App watch: Bird Song ID

Wouldn’t it be great to have a mobile app that’s like a Shazam for birdcalls? With it, you could hold your mobile phone in the air and record a bird sound. The app would analyze the sound and match it to the right bird.

Bird lovers around the western world got excited last fall when the U.K.-based company, Warblr, said it planned to launch such an app in 2015. Cofounders Dan Stowell and Florence Wilkinson developed the app with a grant from Queen Mary University London. They began a Kickstarter campaign last October to raise additional funds for iOS and Android commercialization efforts. Surprisingly, they didn’t reach their target.

CK has discovered that there is another app, already available, that claims to do the same thing. Called Bird Song ID, it was developed by Germany’s Mullen & Pohland GbR and comes in Canadian, U.S. and U.K. versions. The app is packed with great information and bird sounds, but its birdcall identification function, according to our own tests, is nothing to chirp about – not accurate and not worth the $4.99 cost.

Diehard bird lovers may have to wait for Shazam-quality Warblr (warblr.net), assuming Stowell and Wilkinson can deliver.

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