As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Recognition Tool Identifies Bird Species

The Merlin Bird Photo ID is currently able to identify 400 different bird species.
Cari Jorgensen

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, along with Cornell Tech and Caltech, has developed a system that can recognize and identify bird species. The Merlin Bird Photo ID can currently identify 400 species, based on imagery examination, Wired reports.

Birds are traditionally hard for recognition tools to identify.

"Asking computers to identify bird species is a challenge not only because some species look so alike, but also because their shape varies from moment to moment. On top of that, photographs of birds often include complex backgrounds, and the birds may be far away or blurry," the Cornell Lab told Wired.

The team at Cornell and Caltech were determined to develop the tool, however, and did so by building a "visual recognition engine for birds,” Wired reports. This involved collecting a large amount of data and creating a complex algorithm that uses that data to identify various patterns, which in turn help the Merlin Bird Photo ID better identify each species. Part of the data included myriad photos of birds, accurately tagged, which Cornell received in droves.

Read on ...

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