Audubon Bird Guide App

Audubon Bird Guide App Frequently Asked Questions

Having trouble with your app? We have some answers here.

Audubon Bird Guide App Frequently Asked Questions

Having trouble with your app? We have some answers here.

Note: We redesigned and relaunched our app in late May 2018. This FAQ pertains to the prior version. Find the new app version's FAQ here.

iOS FAQs     Android FAQs     Amazon FAQs     NatureShare FAQs     eBird FAQs


Where do I go for support?

First, see if your question has already been answered in our list of FAQs below. If you still need help, you can contact customer service at

Lost Username/Password

If you have forgotten your username or password, you can use the ‘Forgot Password’ link in the left-hand pop-up navigation panel in any of our apps to be sent a new password to your registered email. You can also access this page over the web. This will send a message to your registered email containing a new password.

You can also log-in to our apps via Facebook. Audubon Guides will never post any content to your Facebook account or page. If you receive an error message when logging into Facebook, it is likely that your Facebook email address is already registered for a NatureShare account. Try using the link above to reset your password.

Please note, if you are creating an account for the first time and you're receiving a bad login message, please try to create a more unique username; our system does not allow two different users to have the same username.

Email Request & Verification Process

The National Audubon Society is a non-profit organization. We rely on people like you to support our mission and environmental advocacy through donations and cooperative action. We have made our category-leading Audubon Bird apps free in order to email you for your support. You may unsubscribe at any time. We are hoping you won’t—we want you to join us in our mission and our advocacy.

We use an email verification process to ensure users are providing valid email addresses. Our intention is not to make you jump through unnecessary hoops, but let’s be honest—these apps cost us money, and now we are giving them to you for free. All we ask from you in return is a valid email address, and the opportunity to engage with you in our fight to save birds and the environment.

We will never sell or give email addresses from our apps to others. Please visit our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for additional information.

Didn't this app formerly cost money?

We are very excited to be able to offer this app for free so that more people can easily enjoy learning about birds. We will continue to keep our fans updated as more free digital products become available from Audubon.

Why do I only see male images of the birds?

There are many photos associated with each species. If you are looking at a species page, you will notice dots underneath the image. This means there are more photos to view. Swipe your finger from right to left to view the next image. You'll notice at the bottom of the screen is a brief description of the image, such as "Female" or "Juvenile".

Why do your apps take so long to update?

Our apps include a lot of high-quality photos and sound recordings and are rather large, and we are constantly adding new content into them. When the update occurs, it actually updates the whole app instead of just the sections that need updating. This provides for a more stable app. It helps to download updates over a strong WiFi connection.  We also recommend updating from your computer, and then syncing your device.

Can I transfer my app from one platform to another? As in, Android to Apple?

Apple and Android are two different platforms, and unfortunately the apps cannot be transferred over due to different coding.


I updated my app, but now it won't open.

Please ensure that the software on your iPad is up to date. To do this:

  • Plug your device into your computer and open iTunes
  • On the left side of the iTunes screen, click on the name of your device.
  • You will see a “Summary Page”; if it does not automatically prompt you for an update, click on “Check for Updates”.

That's still not working. Can I just uninstall and reinstall the app?

Absolutely! Please uninstall and reinstall the app by syncing to your computer. This is the most stable and effective way to download large apps (like our Audubon apps) to your device. To do this:

  1. Delete the app from your device by tapping and holding the icon until it becomes shaky - then tap the 'x'.
  2. Go into iTunes on your computer, select "Apps" under the "Library".
  3. Delete the app you will be re-downloading. Make sure all files get moved to trash.
  4. Re-download the app through the AppStore on your computer.
  5. Connect your device to the computer.
  6. Go to the name of your device on the right side of the screen, you will see a "Summary" page.
  7. Click "Apps" at the top of the Summary page. Make sure the app is checked.
  8. Perform a sync with your device.

I updated my device software, but now my app won't open.

Open iTunes. If you have updates available for your app, you will see them listed at the bottom of the screen.

