Identify birds by their songs with Merlin, a free app. Just download a bird song database for your region and use the Sound ID featur
Merlin will Identify Birds by their Songs
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.
How does Merlin identify birds by their songs?
The technology is similar to SoundHound and other apps that will tell you what music is playing at a restaurant or bar. Merlin is bird song recognition, not music recognition.
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 Use Merlin
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: