Re: New Merlin Sound app

Richard and Ann Rusnak

All, Today was my 1st try at the new bird sounds app. Although I am an Idahoan, I am currently in TX, and using the app to record what I thought was red shouldered hawk, the app called it either the RSHA or blue jay. About the time I was reading this a blue jays did indeed fly out of the oak I was concentrating towards. So in this case the app was spot on, as the jays are mimics of RSHA’s. Fun app, especially in unfamiliar bird habitats
Cheers, Rich Rusnak, 

On Jun 30, 2021, at 3:48 PM, bike4birds <tmccabe9@...> wrote:

After reading all the enthusiastic reporting, I tried Sound ID today on my bike ride. When it said to get as close to the birds as possible, I became concerned that I had to get up close. Not to worry, I used it along the Greenbelt and it correctly identified a Western Wood Pewee immediately. Unfortunately, I was about to melt, so I didn’t try again. Thank you to everyone for alerting me to something I’ve apparently been carrying around unknowingly.

Tom McCabe, Boise


From: <> On Behalf Of Jim Lyons
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 1:49 PM
Subject: Re: [IBLE] New Merlin Sound app


Liz -


Thanks for your enthusiastic reporting. I've been using the Merlin Sound ID module for a few days, and have some amazingly good results both in field and "lab". Appreciate,  too, your and others calling attention to the scientific achievement this represents! This article ( link gives a little of the background, including differences in the challenge detecting certain songs and species compared to others. After using Chirpomatic and Song Sleuth for what seems like years of slow progress, and just recently the highly promising BirdNET, if you ask me Merlin has leaped far ahead in both its intelligence and user interface.


As with the photo ID solutions out there, those looking for "birding auto-pilot" may be disappointed but those who see these things as incredible tools that will enhance their birding and learning about birds. I see this as a real landmark in birding. And in AI!


Jim Lyons



On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 6:48 PM Elizabeth Medes <liz.medes@...> wrote:

Hello Idaho birders,

I am curious what everyone's response is for those who have upgraded to Merlin's sound ID.  So far, I've been impressed; particularly when we are birding with multiple competing layers of sound, i.e. creek side, wind, water rushing by, always stiff competition for me.  I've used Sound Sleuth and Birdnet but they are challenged to pull out song from certain conditions.  With the warblers way up in the pine tops, or various thrushes hopping along the roaring creek, that makes it tough.

We birded upper Gem County early this a.m., and to watch the app locate and post birds one after another - well, that was unexpected.  Once tipped off by the app, I found nesting American Dippers, which I couldn't discern in all the racquet, also a Townsends Solitaire, and an unexpected wren, to my aged ear.  When out of range of service, it will provide some odd ball guesses, but when I get home and listen again, I can see where it's going.  Very intuitive as an app, but also a major piece of science.  Kudos to Cornell O Lab.

Who else has experience good/bad with it?

Liz Medes
Emmett ID

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