Birder's Guide

NOV 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 22 of 51

21 Nove mber 2017 | Birder's Guide to Gear can provide additional layers of data quality review to images uploaded with eBird checklists. Images are sometimes accidentally uploaded to the wrong spe- cies in eBird, and it would benefit ev- eryone if we could catch this while you are creating a checklist. Imagine if eBird could alert you when a computer vision system indicates that the photo you up- loaded to the Carolina Chickadee entry the growing archive at the Macaulay Library that portrays birds across their geographic range, from all angles, and in all types of habitats. Yes, that Dark-eyed Junco you photographed under your feeder is a unique and valuable addition to the Macaulay Library, for many rea- sons and not just to train Merlin Photo ID. The accuracy of the computer vision system improves with additional images of a species, emphasizing the impor- tance of adding photos of even the most common species to your checklists. The Future of Photo ID The potential for computer vision to support birding, ornithological research, and conservation is huge. One can imagine a not-so- distant future in which you can select a photo of a flock of shorebirds, and Merlin will suggest that there are 8 Sand- erlings, 4 Least Sandpipers, and wow, you should really check out this particular in - dividual because it matches highly with Little Stint and that is very rare in this area! And with Merlin ID tips and images as reference, a birder can research the identification in the field and quickly get the word out. In the near term, this technology n Non-breeding Little Stint photo- graphed in Lake Abijatta in Oromia, Ethiopia. Photo © Ian Davies/Macaulay Library n Im- mature Yucatán Jay pho- tographed in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo © Ian Davies/ Macaulay Library

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