A new app which was launched recently can identify the songs of 220 British birds, helping you identify the different chirps heard in the countryside.
Warblr was developed by two scientists, Florence Wilkinson and Dan Stowell, who used a grant from the Queen Mary University of London’s Innovation Fund. It works in a similar way to the music app Shazam, which identifies songs from a massive musical database.
Those using the app make a recording of birdsong on a smartphone and the app then provides a list of the most likely species, along with information about the bird. It also has built-in geo-location technology, which builds a map of sightings.
This map can then help ecologists and zoologists keep an eye on species by monitoring their habitats, keeping an eye on increases and decreases and their patterns of migration. This will help to protect some of the more endangered species in the country from declining further in numbers.
It is hoped the app will appeal to the five million adults who take part in bird watching in the UK every year, as well as those who are just out for a walk and keen to know which birds are nearby. It is also hoping it will encourage more young people, who regularly use technology, to get out into nature and learn more about what is going on around them.
The more people using the Warblr app will lead to more recordings being submitted to the app server, meaning the technology will become more accurate over time. The general public will almost be acting as volunteer scientists, in the knowlede their contribution will make a difference.
If you are looking to head out into the countryside and take advantage of the Warblr app, our outdoor leisure
section will provide you with everything you need to for birdwatching. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars