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Unlike when species like pandas and elephants decline in number, birds are rarely mentioned in discussions. In order to improve awareness about avian species loss, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has developed an app that recognizes bird songs in the name of conservation.
There’s an app called “Shazam,” which can recognize songs playing close to you. Cornell’s newly updated Merlin Bird ID app works in the same way. It can identify birds by their song with almost 100 percent certainty.
Tens of thousands of citizen scientists helped put this app together. This far, the app can recognize 400 North American species. The app is easily maneuvered, you simply press the “listen” button and it will show you a list of the birds behind the songs you’re hearing. Not only that, the app can decipher different species among simultaneous bird calls.
During the pandemic, many people started bird watching as a hobby. Not only is that peaceful and gives you an excuse to be in nature, but it’s also great because more data can be collected via the app, and more information can be given to conservation efforts.
Margaret Renkl, who writes for the New York Times, writes:
“Our most powerful work is done in the fervor of love; our most urgent effort is born from the fear of losing what we love best. To save birds, we need to make the whole human race fall in love with birds.”
Hopefully, Cornell’s app will inspire many people to become bird conservationists.