If you enjoy going outside, sitting among the trees and watching the birds, here is a new way to enjoy the experience.
It’s also just another reason to get a smartphone, if you haven’t already.
Birding is a great way to enjoy nature. Just get some binoculars and look for your favorite birds, for example. You can do it anywhere! The problem is that sometimes, even with binoculars, it’s not easy to spot them. You could listen for them, but those high tones can often be out of hearing range, even with hearing aids. Of course, you can always hear loudmouth blue jays, but maybe not the delicate song of the finches.
Cornell University to the rescue.
With its free Merlin Bird ID app, you can identify nearly any bird that chirps, and it is easy to do and lots of fun.
When you get the app, you can select the area you live (the South, for example) and you’ll get a list of all the birds that live there or commute there during the winter.
Now, just tap Sound ID and hold your phone up. Whatever birds are talking, Merlin will identify them, present photos of the birds, and give you a little story about them.
It’s not unusual for the app to identify four or five different birds chattering every morning. If you have a feeder and you don’t know what bird you see coming to it, tap Merlin’s photo ID. Simply snap a picture and Merlin can identify 8,000 different birds.
You can even get a free membership and create a log of all the birds you see and hear during your adventures.