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Monday, June 15, 2015

Identifying Birds - A Fun Summer Learning Activity

A couple of months ago when the birds started to return to my neighborhood I wrote a post containing resources for learning about birds. This morning through Lifehacker I learned about another neat app for learning about birds.

Merlin Bird ID is a free iPhone and Android app that helps you identify birds that you see in North America. To help you identify a bird you've see Merlin Bird ID asks you a few questions about the color of the bird, its size, where you saw it, and when you saw it. Merlin Bird ID will suggest which bird you saw based on your answers to the identification questions.The suggestion will come with pictures of the bird and some information about it. In some cases you will be able to listen to a recording of the bird's call.

Applications for Education
A fun summer learning activity could be built around using Merlin Bird ID. You could take students on nature walks to make observations about birds. Challenge them to try to identify as many different birds as possible.

Bird ID can be used without entering an email address. It can also be used without enabling location services. If you don't enable location services you will have to enter the zip code of where you made your bird observation.