Thanks to BirdLingo my knowledge of different birdsong has never been so solid

BirdLingo logo depicting a robin singing
(Image credit: Jessica Liebing)

BirdLingo, a game designed to help you learn the calls of different birds, has become my recent obsession in my quest to find the best birdwatching game. Given only a handful of images of birds and short descriptions of what their call sounds like, to help you connect the audio playing in the background with the correct species, you must make your way through woodlands, forests, and wetlands, identifying birds correctly as you go. 

These written prompts, such as counting syllables and linking them with a phrase like “I-AM-a-pig-eon” help you associate the calls with birds in a much easier manner than just listening and guessing. Even for someone like me who spends a lot of time listening to birds (despite not being too confident in immediately identifying them), these prompts have helped me pick up bird songs on the go when walking about town. It’s a great feeling to realize that my birdwatching (also referred to as birding) journey is finally getting somewhere. 

But, as you go further through the game, BirdLingo lends you less assistance. Each area, such as woodland, garden, or seaside, is divided into three rounds, with the first holding your hand through identification, the second removing the prompts from below each image of the birds, and the final removing any prompt whatsoever and only offering you pictures of birds to choose from. This puts your skills to the test and teaches you to associate calls with names rather than images since you won’t always see the bird in real life. Generally, it’s a gradual learning process that makes the game as educational as it is fun for an avid birdwatcher like me.  

Around the world 

BirdLingo a few garden birds in the middle of a level

(Image credit: Jessica Liebing)

What makes BirdLingo so compelling is how it offers you a variety of locations and, in turn, their native birds. So, rather than being limited to whichever species frequent outside your window, you’re able to expand your knowledge slightly further afield. For example, you don’t just have to spend your time identifying standard garden birds like a Blue Tit or Robin. Instead, you can venture further afield to the seaside to learn the calls of Oystercatchers or Sandlings - both of which I’m not used to seeing around my city-based flat. 

However, BirdLingo is currently only offering a demo, which means depending on how long you play it, you may quickly find yourself getting limited on which birds you can identify. While this does help cement your understanding of a set few birds, it can feel quite limiting when you feel as if you’re ready to expand your knowledge even further. I poured a decent amount of time re-visiting each biome and guaranteeing I knew birdcalls like the back of my hand, especially those I was used to hearing around my local area. But, even then, there were times when I felt as if I wished there was a little more for me to discover. 

With that being said, I find it easier than ever now to go out on a walk and confidently identify common birds without second-guessing myself or resorting back to my trusty bird ID app, Merlin Bird ID, which means that BirdLingo does succeed in educating you in an incredibly effective way. Rather than being a virtual way to enjoy the hobby, like relying on a birding simulator to discover new species not native to your homeland, it’s definitely more reliant on the educational side of things. Still, it excels in delivering that experience in its demo - let alone whenever it may be released in full. 

Birdwatching might not be for everyone, and I know I’ve received many curious glances each time I mention my hobby. But, BirdLingo makes it incredibly accessible and digestible for everyone interested in giving it a go. Plus, even if you’re not prepared to sink a decent few hours, binoculars in hand, sitting patiently in a park or by a window waiting for a bird to come by, it does help you appreciate the sounds of birdcalls we are incredibly used to hearing already. You may even be surprised by just how many birds fill our day-to-day life with song. 

We’ve got a guide to all the best simulation games if you’ve been looking to find a new virtual hobby. If you want something a little more story-driven, we’ve got a guide to all the best story games, too.  

Kara Phillips
Evergreen Writer

Kara is an Evergreen writer at TechRadar Gaming. With a degree in Journalism and a passion for the weird and wonderful, she's spent the last few years as a freelance video game journalist, with bylines at NintendoLife, Attack of the Fanboy, Prima Games, and sister publication, GamesRadar+. Outside of gaming, you'll find her re-watching Gilmore Girls or trying to cram yet another collectible onto a shelf that desperately needs some organizing.