The role of AI in bird conservation: How technology is helping scientists safeguard avian populations

Birding and Technology: A Deaf Teacher’s Journey to Overcome Hearing Loss

Erin Rollins-Pletsch, a teacher living near San Francisco, lost 80 percent of her hearing about five years ago due to a rare disease. Initially struggling to adjust to the quieter world around her, she eventually found solace in birding. For Rollins-Pletsch, focusing on birds outside helps her escape from the challenges of her hearing loss. However, she is unable to hear many of the high-frequency bird sounds that help other birders identify species.

To overcome this obstacle, Rollins-Pletsch uses the Merlin app on her smartphone. By recording bird songs in her backyard, she can identify them through the app’s sound recognition feature.

When Rollins-Pletsch is gardening or tending to her bird feeders, she uses the app to identify the birds she hears around her. The app helps her connect with nature and enjoy birdwatching in a way that caters to her specific needs.

Rollins-Pletsch’s experience showcases how technology can enhance outdoor experiences for individuals with varying abilities. With apps like Merlin available, more people can enjoy birding and nature without barriers.

In conclusion, technology has revolutionized birding by making it more accessible to a wider range of people. For those with hearing loss like Rollins-Pletsch, these apps provide an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor activities that may have been previously impossible due to their limitations.

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