Viewing content offline / Downloading content

In order to make our apps smaller and easier to download, some app content needs to be downloaded after you install the app. You should “Download All Content” to your device. To do this, go into the app. Click the menu icon at the top left to open the left-hand pop-up navigation panel and press the ‘Download Birds Data’ option. You will need a strong WiFi connection to download all content. Once the download is complete, you will be able to see all of the photos, maps, and sounds, even when you are not connected to WiFi.

If the Download All Content was successful and you are still not seeing pictures offline, please uninstall and reinstall the app.

I installed the app but I cannot hear the sounds!

Generally the reason for not hearing the sounds is due to the mute switch on the side of the phone, just above the volume toggle. Some other apps will continue to play music or sounds even with the mute switch on, but ours does not.

Be sure you do not see the red dot or line on the switch and you should hear the sounds. If you still do not hear the sounds, then while the song is playing, try turning up the volume. And finally there is a sound setting in the MORE section of our app that may have gotten turned off.

Also, please check the following sound settings on your device:

  • Physical buttons at the top right of device - make sure the volume is set to an audible level
  • Mute Button above volume controls. (On earlier models of the iPad, the small round button above the volume can be either ‘mute’ or ‘lock rotation’, chosen in the Settings – General – Use Side Switch.) Please make sure this option is set to “Mute”.
  • Double tap the home button, slide the bar to the right, make sure the volume slider is set to an audible level
  • Go into Settings, Sounds, make sure all settings are on.
  • iPhone: verify the "vibrate" button is not turned on.
  • iPad 2: Go to "Settings", "General", double click the "Home: button then swipe to the right. Make sure your "Volume Settings" are not set to "Mute".

My app won't update—it says there is not enough space on the device. Why can't I update the app?

In order to update, the app needs a little more than double the amount of space for initial download. Please have at least 2GB of space available on your device. Once all content is downloaded, one of our apps may be as large as 715MB. Please note; we recommend uninstalling and reinstalling via iTunes on your computer, then syncing to your device. This is the most stable and effective way to download large apps.

How do I change my privacy settings to access my photos from the app?

You may have selected "No" when we asked if we could access your photos. To change this:

  1. Tap "Settings" on your device
  2. Tap "Privacy"
  3. Tap "Photos"
  4. Look for Birds, make sure the slider is set to "On".

I'm using "Add a Sighting" to report a sighting, but it is not grabbing my correct location.

In the Add a Sighting window, tap the small map to see it in the main panel. Tap and hold the red pin to move it to a new location on the map. If your app still believes you are in Kansas when you aren't, you may need to check your Location Services settings:

  1. Go into "Settings" on your device.
  2. Tap "Privacy" and tap Location Services. (Verify that location services are "on").
  3. You will see a list of any apps that may use your location. Make sure your Audubon App is set to "On".
  4. Go into the App. Select "Browse By Shape", and tap the "More" option on the bottom status bar.
  5. Verify the GPS option is turned "on".


What are the requirements for your Android apps?

This app requires a minimum Android version 4.0.3.

What kind of space do I need on my device?

Our Android apps are up to 30-50MB each for initial installation. Once installed they require content download which requires archive size doubled of free space on SD card. For example, Birds application takes about 40MB initially (100MB free should be during installation), then about 700MB free space on an SD card to download all content. Once all content is downloaded, the app will require a little under 700MB.

Birds is our most extensive app as it has the most content/functionality in it (such as callouts, FindBirds, etc.). For a listing of the size of our apps, please check out our specs in the Google Play Store.

My app doesn't work.

You can try to uninstall/reinstall by going to Settings, Applications, Manage Applications and find the app and tap uninstall then go back to the Market to reinstall. You will not be charged again to reinstall the app.

Our apps our very large and require a lot of space. We recommend moving our apps to an SD Card. To do this: Go into "Settings" -> "Applications" -> and "Manage Applications." Find the app and click "Move to SD Card."

I am having problems with the app on my DroidX.

Follow the instructions above to uninstall and reinstall the app. On the DroidX, you might need to delete a file off your sd card: Hook phone up to your computer, browse to .android_secure folder and delete the file 'smdl2tmp1.asec' file. Make sure you are able to see hidden files to see this folder.

