Backyard Birder and Master Birder – Larkwire App Review

If you are a bird-loving family and are looking for fun as well as educational apps for your iPad, Larkwire Backyard Birder and Master Birder are two apps you may be interested in knowing more about. I received both apps as a gift from Larkwire (no other compensation) and I have been using these apps over the last few months to learn bird songs by ear.

The format for each app is similar and is based on the idea that you will view an image of a bird and then hear its song. After you have listened and are confident that you can recognize the bird’s song, you play a matching game with four birds at a time. This sounds easy but your ear really needs to be trained to hear the subtle differences in bird songs.

In the Gallery Game, the screen shows four birds and then quizzes you by playing the bird song and you pick the bird you think it is. If you match them correctly, it moves you on to the next song. If you miss it, you have a chance to replay the bird’s song and then continue with the game. You are allowed to choose which birds to learn and in what sequence by choosing groups of birds like birds with simple songs, birds with complex songs, songs with repeated notes, etc. I am working my way through the simple and complex sets with some success.

You can see a video of how the Gallery Game and the Field Game work: Larkwire Introduction Video.

There is also a Search and Browse feature which lets you enter a bird’s name and then click over to hear calls and read a bit more about its distinctive song by state. You can also browse by category like hawks, owls, and woodpeckers. This is such a fun way to learn more about each bird family, learning which birds are related to each other.

The images used in these apps are stunningly clear and brilliant. I have enjoyed browsing the images which I know will also help me learn more birds that I can eventually identify.

Larkwire Apps I Reviewed
Backyard Birder (California Top 25) allows you to choose your region/state and gives you the top twenty-five birds to learn. Priced at $3.95 for the desktop version and customizable to your region. The iTunes version is 99 cents and you customize it once you start to use it (per Phil at Larkwire). This was more than enough to get me started with my local birds and I highly recommend purchasing the songpack that is appropriate for your area. Don’t be surprised if after using this songpack when you hear your children identifying birds by ear…they pick up on them really fast!

Master Birder (land birds) allows you to select your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or master) and a song pack with 344 songs. Priced at $24.95 for the desktop version and from iTunes $14.99. I think this songpack will last me a very long time. There are so many birds to learn and to enjoy over the months and years to come.

There are many songpacks available allowing you to choose just what you need and can afford.

Not sure if your children will like Larkwire apps? Go ahead and try their free starter pack with 21 birds. You will not be disappointed.

The app is available in the iTunes store- look up Larkwire. This app is also available for your desktop computer but you need to purchase it through the website.

For more information about how to purchase and whether it will work on your device, see the Larkwire website. 


  1. (Sorry if this is a duplicate – once I push publish, I get a message saying that the comment section cannot be blank) We love bird songs and would love to identify them – that is if we can hear them over the cicadas! :)

  2. Granola Girl,
    Thanks for persevering with your comment…not sure what happened. :)

  3. Well, I am not sure if my daughter is but I know she would be if she knew she could identify a bird by its call. :) I am definitely interested in teaching it – it would be a very cool part of our nature study!

  4. Absolutely! My kid’s are are always listening to the calls they hear from the birds wherever we are.

  5. We love birding! My dd has been learning bird calls from a book with a player on it, but an app would be so handy.

  6. My boys (11&14) and I love to do this though they are much better at it than I am. We have a Cd but an app would be so much handier.

  7. We love bird songs and are always trying to ID them…this has been challenging as we are not TX natives! Being able to accurately identify the birds we have here would be a very welcome challenge to my children…and me!

    Thanks for the opportunity, Barb!

  8. My daughter and I are getting pretty good at identifying birds by sight, but we really don’t know the calls very well. This would be AWEsome to win!

  9. I’m very interested in this for Scouts. If I’m not there, I can’t help the kids, but maybe this would work for them.

  10. We have bird song book to help us identify them but this app sounds really neat. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I have never been able to identify by ear, but my husband can. Maybe this would help me learn!

  12. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway – would love to be able to identify bird songs.

  13. My oldest daughter loves all things birds! Being an app on the iPad would definitely make bird calls more interesting.

  14. My girl does a GREAT mourning dove.

  15. Both my girls have an interest – we watch birds at our house all the time and just got back from a bird watching hike!

  16. We try to identify and look up the bird calls we hear but don’t know. But sometimes it is just daunting, as you don’t know where to start. You can sometimes hear them…but not see them.

  17. My kids love learning bird songs! This would be a great tool for our family.

  18. This looks great! We are still learning to identify birds by sight, but we need to start learning songs too. My son has had a favorite bird for years, but he only knows it by its song. He wakes up to it every morning, but he can’t see it, so we have never identified it!

  19. This sounds like a really cool app to have. My kiddos are all the time hearing bird calls and trying to identify them. We live in northern California, but I’m originally from North Carolina, so I’m not as familiar with the local birds as a native to the area would be. This app would be so helpful!!

  20. My noisy boys would LOVE to learn bird calls. However, if I won, I know I would have to invest in a good set of earplugs…

  21. Yes, my son & I enjoy learning bird calls! We have a book and CD that we use inside but it would be great to have an app that we could use outside. I took a quick look at the Larkwire website, very nice! Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. Our neighbor has a lovely backyard that attracts many songbirds…both goals of our family’s as well…my children would enjoy learning fine feathered friends by their songs…thanks for the opportunity to win this app…what a wonderful encouragement :)

  23. Thanks for sharing this! Going to begin studying birds with my daughter after we finish building a birdhouse together!!

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