Avian watchers will surely enjoy this new application Cornell University developed. This application was created by Cornell Lab of Ornithology with a partnership with the Visipedia research project to help birdwatchers identify birds they see more quickly. Merlin is able to identify 400 of the most common bird species in the U.S. and Canada, Hawaii not included. Thanks to eBird, you’ll get the most accurate results based on millions of sightings from other avian watchers across North America. Customized location and date tools generate best answers for your neighborhood and time of year so you’ll be able to see which bird species are in your area year round.
There is also the ability to see over 1,000 photos of birds including both genders and juveniles, along with listening to their songs and calls. Browsing is either by family or by name, so if you wanted to look for a specific kind of duck, you would find it under “Waterfowl” or if you’re looking for a hawk, look under “Raptors.” On the right side of the application when browsing, you will see an icon of a bird which will skip you down to that section so you don’t have to scroll continuously.
It asks 5 simple questions: Where did you see the bird? When did you see the bird? What Size was the bird? What were the main colors? And was the bird… (choice between eating at a feeder, swimming or wading, on the ground, in trees or bushes, on a fence or wire, and soaring or flying).
Whether you’re a beginner and curious about birds or already know what you’re doing, this application may be worth taking a look at. It’s a hefty file size of 605MB for Android and 637MB for iOS, but it’ll provide you everything you need while you’re bird watching.
For all those avian watchers out there, do you plan on trying out this application? Leave a comment below or on Google +, Facebook, or Twitter.