Where is my app? I purchased it but it did not download to my device.

If you bought the app through Google Play, you can go into your Account, find your purchased app, and re-download. To do this:

  1. Open Google Play
  2. Tap your device's Menu button
  3. Select "My Apps"
  4. You'll see "Installed" at the top of the screen. Swipe this screen and you'll see a listing for "All". If the app is not on your device and you did purchase it, you will see it listed here. Simply tap the icon for the app and re-download.
  5. You can use these same steps if you have purchased through the Amazon App Store.

I can't see the pictures and I already downloaded the content.

Please verify that the app is storing to your SD Card and not the Phone. To do this, go into your devices' "Settings," then "Applications" and then "Manage Applications." Find Birds; it should say "Move to Phone", which means it is stored on the SD Card.

Viewing content offline & downloading content

You should “Download All Content” to your phone from a WiFi connection, especially before taking our app(s) into the field. To do this, open the app. Tap the Menu icon in the top left to open the left-hand navigation panel. Tap the “Download” entry and select a Download Pack to download. You will need a strong WiFi connection to download all content. Once the download is complete, you will be able to see all of the photos, maps, etc. even when you are not connected to WiFi.

If the Download All Content was successful and you are still not seeing pictures offline, please uninstall and reinstall the app.

My app keeps force closing or crashing...

  1. Try to uninstall the app by going to "Settings", "Applications", "Manage Applications", find the app and tap "Uninstall". Then reinstall from the Android Market
  2. Try powering off your device and then turning it back on.
  3. Make sure you are using a "Task Killer" or manually close the app from running in the background. If Trees is running in the background constantly it will crash when you try to open it.

How do I know if I'm logged into my account on the app?

  1. Open the app
  2. Tap your devices' "Menu" button
  3. Tap "More"
  4. Scroll through the menu to "Account". If you are logged into your account, you will see your username.

If you have not created an account, you can tap the "Account" button and select "Register Account". A new form will populate where you can enter your information. Your account is a free registration that allows you to access Life Lists and Sightings from all of our apps.

How do I go back to a previous screen? There is no "Back" button?

To go back in Android, hit your Back key on the device itself. Depending on which device you have, it may be a physical button on the left or right side. You can also tap on the blue "Audubon Birds" logo to go back to the main screen, or the Home entry at the top of the left-hand navigation panel.

After I updated, I tried to Download All Content but my device said I did not have enough space. I have plenty of space. How can I re-download the content?

Sometimes the old files stay on the device but are hidden. You can find and delete them by downloading one of man free File manager apps in the Play Store.

  • Once downloaded, browse to “/mnt/sdcard"
  • Tap the folder “Android” then tap “Data”
  • You should see “”
  • Delete the file and you are good to go!

Why does your app ask for all these permissions?

Here's a breakdown of all the permissions:

  • modify/delete USB storage contents: For storing Species Data
  • modify/delete SD card contents: For storing species Data
  • prevent device from sleeping: This prevents disconnect from the Audubon server during content synchronization of your account.
  • full Internet access: Allows accessing of species data, map content.
  • view network state: Allows the application to know which internet connection to use for acquiring species data.
  • read phone state: For returning from hibernate and other phone states. To improve stability and ensure the application works correctly.
  • identity control: Verifies you as the account holder and maintains your privacy.
  • vibrator kill: Ignores prompts from other applications while using Audubon Birds for increased stability.
  • background processes: Allows us to track and monitor performance of our application and close any thread that isn’t being utilized.
  • view Wi-Fi state change: Verifying internet connection during processes like synchronization so you don’t lose the connection.
  • Wi-Fi state: Verifying internet connection during processes like synchronization for stability.
  • fine (GPS) location: Utilized to make detailed Sightings of species. We want the most accurate reporting of location as possible.
  • take pictures and videos: You can take photos & videos of species and store them in Nature albums.

How do I move my app to my external SD Card?

