What is OrnitO

OrnitO is a mobile birdwatching field guide for Android. It is not made for expert scientists, but for us, ordinary people, who want to put a name on the bird we saw in the backyard or on a trip. Thus, you will find there bird illustrations and a set of tools that will help you to find your bird hopefully fast enough before it flies away. As a birdwatching tool, it also allows you to record your observation history and keep notes on the species you have seen.

All countries around the world with every species of living birds are included in the app. As with any such large scope project, there is always a space for improvement. We count on your feedback to improve the application so it is more accurate and more useful to you.

Happy birdwatching!

Screenshot - List of birds with visual categories on the right
List of birds with visual categories on the right
Screenshot - Details of individual bird species
Details of individual bird species

Finding your bird

The goal is to put a name on the bird you see so you can record it. There are three main ways to achieve it with OrnitO:

When you know already a bit of your birds … use the visual categories.

According to the shape or location of the bird chose one of the silhouette categories on the right of the screen. Usually this will show you color images of several bird groups. Select the one that is likely to contain the species you see. Scroll the screen until you find your bird.

Screenshot - A list of families appears when tapping on a visual category
A list of families appears when tapping on a visual category

When you are still unfamiliar with the birds around you or are in a foreign country … use the filters.

Tap on the “magnifying glass” icon on the bottom to open filters. You can then chose the color and the size of the bird you see and will be given a list of likely matching birds to choose from. You may even make your search more specific by defining the kind of place where you see the bird or what shape does it have.

Screenshot - Advanced filter
Advanced filter

When you know it’s, say, a “gull” but want to make sure which one it is exactly … use the text search.

Tap the “text search” button on the bottom to open the text search. For a “gull”, tap on the “G” button and find “gull” in the list of common names. You will be given a list of all gulls in your country or region to browse and see which one corresponds to the species you see.

Note: to keep the bird list simple and usable we don’t show by default birds that are extremely rare or only visiting once in a while in your country. If you want to see them too, go to the menu and activate the “accidental birds” option.

Screenshot - Search by name
Search by name

About the project

OrnitO was born and is developed in the tropical South Pacific. Once upon a time on a mission on the tiny island of Tanna, Vanuatu, I met a seasoned birdwatcher, Anicet Paulin. He handed me - a birding novice – a neat home-printed field guide of two hundred or so Vanuatu and New Caledonia birds, of which he was the author, and took me to see the birds of the island. A few years and a few dozens of birding trips later we though: “What if we made the tiny paper field guide into a mobile app?” And so we did. Back then it would be OrnitO for Ornithology in Oceania. While refining the New Caledonian birds, we received a big deal of support from David Ugolini from “Société Calédonienne d’Ornithologie” and an encouragement of our app being used by birdwatchers in New Caledonia. Then came requests from people to add other islands and countries and finally also our countries of origin … Canada and Czechia. Having now included all countries around the globe, the project grew very much outside our original island scope and our personal needs. Now it is there for you. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it.


Anicet Paulin, s.c. anicetpaulin@gmail.com Bird illustrations.

Dominik M. Ramík dominik.ramik@seznam.cz Application functions, country checklists, data accuracy.

OrnitO was created with local communities in mind. It contains names of birds in many widespread languages as well as languages spoken by just few hundred local people. We welcome anyone who wishes to include names of birds in his local language. Contact Dominik on such matters.