Several years ago, I wrote about a great app from The Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University called Merlin (Read that article here). At the time, this app could help you identify birds based on questions that it asked you. Since then they’ve worked tirelessly to improve the app and now, it can identify the birds you see from photos!
I knew that it was likely that this technology would eventually be developed but I didn’t know how accurate it would end up being. It turns out that it is simply incredible. Many birders, myself included, have tested this with our own photos and the accuracy is astounding. The technology takes into account your location combined with eBird data and field marks from your photo to give you the best possible identification options. More often than not, the first option given was correct when I tested it! They’ve also increased the number of species available to over 650.
The app is available for free on in both the App Store and Google Play. Learn more about the app by clicking here.
You can also help to train the app to identify more species. Check it out!
Have you used Merlin yet? If so, what do you think?