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OUR MISSION: Encouraging residents and visitors to protect and enjoy the birds, wildlife and habitats found along the Central Oregon Coast
IN THE NEWS:

LOCAL

Saturday, September 12, 12-2pm ~ Kayaking/canoeing and birding in the Salmon River Estuary. We’ll depart from the Knight Park boat ramp. Arrive a little before so that you can unload and unpack ahead of time. If conditions are as good as we hope, you may want to stay on to explore other areas of the estuary on your own. Binoculars and field guides will be provided for participants who need them. Bring weather-appropriate clothing and foot gear that you can wear to ‘beach walk’ as well as get into and out of your vessel. You will need to provide your own gear - kayak or canoe, personal flotation device (PFD)/life vest (mandatory), and whistle (also mandatory). All participants must wear a PFD at all times when you are on the water. You should also be able to swim as you ARE responsible for your own safety. Be sure you have an invasive species permit for your vessel if it is 10 feet or longer (mandatory).

Tuesdays & Thursdays, October 6-15th, 1:30-3pm ~ Birding Basics at Lincoln City OCCC Center.
Do you find yourself listening to an odd chirp while walking or gardening? Are you fascinated by the random rustlings in the bushes? Do you notice and enjoy the birds in your world but wish you knew more about these clever and busy neighbors? This is just the class for you! Participants will learn how birds behave so it will be easier to find, watch, and identify the type you are seeing. Bird identification, adaptations, and habitat will be introduced. Birds of the Oregon Coast will be our focus during this 2-week class. Participants will have access to bird guides and binoculars and will learn how to use them. The final day of class will be a field trip to identify birds in the area. Cost: $30, plus $10 materials fee paid to instructor at first class. To register or receive more information, call 541-994-4166.

REGIONAL

Whether you are a resident state birder or a visitor, you might be interested in finding out what birds were sighted where in the state and when. Click here for up-to-date reports.

NATIONAL

Support ASLC through AmazonSmile. It is a simple and automatic way for you to support ASLC every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Audubon Society of Lincoln City. To go directly to ASLC's support account, go to: smile.amazon.com/ch/20-3795649
To learn more about AmazonSmile and how you can support ASLC, click here.


IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Injured birds, dead mammals, poaching
,
call: State Police: 800-452-7888

Injured Bird and Mammal Rehab Centers:
Chintimini Wildlife Center (Corvallis) 541-745-5324
Wildlife Care Center (Portland) 503-292-0304
Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center (Salem) 503-540-8664
Wildlife Center of the North Coast (Astoria) 503-338-0331

Injured Raptors
Cascades Raptor Center (Eugene) 541-485-1320


photo © nagi aboulenein - bald eagle

What’s That Bird?
Snap a Photo. Now Computers Can ID the Bird

In a breakthrough for computer vision and for bird watching, researchers and bird enthusiasts have enabled computers to achieve a task that stumps most humans— identifying hundreds of bird species pictured in photos.



Using Merlin Bird Photo ID, users draw a box around a bird in a photo and click on the bill, eye, and tail. Merlin does the rest, using computer vision to identify the bird—in this case, a Harlequin Duck. Photo by Christopher L. Wood.

The bird photo identifier, developed by the Visipedia research project in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is available for free at AllAboutBirds.org/photoID. Results will be presented by researchers from Cornell Tech and the California Institute of Technology at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) conference in Boston on June 8, 2015.

Called Merlin Bird Photo ID, the identifier is capable of recognizing 400 of the mostly commonly encountered birds in the United States and Canada.

“It gets the bird right in the top three results about 90% of the time, and it’s designed to keep improving the more people use it,” said Jessie Barry at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “That’s truly amazing, considering that the computer vision community started working on the challenge of bird identification only a few years ago.”

To see if Merlin can identify the bird in your photo, you upload an image and tell Merlin where and when you took it. To orient Merlin, you draw a box around the bird and click on its bill, eye, and tail.

Users helped train Merlin to recognize 400 bird species, including the Blackburnian Warbler shown here, by clicking on parts of the birds to provide information to the computer. Photo by Christopher L. Wood.
Merlin does the rest. Within seconds, it looks at the pixels and combines powerful artificial intelligence techniques with millions of data points from humans, then presents the most likely species, including photos and sounds.

“Computers can process images much more efficiently than humans—they can organize, index, and match vast constellations of visual information such as the colors of the feathers and shapes of the bill,” said Serge Belongie, a professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech. “The state-of-the-art in computer vision is rapidly approaching that of human perception, and with a little help from the user, we can close the remaining gap and deliver a surprisingly accurate solution.”

Merlin’s success relies on collaboration between computers and humans. The computer learns to recognize each species from tens of thousands of images identified and labeled by bird enthusiasts. It also taps in to more than 70 million sightings recorded by birders in the eBird.org database, narrowing its search to the species found at the location and time of year when the photo was taken.

Because the photo identifier uses machine learning techniques, it has the potential to improve the more people use it. After it can reliably identify photos taken with smartphones, the team will add it to the Merlin Bird ID app, a free app that has helped users with more than one million bird identifications by asking them five questions.

Merlin's computer vision system was developed by Steve Branson and Grant Van Horn of the Visipedia project, led by professors Pietro Perona at the California Institute of Technology and Serge Belongie at Cornell Tech. Their work was made possible with support from Google, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, and the National Science Foundation.