  • Tap "Settings"
  • Tap "Applications" and then "Manage Applications"
  • Look for the app, select it, and you'll see an option to "Move to SD Card". If it is already on the SD Card, you will see an option to "Move to Phone"

Please note, we are investigating the content not installing to the SD Card for some devices. If you are experiencing this issue, please let us know which specific device you are using as well as the OS.

How do I exit the app?

To exit the app, tap your device's menu button, and you'll see a "More" menu. Scroll to the bottom and you'll see the "Exit" option.


How do I navigate around the app?

At the bottom of the app you'll see a (^) soft button; if you tap on that, you'll see a mini menu display, and you can either tap the back arrow to go to the previous screen, or the list icon will pull up another menu where you can access your content and the more menu. Also, at the top of most screens, you will see the "Audubon Birds" header, and you can tap that to go to the home menu.

Why does the map automatically put me in Toronto when I'm creating a sighting?

Kindle Fire does not offer GPS services, so the map, by default, is pointed here. You can tap anywhere on the map to change the location. We are hoping to improve this experience if GPS services become available.

To create a Life List:

  1. Open the app and tap on "My Content"
  2. Tap "Life Lists"
  3. You'll see a prompt indicating you need to create a Folder for your Life Lists. If you have an account with data, such as LIfe Lists and Sightings, and do not see it here, please go back to "My Content" and tap the "Synchronize" option to restore your data.
  4. Enter a name for your List and description
  5. From here on, when you are viewing a species, you can select the "Add to Life List" option on the bottom, then select this folder you've created to add to it.


Support for our online community of fellow nature lovers. NatureShare is best accessed and used via one of our free Audubon Bird Guide apps to record and share your wildlife and nature encounters.

Not a part of our NatureShare community? Join via one of our free Audubon Bird Guide apps today.

How do I see the NatureShare community in the app?

Tap the “NatureShare Community” navigation bar or link to see the NatureShare dashboard. The left panel displays recent sightings from members. Select a sighting from the left to see a bigger image and map location of the sighting.

I do not want my sightings posted or I do not want people to follow me. Do I have to sign up for NatureShare?

While we encourage you to check out NatureShare and be a part of our nature-loving community, there is an option to set your profile to Private in Account Preferences. This means that:

  • Your profile cannot be viewed by other members. Members may come across it, but they will not be able to see any activity.
  • Your sightings do not get posted to the Dashboard for other members to see.
  • Other members cannot opt to follow you.

To set your profile to private, login into the app and tap on the Menu icon in the top left corner. Tap “Account Preferences” which will bring up all of your Account settings. There is a checkbox to mark your profile as private. Be sure to save any changes you make to your Preferences. We require a sign-in for the personalized and communal sharing features that form the heart of our NatureShare community of nature lovers.

How do I login to my NatureShare Account in the app?

Tap the Menu icon (‘lines in box’) at the top left and click ‘Login/Register’ in the navigation panel that appears. You will also be prompted to log in if you click any ‘log-in required’ feature (Add a Sighting, My Sightings, My Lists, Following, Followers, Favorites, Account Preferences, and certain iBird features).

If you have forgotten your password, please use the ‘Forgot Password’ feature found in the left-hand navigation menu.

How do I add a sighting?

  • For iOS users: On the main screen of the app, tap “Add a Sighting”
  • For Android users: On the main screen of the app, tap “My Sightings” then tap the circled plus sign button at the top of the screen.
  • Either platform: Open the main menu by tapping the bars in the upper left, then tap “Add a Sighting”

Your app should put your pin at your current location. You can change this by tapping the map display. You can tap the image of the map to provide a larger view of the map, and you can tap and hold the pin to move it. You can also zoom the map in and out with gestures (pinch to zoom out, reverse pinch to zoom in). Tap on the date to change the date and time of your sighting.

Label Your Location: We have some tags associated with certain areas on the map. Tapping “Label Your Location” will pull up these tags where you can further pinpoint your sighting. For example, my sighting was in Woodstock, VT, which I set up on the map, but there is a tag option for “Mount Peg”, which is exactly where I was.

  • Field Notes: Enter and notes about this species.
  • Share Your Sighting: You can easily share this sighting to Facebook, Twitter, or by Email.
  • Add to List: Add this species to an existing list or Create a New List.
  • Tap on the green “Post Sighting” button when you have all of your information in place and see it be sent to the NatureShare Dashboard!

How do I delete a sighting?

  • Open your "Sightings" from the NatureShare menu
  • Find the sighting you'd like to remove
  • Put your finger on the sighting and then swipe it to the left; you'll see a Delete button appear. Tap the button to delete your Sighting.

How do I edit a sighting or a comment I’ve left?

  • Tap “My Sightings" from the left-hand navigation panel
  • Find the sighting or comment you'd like to edit (the comment must be your own for you to edit it).
  • For iOS: Put your finger on the sighting and then swipe it to the left; you'll see an Edit button appear. Tap the Edit button.
  • For Android: Tap and hold on the sighting you’d like to edit, then tap either “Delete” or “Edit” on the box that appears.
  • Use the ‘Edit Sighting’ pop-up to edit your Sighting information, or edit your Comment.
  • Tap ‘Save Changes’ to save your changes.
  • Tap ‘Delete Sighting’ to delete your sighting.
  • Tap ‘Cancel’ to close the window and return to your previous screen with no changes saved.

How do I add a sighting in another country?

Tap on the map. You can zoom out and move the map to where you saw the sighting. When you find your location, tap on it to move the pin.

Why won't my picture post to my sighting?

Upload speeds could be slow based on the limitations of your internet service. At this time, there is no visual indicator of progress when uploading images for sightings. If you try to complete your sighting before you see your photo display in the Sightings, the system will use the default image from our database. In order to ensure that your photo is used, please wait a few more moments until your photo appears in the "add sighting" window—it will replace the upload photo button. We are working to incorporate a loading symbol in the future.

To Report a Post

In case you see objectionable content posted to NatureShare that you would like to report:

  • Click the Menu icon in the top left (stacked lines in a box) to open the left-hand navigation panel.
  • Tap the ‘Report a Post’ entry in the More section near the bottom. This will open an email with Address and Subject information pre-filled.
  • Add as many details as possible about the objectionable post, especially date and time seen, as well as the username of the poster, and Send the email to us.
  • We will follow up on your report and remove the offending content as soon as possible. Please note we reserve the right to cancel the account of any user abusing our community or its standards.

To Add a Bird to your Life List

  1. Tap the ‘Add a Sighting’ navigation bar on the Home screen (on Android, first tap “My Sightings” then tap the plus sign on top of the screen), or the ‘Add a Sighting’ entry in the left-hand navigation panel.
  2. Enter the information for your Sighting, starting with the Species selection at the top. You need to Post a Sighting to add an entry to your Life List. If you do not want your Sighting to be publicly viewable, remember to go into your Account Preferences and select the ‘Make my account, sightings, and lists private’ checkbox.
  3. Tap the “Add to a List” field at the bottom and tap the list to add it to in the right-hand pane. A checkmark will appear next to the List name after the item has been successfully designated to be added to the list.
  4. Tap the ‘Post Sighting’ button to post your sighting and add the bird to your selected Life List(s).


When I view species in eBird, how come some listings are in red?

Some birds are listed in red to indicate that they are a rare and notable species in your area.

What is the difference between "Recent" observations vs. observations with binocular icon?

Recent sightings indicate birds seen nearby your area in the last 30 days, while the binoculars indicate opportunities to see new or notable (rare) birds for your area.

What is the difference between blue and red spots on map indicating sightings?

A blue pin indicates a user sighting at a user location. The red pins indicate a species found at a hotspot noted by eBird.

How can I upload sightings to e-bird?

At this time, we do not have the ability to submit sightings directly to eBird. FindBirds is a feature powered by eBird that lets you view sightings in real time for any location. If you'd like to submit sightings to eBird, do so via the web.

Can we tell how many different observers are in area?

We do not have this feature at this time. Please check our Facebook and website for announcements of new features.

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