightings near their location. This feature can be particularly exciting for birdwatchers, as it enables them to stay updated on unique and uncommon bird sightings.

Free for iOS and Android users.

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