Additional Coverage: UPDATE July 14, 2021: Cornell’s Free Birding App Just Addeda ‘Shazam for Bird Songs’ (via Fast Company)
From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
It’s an almost universal feeling: the thrill of hearing a mysterious new bird song. And it’s usually followed up by the question: What was that bird?
Today, the question got much easier: the Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID app can now identify bird sounds. At the time of the initial launch, Merlin can recognize the sounds of 400+ species from the U.S. and Canada, with that number set to expand rapidly in future updates.
Automatic song ID has been a dream for decades, but analyzing sound has always been extremely difficult. The breakthrough came when researchers, including Merlin lead researcher Grant Van Horn, began treating the sounds as images and applying new and powerful image classification algorithms like the ones that power Merlin’s Photo ID feature.
This pioneering sound-identification technology is integrated into the existing Merlin Bird ID app, meaning Merlin now offers four ways to identify a bird: by a sound, by a photo, by answering five questions about a bird you saw, or by exploring a list of the birds expected where you are.