Digital Resources

The study of natural history is being revolutionized by increasingly powerful apps. In addition to having a wealth of information available through their mobile phones, people in the field now can use apps to identify the various life forms they observe or hear. Apps are also being used extensively to record field observations. Some of these apps are mentioned in other parts of the Resources Section of MPNature.

These apps will help you identify birds by appearance and behavior:

Many birders are now using the free Merlin app to identify bird vocalizations. You simply hold up your mobile phone or other device and record the vocalizations. Merlin will suggest what you are hearing. Be sure to download the proper bird vocalization pack so that Merlin will know the area for which you want vocalization information. Here are links to Merlin and other bird vocalization apps:

These apps provide information about where to look for individual birds and what birds frequent various birding locations:

The links below provide tools for keeping records of your bird sightings. You will need to decide whether you are interested in keeping records only for yourself, or in participating in citizen science by contributing your observations to a central database. Any of the links below will work for keeping your own lists, but if you would like to share your data with others, eBird is the most widely used app.

These apps will help you identify plants by appearance. The first three use image recognition systems to attempt to ID a plant by matching a photo you take with images in a database. The last two are more traditional ID guides.