For more than a year, Berres (and his graduate students, of course) have been testing and improving the fruit of that inspiration: WeBIRD, the Wisconsin Electronic Bird Identification Resource Database.
Like music-identification apps Shazam and MusicID, WeBIRD allows anyone with a smartphone and a mysterious bird nearby to record the bird’s call, submit it wirelessly to a server and (after a few seconds) receive a positive ID on the species of bird tweeting away within earshot.
“I am amazed at how good it is,” says Berres, who has also used WeBIRD to identify grasshopper species by their clicking calls and frogs by their croaks. “In fact, not only can WeBIRD tell you which species you’re hearing, it’s good enough to identify individual birds from their song.”
This is going to be good.
Hat-tip to Rich Guthrie.