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New App Identifies Birds With Visual Technology

mzl.xcggkasxIt’s the app we’ve all been waiting for.

Birdsnap is here to take away the frustration of identifying birds with the use of visual technology akin to facial recognition.

The app, which is available on the iPhone (though there’s also a website anyone can use), is basically a free electronic field guide of 500 common species that automatically finds similar species to the one in the picture you upload.

I’ve yet to really try it out so far, but some of the early reviews have been positive. The accuracy detailed in the review I just linked to was surprisingly high, even for species like the Rock Wren.

It gives you a list of birds and the correct one is typically at the top, but even if it’s not, it almost always gets it in the five species it lays out.

There are a few limitations, however. For one, you must take a picture of a bird for the app to identify it. Sounds simple enough, but not everyone has a camera with a zoom lens that can take photos close enough. I tried taking a picture of a bird with my iPhone, but it was completely off when I tried to find out what bird it was. To be fair, the bird was pretty small in the image.

Still, this is a step in the right direction and is a great option for amateur photographers who might not be able to ID every bird just yet.

I’m looking forward to getting in a review myself.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

1 Comment

  1. […] new Merlin Bird ID program, I must acknowledge the fact that an app like this already exists. The Birdsnap app debuted more than a year ago on the App Store and was able to pretty accurately identify birds based solely on a user-submitted […]

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