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Like a Magician, Identify Birds by their Songs with Merlin

Is that a that Red Tail Hawk or a Cooper's Hawk in your neighborhood?

 During a recent visit my brother introduced me to the phone app Merlin from Cornell Lab.




It is a free download. When you open the app, you will be asked to download a database of bird songs for your region. 


All of the bird packs are free. This is a constantly evolving product. As of 2020, the bird packs have content for 7500 species around the world. If you click the "All" button on the bird packs, you can download packs for next your vacation or business journey. A good reason to get a lots of RAM on your next phone.


How does it work?

Open the app and download your bird pack. On the main screen choose "Sound ID".


On this page you can review your recordings, or start a new one. 




So if you are sitting on your deck in Edson, Alberta, or hiking in Iceland, if you want to know which bird is singing near you, hit the mic button.

These were the birds heard recently in the wild-land behind my garden.


Perfect? No. One recording identified a California Sage Grouse. You can click on the bird and hear the sound it identified. I did that with the Grouse. It was a person complaining somewhere in the neighborhood.

Here's a short video of the application in action behind my house:


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Townhouse Gardening: Like a Magician, Identify Birds by their Songs with Merlin
Like a Magician, Identify Birds by their Songs with Merlin
Is that a that Red Tail Hawk or a Cooper's Hawk in your neighborhood?
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Townhouse Gardening
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