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

Erin Rollins-Pletsch, a teacher living near San Francisco, found solace in birding after losing 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 discovered the world of bird watching and how technology can enhance outdoor experiences for individuals with varying abilities.

Rollins-Pletsch uses the Merlin app on her smartphone to identify birds outside. For her, focusing on birds 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, she uses the app’s sound recognition feature by recording bird songs in her backyard.

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, showcasing how technology can enhance outdoor experiences for individuals with varying abilities.

The use of bird sound identification apps has revolutionized birding by making it more accessible to a wider range of people, including those with hearing loss. Technology has made it possible for individuals with different abilities to enjoy outdoor activities such as bird watching and gardening in ways that were previously impossible.

In conclusion, technology has greatly enhanced outdoor experiences for individuals with varying abilities by providing new ways of experiencing nature through apps like Merlin. Erin Rollins-Pletsch’s story highlights how these apps have helped her overcome challenges and enjoy birdwatching despite hearing loss.

By Riley Johnson

As a content writer at, I dive into the depths of information to craft compelling stories that captivate and inform readers. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging content that resonates with our audience. Whether it's breaking news, in-depth features, or thought-provoking opinion pieces, I am dedicated to delivering high-quality, informative content that keeps readers coming back for more. My goal is to bring a fresh perspective to every article I write and to make a meaningful impact through the power of words.

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