Sunday, September 17, 2023


For a supposedly knowledgeable and proficient bird photographer, I am a lousy birder. I am the first to admit that. My ability to match bird calls with birds is frankly dismal. I have friends that can identify over 500 birds by call. I am more of a visual than auditory person and don't think I will ever approach a fraction of that.

But luckily my recognition ability is improving, albeit slowly. And I can credit my improvement to using the free Merlin I.D. on my phone.

Merlin helps me in many ways and places. I use it to learn identifications in the field and when I am laying on my couch.

I will turn the sound recording function on and get a long list of avian visitors in a five or ten minute period.

I heard a strange buzzing call this morning. Merlin told me that it was an elusive Bewick's wren. How the heck would I know that? I have taken a few shots of them before but was with knowledgeable birders that clued me in.

Same with the Northern Flicker that was hanging around the other day. Would not have known it was here but for Merlin.

It is a great app, provided by the Cornell School of Ornithology. 

Download it for free here.


Never come down? 

I saw this snippet at Interesting facts regarding the Alpine Swift, a bird that even sleeps in the air.

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