I rarely gush over applications people recommend to me, but Merlin deserves a special shout-out. A friend of ours who is an avid birdwatcher recommended it to us and we have been using it often ever since. My wife and I will have coffee most mornings on our back porch. It is a great time to catch up on upcoming events, the kids, the animals, and the extended family. To my amazement, while we were looking at some cardinals in our yard scolding our cat, my wife showed me this app which not only identified the cardinals but 5 other birds that were in the trees around our yard. As I watched, each bird that chirped caused a picture of that bird to light up, identifying their song. At the same time, it saves a recording of the session for future review. For someone like me who is very poor at recognizing the calls of individual birds, this was a game changer. Created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this is by far the best resource I know of for visually and audibly identifying birds.
My wife uses the app at her family’s farm a mile down the road and the assortment of birds is almost completely different. This app has rekindled my interest in our wild feathered friends. I guarantee that I will be pulling it out at our job sites to find out which birds live in the neighborhood.