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Identifying bird calls with the BirdNET app


I am a birder and it's great when I can identify bird calls. A couple of years ago, I was out hiking and heard a bird call that was completely new to me. It was just my husband and I out hiking, so I had nobody that could tell me what type of bird it was. I pulled out my phone and recorded the sound. When I got home, I posted it in an online Florida wildlife group, asking if anyone could identify what the bird call was. I got about a dozen different responses, which didn't help me at all. I was never able to successfully find out what type of bird was making that unique call.

Fast forward a couple of years and I discovered that there are bird apps! There are a lot of bird apps out there, some that are free and others that cost a few bucks to download. Some help to identify the bird calls, while others just give info about specific types of birds. I tested several of them and wasn't happy with what I had found. They were not accurate. For example, one of them was telling me the call I was hearing was a blue jay, when I was looking right at the bald eagle making the call. Some were just completely not accurate. Then I discovered one that is accurate and one that I love - BirdNET!

BirdNET is an app that helps identify bird calls and it works great. I've tested it many times and it always comes out with accurate results. I use it regularly while sitting in my backyard, while hiking, and while out walking through my neighborhood. The BirdNET app is put out by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It's a free app, it's accurate, and it is simple to use! 

Here's how you use the BirdNet app:

  1. Download it, of course.
  2. Open the app. It opens a a screen where it is recording what it hears, including the bird sounds. You can see the spikes on the screen where the bird sounds have been recorded. 
  3. Record the bird sound.
  4. Use your finger to select the small area with the bird call. If you select too small of an area it probably won't give you responses. So select enough for it to analyze. Once you select the area you want analyzed, click the "analyze" button.
  5. Check out the results. After the app analyzes the results will tell you what bird is likely making that sound. It takes seconds to get that information back. 

Once you do it once, you can go back and record more, or select other areas to have analyzed. You can also save sounds that you want to go back to later.

BirdNET is my favorite bird identification app. I love it! It's important to me that a bird call app be accurate, and I've found this one to be so. It's the best bird app I've come across yet and has to be one of my favorite apps on my phone. To learn more about BirdNet, click here.

(Pictured above is a screen shot from one bird identified while on a recent walk)



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