Bird lovers out there will go cuckoo for the new app developed by Cornell University. All they have to do is to upload a picture of the bird that they have found and the bird photo ID app will tell them the species and a few useful facts about it.
The website is called “merlin.allaboutbirds.org/photo-id” and it was created through the collaboration of Cornell and the Visipedia research project. There is also a free app available, that can be downloaded from either Google Play or Apple App Store.
The user needs to upload a photo of the bird that he wants to identify and then draw a box around it, in order to clearly point out the animal. Then, the user needs to click the beak of the bird, the tail and the eyes, so as to point out the location of these features. The last important information that the user is required to supply is the location where the photo was taken, because this is particularly useful in the identification process.
The program will then employ some extensive image identification technology, that will be cross-referenced with an comprehensive database that includes 400 different species of birds that populate North America, according to the website.
The results will be displayed as the best possible matches from the database for the bird in the supplied image. Along with the name of the species, the website will also provide recordings of the specific bird sounds and songs that that it makes, in order to provide the user with more extensive information regarding the bird, that he might actually use in further birdwatching experiences.
Like any other website or app that uses image recognition, the birdwatching program will render less accurate information in the beginning. But then, as more and more people upload more and more photos into it, it will become more precise and it will render the exact match for the bird in the picture.
It has the advantage of being particularly accessible during a birdwatching trip, since all the user needs is a smartphone with an internet connection and he can research all the birds that he wants then and there.
Furthermore, it is an extremely useful program for people who find injured or abandoned birds that they want to take care of. Even when taken to the veterinary office, it is not always possible for the bird to be immediately identified, as the diversity of species is incredibly extensive. Every once in a while an ornithologist’s opinion is required, and yet not always available.
This website will greatly improve that situation, since it will be able to provide fast and accessible results. The identification of the bird is crucial for the establishment of the treatment plan, or even the basic features of its care, such as the proper nutrition.
Therefore, Cornell’s Merlin Photo Bird ID website will prove to be extremely useful and interesting in many diverse circles and situations.
Image Source: outdoortom.com