You have picked up a bag of Mill Creek Seed Co.’s bird seed from Bird House Nature Company, filled your favourite feeders and while waiting for visitors you are stopped in your tracks with a bird call or song that you are not familiar with. There is an app to assist you in your curiousity. In this email, we will explore one of the many bird identification apps.
While reviewing choices, we found one app that kept rising to the top of reviews for IOS and Android users. It is the Merlin Bird ID app created by Cornell University. The app has been known for identifying bird types. The latest version now includes identifying bird sounds along with the bird types. An added feature for choosing the Merlin app is that it is free.
CBC refers to the app as SHAZAM for birds in a Matt Galloway interview with Jessie Barry, project and program manager at Cornell Lab of Ornithology Macauley Library in her sharing the details and abilities of the Merlin Bird ID app.
"We have examples of what bird sounds like from around the world, then we can train the machine to figure out which bird you're hearing. We convert that sound into an image using today's computer vision technology to help you identify birds in the field.”
"Accuracy is about 90-per-cent [accurate] in experimental tests. When you go out in the field, circumstances are a little different. If you have wind, a loud environment around you, you might be dropping the accuracy, but if you get closer to the bird without scaring it, that's going to boost your accuracy."
"With one touch access, users can also learn more about each bird with ID tips, maps and more than 80,000 photos and sounds from the Macaulay Library"
Once you open Merlin and answer a few simple questions about the colour, the size of the bird, Merlin will give you a list of choices based on your date and location. If you already have Merlin installed on your phone, tap "get sound ID" and experiment recording the bird sound you are hearing.
For more about the Merlin ID app follow this link
Finding an app that suits each of our bird watching identifcation desires, enhances our expereinces with birds thus bringing us closer to connecting to sounds found in nature.
Resources for this artcle with links in this email:
I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.