AI software identifies individual wild birds without need for ringing or tagging

Non-invasive means of identifying birds could cut need for expensive and lengthy fieldwork, allowing for more broad-ranging research

Harry Cockburn
Monday 27 July 2020 14:47
Comments
Spot the difference. The AI managed to correctly identify individual zebra finches
Spot the difference. The AI managed to correctly identify individual zebra finches

“Twitchers”, as keen ornithologists are known, are adept at rapidly identifying a huge array of bird species - from common garden guests, to rare exotic visitors - but one thing they cannot do on the same scale is identify individual birds within the same species.

But new artificial intelligence technology has apparently succeeded where human experts cannot, and can easily recognise individual wild birds.

The development could provide ecologists with a valuable tool which would reduce the amount of necessary fieldwork and invasive procedures such as catching, ringing or tagging birds, the research team said.

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