The future of hi-tech birding arrived in a small FedEx package the other day. It was a delivery we’d been looking forward to for months, so we went right to work.
Within minutes, I slipped the sleek, wooden box out of its container and plugged it in on our porch, where it went right to work on its ambitious task: Recording all the birdsong, calls and chips from the yard and instantly suggesting which birds are behind every peep.
Not long ago, we wrote about the smartphone apps you can take on the birding trail if you need help identifying birds by ear. This new invention, called the Haikubox, is the mother of the birdsong ID tools. It’s designed to be set up at your home and detect every nearby bird around the clock, day in and day out.
It’s like an instant X-ray of your avian neighborhood – or at least it will be when the development and fine-tuning is done about a year from now.
We’re lucky enough to be among the 20 testing volunteers to test out the preliminary version of the Haikubox. We plan to follow its creation and let you know how it goes on its way to the retail market. It’s expected to cost somewhere under $500, although the price hasn’t been set.