Free Thayer Birding Software for Young Birders

Young Birder Program from 
Thayer Birding Software

Special Code:  PalomarYoungBirder 

Starting September 21, 2018 any young birder in pre-K, grade school, middle school or high school will be able to use the above special code  that will let them download the new version 7.7 of Thayer’s Birds of North America at NO COST.

This amazing software, for Windows or Mac computers, features the 1007 birds that have been seen in the continental U.S. and Canada. The software includes over 6,600 color photos, 1,500 songs and calls, 550 video clips of the birds in action, 700 quizzes and much, much more, as shown here:

Why are we doing this? Because the company founder, Peter W. Thayer, decided that this would be the perfect way to celebrate his 70th birthday.

“Over the past 24 years I have heard from thousands of folks who told me how much this birding program meant to them. I have been overwhelmed by the kind words and feedback we have received from people who are now professional bird guides, ornithologists, college professors and wildlife managers. They told me they used our program when they were growing up to learn more about the birds around them…and they still use it today!”

Our favorite letters are from the kids, especially this one from 9 year-old William: “I was so excited we downloaded it the night I got it. I looked at pictures, watched videos, made lists and did quizzes until my parents made me go to bed. It is totally awesome!”

“My philosophy has always been that I just wanted to create a truly great birding program for me (the nine-year-old me as well as the seventy-year-old me of today). If anyone else wanted a copy – well, that was just a nice bonus! Thanks to hundreds of suggestions from users over the past 24 years, I think we did it!”

Now it is time to give back something to the birding community and to the millions of young birders (and potential young birders) who just need a spark to get them started on a life-long quest for knowledge about our natural world and the importance of preserving the habitat we still have. What better way than this to celebrate the year of the bird?

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Do we send them the birding software?

A: No. That is done electronically by Thayer Birding Software.  The students simply go to, select the Mac or Windows download version, type in the special code PalomarYoungBirder, and the download instructions and links appear after a few seconds.

Q: Where can I learn more about the software before downloading.

Here is a link to reviews and feedback we have received over the years:

And here is a link we have to help folks that may have a question:

This program requires Windows 7 or higher or Mac OSX 10.9 or higher.

Q: What do we tell students who are in college or grad school and may want a copy or students that want to get the software mailed to them on a USB flash drive rather than download it?

A: We have a special code for these situations. The code will let students buy the software at a 50% discount. The retail price for the download is $49.95. The USB flash drive is $63.95 (plus $5.95 shipping.) So they would pay half this amount. This special code is: Student.  We strongly recommend the USB flash dive for students with computer download speeds below 20 Mbps.

Teachers can also get the software at a 50% discount. Their special code is: Teacher.

Test your computer’s download speed:

Q: What is your ultimate goal in doing this?

A: We would like to have one million kids download the free birding program and use it and get excited about nature and conservation. Birds are a great place to start!  Pete Thayer thinks getting an additional one million kids looking at birds and perhaps becoming the local bird expert will be good for the planet in the long run.

Q: When does the special code expire?

A: Probably when Pete Thayer does.

Q: How long have you been making birding software?  Who are you?

A: Thayer Birding Software released version 1.0 of its software in December, 1994. There have been eleven major versions and 44 free updates since then. Version 7.7 was released in September, 2018:

Thayer Birding Software is owned by Peter W. Thayer and his family. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology also owns 1% of the company. Here is a link to the “About Us” web page:  Basically, Pete Thayer is an enthusiastic birder whose hobby got WAY out of hand!

Pete Thayer and the Thayer Birding Software Newsletter Team

9048 Whimbrel Watch Lane, Unit 202, Naples Florida 34109
E-mail us   |

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