Heard a bird tweeting away (no, the other kind of tweeting) and wondered what it is? Now you can find out with a new app called Warblr.
It's an audio recognition app for birdsong. Basically Shazam for birds. Start the app, hold your phone up to the sound, and it'll tell you what kind of bird you're hearing.
The UK has between 400 and 500 species of birds, so you could be forgiven for not knowing your tawny owl from your blue tit on sound alone.
Once Warblr has told you what kind of bird you're hearing, it also provides info on the species, so you can impress your friends with your knowledge.
The aim is to help people appreciate the everyday nature we take for granted.
It also geotags what kind of birds are being spotted where, and makes this data publicly available. This will help zoologists and ecologists to monitor species growth and decline and patterns of migration and ultimately aid conservation. As long as enough people use the app, that is.
That data might also be a bit suspect, as you could confuse people stopping using the app with a decline in the number of birds.
The machine learning technology behind the app was developed by a scientist at Queen Mary University of London. The makers claim that in optimum conditions – i.e. where double decker buses aren't rushing past you – it can get the correct result 95 per cent of the time.
The app has raised nearly £9,000 of a £50,000 target, and still has 31 days to go. Check it out on Kickstarter.
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