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Let technology help you to identify birds by song.

Smart Sound ID

Temps de lecture: 3 minutes
Making the most of your SWAROVSKI OPTIK dG and Merlin Bird ID

Did you know that

the free Merlin Bird ID app


created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, can help you to identify birds by sound? Try the Sound ID feature! It listens to the birds around you and shows real-time suggestions for who's singing. Pretty amazing, right? Say goodbye to being mystified when hearing a bird you can’t see? With the Sound ID feature, you can identify birds even when you cannot see them (yet). Hold up your phone and record while listening to bird sounds, and the Merlin Bird ID app created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will help you identify the birds in real time!

Screenshot Sound ID

As of April 2023

the Sound ID feature


enables you to identify 1054 species covering the following regions:

  • USA

  • Canada

  • Europe

  • Central and South America (common and widespread birds)

  • India (common and widespread birds)

However, with your help, Sound ID will be expanding to more species worldwide in the future! Merlin is only possible through the powerful combination of citizen science and machine learning. Sightings from birdwatchers like yourself using eBird help Merlin understand which birds are likely at your location and time of year, enhancing accuracy and customizing your results.

Thursday, 14 Jul 2022 20 29 31

How can I help?

Simply include audio recordings with your eBird sightings.


It’s as easy as that. Saving your recordings and submitting them to your eBird checklists makes the recordings available to the Merlin team, who can use them to train the app to identify sounds. Merlin Sound ID needs a minimum of 100 recordings of various sounds for each species to "train" Merlin to recognize that species by sound. However, for many of the world's over 10,000 bird species, there are not enough sound recordings available yet to train Merlin. By recording the birds you encounter with a microphone or even your smartphone, you can help expand Sound ID to more regions.

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Expert annotations marking where in the recording a Yellowhammer and a Eurasian Blackcap is singing, to help Merlin learn these songs.
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Mönchsgrasmücke Khil
Spectrograms - sounds as a picture

Merlin identifies bird sounds using breakthroughs in machine learning technology to recognize species based on spectrograms - visual representations of sounds.

Screen Shot 2022-12-13 at 3.45.48 PM
Expert annotations marking the overlapping songs and calls of a Common Grasshopper Warbler, Common Chaffinch, Eurasian Wryneck, and a Song Thrush, to help teach Merlin to identify busy soundscapes.

As Merlin continues to learn from more recordings, more species will be added, and you will be able to identify more birds. In the meantime, you can use the dG and Merlin's other features to identify over 10,000 species around the world with photos or descriptions by choosing regional bird packs.

In the future, the technology that powers Merlin sound identification can also be used for research and conservation, opening up exciting new possibilities for monitoring, studying, and protecting birds.

We hope you’ll give it a try!

Photo credits: Leander Khil (www.leanderkhil.com), Brian Kalk

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K23 mauritius images M220GY CMYK ID:1796410Dive into exotic natural soundscapes.Avian sonatas Temps de lecture: 5 minutes