Don’t know a chickadee from a warbler? There’s an app for that!

wildlabLooking for a convenient way to identify birds during your next citizen science excursion? Consider the WildLab Bird iPhone app, which uses photographs, audio, and maps to help you determine which bird you’ve spotted and makes it easy to share the observation with researchers at Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology.

Here’s how it works: Visit the WildLab project description in the Sci4Cits project finder, where you’ll find links to download the app and start a free WildLab account. Using the app, choose the type of habitat where you are, then pick a silhouette like that of the bird you’ve sighted. Next, the app lets you scroll through pre-loaded images of birds and select the one that most closely resembles the bird you’ve spotted. Just to be sure you have the right one, you can also hear the bird’s song and see a map of its range. When you click the “submit” button, your observation, along with date, time, and location, is saved to your online WildLab account. From there, you can create a record of sightings to upload into Cornell’s eBird database. Simple as that.

While you’re on the WildLab site, be sure to check out the free supplemental materials aligned to curricula and educational activities.

In the near future, the WildLab plans to release an app for monitoring horseshoe crabs–sure to be a big hit with fans of those critters (like me!). We’ll let you know when that app is available.

Categories: Animals, Apps, Birds, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

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About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene holds degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.