During game play, hover over any button to see its shortcut.
Action Shortcut key
Click the button on the left j
Click the button on the right k
Help ?
Home h
Settings s
Play audio p
Stop audio Esc
Toggle Info view i
Gallery top left e
Gallery top right r
Gallery bottom left d
Gallery bottom right f
Gallery right side button v

In Larkwire, you learn songs in small groups. The groups gradually merge until you know them all. You control which groups you study by clicking their checkboxes on the Groups Panel.

Tips mode: The easiest way to learn all of Larkwire's features is to play in tips mode. In this mode, the game is fully functional but adds instructions and tips throughout. Use the Settings page to enter tips mode.

Game Types: Larkwire uses different games for different stages of learning.

The Gallery is for learning to hear the differences between songs.

The Field lets you practice ID from memory—more like real birding.

Click the Settings button to set the game type or just let Larkwire choose for you.

Game level: Larkwire has four levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and master. Higher levels include more songs and more challenging comparisons. Use the Settings page to set the game level. You won't miss any songs by skipping levels—all the lower songs are included in the higher levels. The Master level uses the same comparison groups as Advanced, but includes more song variations.

How to play (Gallery): At the start of a Gallery, click the images to familiarize yourself with the sounds. Click Start to begin. Give your answer by clicking the correct image. If it's right, Larkwire goes on to the next song. If not, Larkwire stops and you can again click any image to hear and study its sound.

When you want to change the birds in your gallery, click the Refill button at the top of the game board, or change groups in the Groups Panel. The Refill button will try to refill from your current group before going on to the next group.

How to play (Field): In a Field game, Larkwire plays songs for you and you try to identify them entirely by ear—just as if you're out birding. Click Know it if you do, and Not sure, otherwise. Larkwire then shows you the bird and you confirm whether you were right or not. Note that if there's a bird that you have never studied before, Larkwire will show it to you first, before quizzing you on it.

How to end the game: Press the Home button at any time to end play and see a summary.

Comparison view: Access all the songs and birds in a group by clicking the group's title in the Groups Panel. (On a touch device, touch and hold the title to open Comparison view.) The most common and representative samples are given first, with large orange buttons. Additional samples that show typical variation are given with smaller, grey buttons. The samples are organized by state and province. Master birder explanations teach you what to listen for in the sounds. In a Gallery game, you can show these tips for your gallery birds by clicking the Info button .

Audio replay: You can replay songs by clicking the Larkwire bird .

Earning colors: Each song is represented by an icon on the Groups Panel, and as you master the songs, the icons change color. Each color level is more challenging than the previous one. Green means that you have gotten at least 75% correct. Blue can only be earned in a Field game and requires at least 90% correct. Gold also requires a Field game and your recent identifications must be 100% correct. Sometimes you will come back to the game and find your colors have faded. This means it's time to review that group.

Customizing Larkwire: For quick (temporary) customizations, use the checkboxes next to the species names on the group's Comparison page. (See the FAQ for detailed instructions.) For long-term customizations, use a Playlist.

Playlists: Playlists let you define exactly which species occur in your game. For example, you could have one playlist for your local area and a separate one for a trip you're planning. To set up a playlist, go to Search & Browse and click the "Customize Larkwire" button. When you save a playlist, it is automatically activated. You control which playlist is active on the Settings page. IMPORTANT: If you want all the birds on your playlist in your game immediately, you must set the game level to "Advanced". Having a species on your playlist doesn't force it to appear at all game levels.

Getting help: For help, including these instructions as well as keyboard shortcuts, use the Help button on the Home page.

Learning tips: Have fun and don't be afraid to make mistakes! If you're having trouble distinguishing certain songs (and who doesn't!?), you can set up a Gallery using just those songs. You will be amazed at how hearing the songs repeatedly sharpens your perceptions even when you can't identify them. But give it time—these changes generally take days or weeks rather than minutes. Finally, try to listen in a quiet environment with good quality headphones or speakers. The subtle differences in birdsong may get lost with poor audio conditions.

We think Larkwire is the easiest, fastest, most enjoyable way to learn bird songs. Let us know what you think at: