Birds are on the brains of the Education Committee lately, with last week’s book review of “Woman, Watching” and this week’s recommendation for the Merlin Bird ID app.

Designed for beginning and intermediate bird watchers, the app uses the date and location of your phone to tap into millions of records in the “eBird” citizen-science database to narrow down which birds you are likely encountering.

With both a Photo ID function and a Sound ID function, the app will show you the most likely identification of a bird that you have either photographed or recorded. With most birds out of camera range in the treetops, the Sound ID is invaluable and fun to use. Hold down the microphone on the Sound ID tab, and the sound signatures of the birds

your phone can hear begin to appear, with names and pictures of the birds popping up as they are identified. Click on each bird’s photo, and a page of information about the species appears, with a more in-depth description of the bird’s plumage, diet, and flight habits.

Surprisingly, the exotic-sounding song of a bird that I could never get a good look at but whose preferred perch is in the maple tree beside my guest bedroom (and calls enthusiastically first thing in the morning and during my guests’ naptime) turned out to be a small brown House Wren. The sharp calls of what I thought was a gull across the channel were actually the menacing sound of a Merlin – a small, fierce falcon who feeds mainly on birds captured in flight. (My poor warblers.) I’ve never seen a Cedar Waxwing, but last August they were in the tops of the trees all around my deck.

With the air of Pointe au Baril alive with a constant symphony of birdsong, Merlin Bird ID can add even more dimension to the soundscape, providing photos and bios of these avian musicians.