Help Build Merlin: An Online Bird ID Tool

Male Hairy Woodpecker at my feeders.
Male Hairy Woodpecker at my feeders.

Merlin is a smart online bird identification tool created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and funded by the National Science Foundation.

The goal is to create an interactive online bird identification tool.

You can help by spending several minutes identifying birds.

Here is how it works.

  1. Merlin will show you a bird for five seconds.
  2. Next you choose the three colors of the bird that you remember the most.
  3. Then you are shown how your choices match up with others.

The exercise is easy, simple and fun.

My choices were a little off the mark on the first three quizzes. But with each try, I got better at recognizing the memorable colors. My skills at observation improved.

Try Merlin.

And if you want to learn more about birds try Cornell Lab’s All About Birds.

More about Bird-Focused Citizen Science

Project FeederWatch Info, Tips, and Nature Journaling Ideas

Get Involved in the Christmas Bird Count


  1. I tried this when I saw it on the Cornell Lab’s website and found it’s very addictive–worse than Tetris or jigsaw puzzles, and for a good cause!

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