23 June 2014

Playing the Hero

Heroes usually possess special powers, and the heroes of bird-watching have the ability to make identifications without actually seeing birds.

While identifying birds by sight takes a degree of skill, some of the best birders know each species by its songs and calls. Such identification is far from easy, but it brings with it the superpower of seeing the bird world through sound.

Luckily, the special power doesn't come from radioactive spider bites or the gods. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has developed a game that helps in matching birds with their songs. Bird Song Hero uses visual representations to break down species' songs and asks the person playing the game to select the correct source of the sound. To see a demonstration, watch the video below:

Bird Song Hero truly makes sound a second sight. When sight fails to help, birders must turn to sounds, and the Cornell Lab's game gives those sounds a visual quality. Here's the link to more information about it.

Now, go become a hero.

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