Saturday, May 4, 2024

Put Down That Phone Down And Watch Those Birds!

The Merlin bird sound identification is a great app that can identify birds by sound using your phone but like most good things it does have its downside. I now see birders walking around looking at their phone screen while birds are flying all around them! I've been guilty of it myself at times this year and have come to realize it's not a good good habit.

 It also picks up bird that you may never see or hear yourself. That drives me crazy when it happens because you know you might be missing out on some great birds! It is fairly accurate but does misidentify some birds songs too.

This morning I decided to put that phone away and just use my ears and eyes while I was out in the middle of Meshomasic forest. It turned out to be a good decision because if I wasn't paying close attention I might not have noticed the Barred Owl hunting in the woods.

I also had my hands free to snap a picture of my first American Redstart of the year. Technology is great but once in a while you just have to give it a break and get back to basics. It is a decision that comes with rewards!


Val Ewing said...

I learned to ID birds from song with my Grandmother many MANY years ago. She'd hear a bird while we were fishing or perhaps working in the garden and she'd stop to have us listen to it.
She'd then ID the bird and we'd try to recall it.

I wish I'd paid more attention then!

Larry said...

That's a great way to learn it! I think technology is helpful but I hope that it doesn't break the direct connection between the observer and nature.