You always enjoy spotting different birds fluttering from tree to tree in your backyard or when you’re out hiking in the woods. The only trouble is you don’t know how to identify them; you would like to learn more about the different types but just don’t know where to start.
As you probably always take your smartphone out walking with you, Cornell University have created an app to help you identify the birds you see and learn more about them. The Lab of Ornithology at Cornell has released Merlin Bird ID, a handy birdwatching guide that you can access straight from your pocket.
Bird Watching for Beginners
Now, when you spot an interesting looking bird when you are out and about, all you have to do is open the app and answer a few simple questions to find out exactly what’s flying above your head. There is a set of five questions to answer, or you can use a photograph from your camera or gallery to help the app identify the bird you’re looking at. The results will include a selection of birds that fit your description, which you can read about in more detail.
All you have to do to locate your bird within the app and unlock a variety of facts about that species is input information of the size, colour and location of the bird. Details such as when you spotted in and what it was doing at the time are also used to make an accurate identification.
If you don’t know the answers to the questions or are new at bird spotting, the new photograph feature can be particularly useful. Merlin Bird ID is now able to identify possible birds from just a picture, which is helpful if you are just starting out as a bird enthusiast.
Identification and Education
The Merlin app features 400 different species of bird, with over 1000 photos as well as different bird calls to help you identify a particular type within the US and Canada. It also uses locations services to quickly and easily find the birds that can be found in the area, using your GPS.
Merlin Bird ID was created specifically for beginners and intermediate level bird watchers and gives you access to detailed information on different species once you have identified your bird. This includes habitat, breeding habits and information on migration and climate, helping to narrow down the types of bird you are most likely to see in your area. The app also allows you to download packs specific to your region, helping to identify the birds that visit your garden even faster.
If you are an avid bird watcher, you’ll find that one of the best aspects of the app is that currently it is completely free. The Merlin Bird ID app is available for both IOS and Android users and can be downloaded from Google Play or ITunes.
There is also good news for bird enthusiasts from other countries, as there are plans to release new versions of the app for across the world in the future.